MAPLEWOOD, NJ — The South Orange-Maplewood Education Association (SOMEA) has issued a press release stating they expect to participate in mediation with the South Orange Maplewood School District next week.

SOMEA's statement said they “will be meeting with a state appointed mediator from the Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) tomorrow, February 19, to discuss plans for meeting with the South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education and district leadership.”

After on and off hybrid learning, and the union stating they will not go back into classrooms until at least March 15, “SOMEA hopes to reach a resolution that will be both a safe and sustainable action plan for reopening the schools and buildings to in-person instruction,” said the statement.

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The statement concluded, “SOMEA takes their responsibility for student safety seriously, and the situations being reported by members in the buildings have led SOMEA leadership to believe that it was not safe to return. There are too many unanswered questions that need to be resolved. The goal since March 2020, has always been to return to the classroom as soon as it was safe to do so. We miss our students, we miss each other, and we miss being a part of a community. We’re hoping for an action plan that bears all that in mind.”


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