South Brunswick: School District and Teachers’ Union Working ‘Amicably’ to Resolve Conflicts

Interim Superintendent Dr. Gary McCartney, left, recognizes outgoing Business Administrator Anthony Tonzini during Monday night's Board of Education meeting. Credits: Charles W. Kim photo

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ – After several contentious months and the resignation of a superintendent, the district and its teachers’ union are now working “amicably” to resolve differences, officials said Monday night.

During the Board of Education meeting Monday, South Brunswick Education Association President John Lolli and Interim Superintendent Dr. Gary McCartney both said meetings are taking place that should resolve several grievances.

“I want to thank the board and interim superintendent for working with SBEA to amicably resolve our three outstanding grievances,” Lolli said. “They are not resolved yet, but I’m sure they will be very soon.”

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Lolli said meetings with McCartney have taken place and that both sides should resolve the issues “without any cost” to the district.

The more than 700-member union filed a series of complaints in the last 18 months representing a stormy relationship with the administration of former Superintendent Dr. Jerry Jellig.

Dr. Jellig resigned his position May 23 under a cloud of allegations accrued during his time at the helm of the district.

Union members went so far as staging a protest in front of Crossroads Middle School on George’s Road prior to the May 9 meeting as board members met in a marathon two-hour closed session in the building to decide what to do about the allegations and Dr. Jellig’s future in the district.

The panel ended up placing the embattled superintendent on paid administrative leave that night.

Dr. McCartney, who ran the district from 2004-2014, was unanimously voted in as an interim superintendent for one year after Dr. Jellig resigned.

On Monday, Dr. McCartney echoed Lolli’s comments and said the union and district would continue to meet in order to iron out the outstanding issues.

“We have had very productive discussions on important issues and those discussions can be characterized by good faith and good will, and a desire to reach some mutual agreement,” Dr. McCartney said. “I look forward to our moving forward.”

The recent actions demonstrated a return to normalcy for both the district and the board after several heated meetings in front of packed audiences at the middle school during late winter and spring.

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