Montclair High Principal Explains Areas Which May Be Affected By MEA’s “Work to Contract”

BY  |  Thursday, Feb 28, 2013 4:45pm

Montclair high schoolMontclair High School principal, Mr. James Earl, sent the following letter to families explaining areas for students that may be affected by the MEA’s “Work to Contract” action:

On Monday February 25, 2013, Montclair Board of Education (MBOE) and the Montclair Education Association (MEA) including teachers, aides, and other non-management employees, officially announced that they had reached “impasse” in contract negotiations.  When labor negotiations are at an impasse, a mediator is called in to assist both sides to resolve their differences and agree on a contract.

As a result of the “impasse” the MEA has asked its members to “work to the contract”.   This means that MEA members are advised to work with parents and students only during contractual hours or during times when that they are properly compensated for a club or activity.  This action may potentially have an impact on tutoring support, afterschool events and clubs/activities for Montclair High School students.

On Wednesday, February 27, 2013, The School Action Team Partnerships and parents identified the following areas for students that could be potentially affected by this action:

  • Independent Studies
  • Volunteer Clubs/Activities
  • African American Achievement Dinner
  • Afterschool Tutoring
  • Recommendation Letters
  •  Junior Packets
  • Modification of Instruction
  • Grading/Returning Assignments
  • Review for Assessments
  •  Career Internship Program
  • Fundraising Events
  • Cancellation of Assessments/Projects
  • SVPA Afterschool Events
  • Support for AP Exams
  • Safety Before/After School
  • Make-Up Work/Assessments
  • Black History Events
  • Teacher/Student Communication

You can also find updates at, www.meanj.orgwww.baristakidscom, and Please speak with your child regarding any concerns they may have regarding these potential changes and ask them to stop by their team office or the main office if they need clarification or have questions.


  1. POSTED BY sohobound  |  February 28, 2013 @ 9:24 pm

    I sat down to read today’s Montclair Times. The front page reflects:
    Union wants a lot more than industry averages for salary increases.
    The Town may be getting rid of more services, clipping collection.
    The Town spent $116k on a proposed project that will reduce park land.
    The Town Council will soon be sporting “Badges of Honor”.

    Will those badges come with super hero capes? We’ll need some superheros to balance quality of education and life in this town with the crazy taxes. The Union demands are out of balance with reality. And the tactics they are using to get their way… Taking it out on the kids while playing on the parents heart strings. It’s worthy of contempt.

  2. POSTED BY walleroo  |  March 01, 2013 @ 2:15 am

    I find it disheartening that kids are being used as pawns in this negotiation. For shame.

  3. POSTED BY iteachthereforeiam  |  March 01, 2013 @ 10:21 am

    neither “taking it out on the kids” nor students “being used as pawns” is taking place…you are falsely framing what is going on…you and anyone else have no right to EXPECT any staff member to do anything they are not paid for; the fact that the subtraction of what is done out of willing volunteerism and the kindness of heart is offensive to you only highlights how you have taken for granted that these workers will do this, and taken these workers themselves for granted…you have in fact been spoiled by their kindness…so this leads us to several conclusions– first, in a significant way, this is not about students – it’s about the collective withholding of (unpaid) labor by workers (who cannot strike); the fact that these workers’ labor involves students is secondary and makes this a bit emotional for folks, but at its heart, this is a labor issue; second, such collective withholding is highlighting the amount of kindness regularly shown and showing that if these workers only did what they were paid to do, the schools would cease to function optimally, so the least we can do is make the conditions of what we DO pay them for a fairer deal; third, if you have come to EXPECT this level of labor from these workers, if you want it to be GUARANTEED and not subject to (completely justified) withholding, PAY them for it…if this community has come to take these workers so much for granted, maybe they should stop going any extra miles and ALWAYS work to contract, since they are no longer appreciated…your framing of this as “taking it out on students” and “pawns” is not only factually erroneous, it is morally bankrupt and deeply offensive…ALL workers in this country have suffered from the decline of union membership in america, and maybe it’s time you organize instead of trying to drag down the precious few union workers we have left to your miserably exploited level…when we have divided, we are conquered; when we are crabs in a bucket, only the already wealthy and powerful benefit…

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I'm struck by how much attention is being paid to the details of a parking lot, as opposed to the attention paid to the future impact of the monstrous projects being planned.

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