NUTLEY, NJ - At the most recent Nutley Board of Education meeting, several Nutley High School students took to the microphone during the open public comment session making statements about teachers refusing to write letters of recommendation for college bound students. It is a common practice for teachers to write letters for students in their junior year, in this case the NHS Class of 2020.
The students reported that the refusal to write the letters was in response to teachers' contract that is still be negotiated by by the Nutley BOE and the Education Association of Nutley (EAN), their union.
The Board of Education addressed the issue stating that they were aware of an email that was sent out by a parent claiming such refusal was being taken in the district. Nutley BOE Danny Carnicella called Mike Stoffers, the union rep, to speak. Stoffers stated that the EAN does not condone this sort of action.
According to teachers contracts across the state, they cannot neglect their professional obligations including grading papers, writing letters of recommendation, and other activites that are a part of their professional obligation.
It remains unclear if the refusal to write letters of recommendation is yet another social media rumor about Nutley Public Schools.
The Nutley Public School teachers have been working without a contract since July 2018. Contract negotiations have been ongoing, and experienced a delay this Spring because of the schedule of the arbitrators.
The ability to negotiate was given a challenge when the preliminary 2019-2020 budget was approved in March of this year. The district's goal was to increase the budget by 3%, that figuree would have allowed for some wiggle room. Readers should keepp in mind that for the 2018-2019 budget the cost of health care for teachers saw an 18% increase.
When the preliminary budget, with the 4% increase came up for the BOE vote, trustees Kenneth Reilly, Erica Zarro, Teri Quirk, and Sal Ferraro voted "No." A motion was made to go to the 2% budget increase, that passed.
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