Education

Parents and Students Come Out to Board of Education Meeting to Push for Teacher Contract Resolution

e8ddda797fe9afabaa9d_d63b5777500acf28f82f_E9EFA601-CD38-451D-AED6-FCC6F7264BD7.jpeg
Millburn teachers protest outside Board of Education meeting Credits: Shanti Bharatwaj
e88ad3bb0a3b0c2c9923_d837b9c1d5ee426c6045_907C4B90-5DFE-4AD8-BE8C-942CD7B90C9C.jpeg
Millburn Board of Education meeting. Credits: Shanthi Bharatwaj
e8ddda797fe9afabaa9d_d63b5777500acf28f82f_E9EFA601-CD38-451D-AED6-FCC6F7264BD7.jpeg

MILLBURN, NJ -- Millburn school district parents and student representatives urged the Board of Education on Monday to quickly settle ongoing contract negotiations with the Millburn Education Association.

The prolonged deadlock between the board and the teachers’ union has lasted nearly a year has been bad for teacher morale and was beginning to take a toll on students, particularly at the high school level, they noted.

“I urge you to fairly settle their contract as soon as possible and show our educators that you respect their dedication and their contribution to the students, the schools and the community,” said Ann Schwenke of Wyoming Avenue.

Sign Up for E-News

The district’s three-year contract with the teachers’ union expired on June 30, 2017, and the MEA filed an impasse in early December 2017 after initial negotiations failed. The union and the board met on more than one occasion with a third -party mediator, but have yet to reach a settlement. Their next meeting is scheduled for May 29.

Members of the MEA, which includes 650 teachers, secretaries and paraprofessionals, have protested outside board meetings and schools with signs that say “Expired Contract. Still Working. Still Caring” and “Don’t undervalue educators.”

Teachers have stopped volunteering their time during non-contractual hours, limiting their availability to participate in club activities or meet with students after school hours. And high school juniors present at the meeting reported that teachers will not commit to write recommendations for college applications citing the dispute, which has added to student stress.

“Our teachers want to help us, but because they are being ignored they need to do something to make their voices heard,” said Christian Clark, a high school junior. “The situation requires them to take actions that also affect us. We believe that resolving the contract dispute fairly would resolve this.”

“The lack of a contract makes our teachers feel undervalued and unappreciated when they are the ones that we need to support and appreciate the most,” said Jake Garfinkle, Millburn High School Junior Class Officer.

The board will not comment on the substance of the negotiations due to confidentiality reasons. The MEA has previously indicated that it is looking for some monetary increases as well as containment of employee contributions to health benefits.

Board president Berylin Bosselman said the board was working towards settling the contract soon and was fully aware of the community’s desire to see the dispute resolved. “..negotiations in all types of contracts- they are tough. This is the toughest because this is so personal. When we are negotiating a contract for the sale of widgets…we are talking about widgets, but when we are talking about these contracts we are talking about people – students, staff, amazing teachers. It is difficult on both ends,” said Bosselman. “In all negotiations, nobody walks away happy but - hopefully soon - people can walk away at least satisfied and knowing that students are getting the benefits of our amazing teachers and the board can feel that their fiduciary responsibility is also being met in terms of being fiscally responsible.”

She added that the board’s negotiations committee was keeping its channels of communication “fully open.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Millburn/Short Hills

Video: Scoutmaster Ken Fineran Street Dedication Ceremony

May 21, 2018

MILLBURN, NJ - Millburn Township and Boy Scout Troop 17 of St. Rose of Lima honored the life and accomplishments of late Scoutmaster Kenneth W. Fineran on Sunday, May 20. Troop 17 Scouts, in conjunction with Millburn Township and St. Rose of Lima Church.

Millburn Student's Bike Stolen, Millburn Police Investigating

June 12, 2018

On June 5, 2018 Millburn Police Officer Tavares responded to the Louis Vuitton store at The Mall at Short Hills on a theft report. Louis Vuitton personnel report a black male with dread locks wearing a black t-shirt, red shorts, black leggings, and white/red sneakers took two pairs of sunglasses valued at $870.00 and left the store without making payment. The incident is under investigation by ...

Get Empowered to Help Prevent Suicide

June 12, 2018

Over the past week social media and the news have been filled with stories and articles encouraging people to seek help if they’re in emotional distress. There have been countless articles about the need to break the silence around the topic of mental health and suicide, and I am encouraged by the support people are extending to others.

Often, the death by suicide by prominent ...

Upcoming Events

Fri, June 22, 8:00 PM

Education Center, West Orange

Night Moves: Evening Guided Zoo Tours

Education Other

Carousel_image_5e177eaae57739064cd4_397f63ad2fb50392a776_29178074_2107642336134787_2638697507160326144_n

Sun, June 24, 11:00 AM

Totowa

MakerFest 2018

Wed, June 27, 6:00 PM

Reeves-Reed Arboretum, Summit

Inkubate

Arts & Entertainment Home & Garden

NCJW/Essex Hosts The Five Stages of Career Transition with Motivational Speaker Frederica Peterson

June 18, 2018

LIVINGSTON, NJ -- On Tuesday, June 12, 2018, Frederica Peterson, Motivational Speaker and Career Coach, MA, CPC, ELI-MP, engaged nearly 50 women at the Linda and Rudy Slucker NCJW/Essex Center for Women about moving forward in one’s career and in life. Peterson examined how many women feel stuck and trapped in negative thoughts, but how with the right mindset it’s possible to ...

Millburn-Short Hills Democratic Committee Looking to Fill District Leader Spots

ESSEX COUNTY, NJ - The Millburn-Short Hills Democratic Committee is stronger than ever and proudly represents itself along with Essex County Executive Joseph Di Vincenzo and newly re-elected Essex County Democratic Chairman LeRoy Jones at the Essex County Democratic Reorganization meeting.

The local committee currently has a record 29 of 32 District Leader spots filled. We have a female ...

Canada Goose Retail Expansion Includes The Mall at Short Hills

CANADA GOOSE CONTINUES RETAIL EXPANSION, ANNOUNCES THREE NEW STORES IN NORTH AMERICA

From the Temperate West Coast to the Cool North East: Set to Open in Vancouver, Short Hills, and Montréal

 

TORONTO, ON – Canada Goose Holdings Inc. (NYSE: GOOS, TSX: GOOS), today announced the next phase of its global retail expansion, opening three stores this fall in Short ...

Cool Ways to Save Money This Summer

As the summer temperatures rise, home cooling costs rise as well. But there are ways to help save money without sweating the heat:

To increase your cooling system’s efficiency by as much as 20%, get it checked out for summer.  A technician will clean the condenser, make sure you have the optimal amount of refrigerant, and ensure the airflow over the coil is ...