MILLBURN, NJ - The Fire Marshall was called to the Millburn Board of Education met Tuesday, June 19, packed with teachers coming in from their earlier protest, pushing the occupancy limits beyond capacity. The teachers came out again to protest their lack of a new contract.
Millburn teachers continue to work under an expired contract for and have held numerous protests to push for a new agreement. Teachers from all schools in the district demonstrated their disappointment about the lack of a deal with signs, chants, glow sticks, and hand-clappers for about 30 minutes before the meeting started. Many teachers were wearing union t-shirts and carried signs that demanded change. Teachers marched down from town and told the BOE what they wanted. TAPinto Millburn spoke to various teachers, and they expressed a feeling of unity as a union by protesting together, but teachers find it frustrating that negotiations are so prolonged.
Board member Philip Choong updated the public on negotiations at the last board meeting, but no further update was given at this meeeting. Choong said that the substance of the recent negotiation meeting on June 9 cannot be disclosed due to the customary confidentiality of contract negotiations. The contract will once again be discussed on the morning of June 20.
The public comments portion of the meeting provided different perspectives on the contract dispute. One participant spoke about her fantastic experience with the Millburn school district and how many teachers have gone above and beyond for her children. She believed that the teachers deserve a fair contract as soon as possible.
Another resident described how the majority of teachers in Millburn left her and her children dissatisfied. There were a few teachers who made a strong impact, but the rest were not providing a positive environment, going so far as to mock her son with some learning challenges in front of the entire class.
Negotiations continue, and the Board of Education and the Millburn Education Association will update the public throughout the process.