MEA Staff Receive Email About Montclair Schools’ Salary Mess

The following letter was sent to MEA staff Thursday night from Dr. Paul Arilotta, the new Interim Director of Human Resources:

Dear MEA Staff:

I recently wrote to inform you of our efforts to address problems related to staff pay. I am pleased to report that the auditors have completed their work and their suggested modifications have been entered on all MEA salary guides.

As the next step in the process, we are preparing to print DRAFT contracts for the ’18-’19 and ’19-’20 school years that will be delivered to each school tomorrow, 10/11/19, and distributed to all MEA staff. Please review your DRAFT contract and make what you believe to be any potential corrective comments directly on the document. If you believe the information on the Draft is correct, mark the document “Correct” and return it to your school secretary by the morning of Tuesday, 10/15/19.

All documents will be returned to this office by the district courier.

Also, please be aware of the following:

These new DRAFT contracts replace any previous correspondence you may have received from this office;

The DRAFT you will be receiving will specify what our records indicate will be your correct placement on the guide including, step and longevity;

Most stipends for additional work assignments, summer pay corrections as well as pay for 6th period assignments will not be reflected on the document. However, if you believe you are entitled to and not receiving, additional compensation, for any reason, please note that clearly on the face of the Draft;

Disregard this statement at the bottom of the contract: “Please sign and date both contracts…………..”;

The Personnel and Business offices will verify all new information and request a special meeting of the Board of Education for approval of the ’18-’19 and ’19-’20 school year contracts. The sooner we get your responses, the sooner we can schedule a special Board meeting for approval. Pending Board approval, paychecks will be distributed on October 31, 2019 reflecting the 2019-2020 corrected information for MEA salaries;

Retroactive salary adjustments will be made at a later date. We would like to inform you of a specific date; however, given the complexity and our desire to be accurate, we are unable to do so.

Again, I regret any hardship and inconvenience this may have caused so many of you and appreciate your cooperation and patience.


Paul Arilotta

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  1. I don’t doubt the district wants to make this right for the teachers, but this feels like an undue burden on staff. I would be concerned about making an error and being held to that. Perhaps some of Monday’s staff in-service could be spent on leading teachers through this process. That way teachers aren’t expected to use personal time to correct a mistake the district staff made on time for which they were being paid.

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