Recap of Montclair BoE and MEA Dispute

BY  |  Saturday, Mar 02, 2013 11:00am

Impasse Between the Montclair BoE and Montclair Education AssociationPLEASE NOTE: Tonight’s Board of Education Budget Workshop location has been changed to the Glenfield Auditorium at 25 Maple Avenue. The meeting is open to the public and will begin at 7:00 PM. See the agenda.

The Montclair Board of Education and the Montclair Education Association are currently at an impasse in contract negotiations. In addition, the MEA has begun to”Work to Contract,” a work action in which MEA members have stopped doing anything “beyond contract time and without compensation,” according to its website.

Here is a recap of the dispute between the Montclair BoE and the MEA:

  • On Thursday, February 22, the Montclair Board of Education filed a “Notice of Impasse” in connection with its contract negotiations with the Montclair Education Association (MEA), the teachers union. Barista Kids obtained the documents of BoE’s “Last Best Offer” and MEA’s counter offer and provided details of the contract disagreement.
  • On Monday, February 25, the Montclair Board of Education meeting was dominated by the impasse discussion. MEA members turned out in the high school’s annex in a standing-room-only crowd. The board managed to present a preliminary budget, but the night clearly belonged to the MEA. The MEA stated that they would begin the work action “Working to Contract” the next day, Tuesday, February 26.
  • The day after the meeting, the BoE issued a press release on the district’s website and stated, “The Board had no role in the MEA’s recent work action. The Board was neither informed about the MEA decision to “work to the contract,” nor do we believe that it was in any way necessitated by the declaration of an impasse.”
  • On Thursday, February 28, the Christie Administration released 2013-14 State Aid funding numbers, the highest in NJ’s history, however Montclair will receive a 0 percent increase, receiving the same amount as the 2012-13 school year—$6,586,651.
  • The MEA’s “Work to Contrast action is affecting clubs, after school activities, fundraising events, after school tutoring and various other areas, especially at the high school level. On Thursday, February 28, Principal James Earle issues a letter to families explaining how students would be affected.

On Monday, March 4, the Board will hold a public budget meeting at Glenfield Auditorium at 25 Maple Avenue. The meeting is open to the public and will begin at 7:00 PM. See the agenda.

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And we can get this project completed in time for Montclair's sesquicentennial when we can stick a fork into historic preservation as a public policy.

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