HILLSBOROUGH, NJ - The Hillsborough Education Association has declared an impasse in negotiations with the Hillsborough Township Board of Education and has requested the appointment of a mediator by the state Public Employment Relations Commission.
Both sides have met six times over the past five month, the most recent April 1, and have been unable to reach a contract settlement, according Heny Goodhue, HEA president. While the parties attempted to reach a voluntary agreement, negotiations have stalled over workload concerns, salary and benefits, lengthening of the work year, scheduling for part-time staff and tuition reimbursement.
Following the Board of Education’s rejection of a proposal package that would have allowed both parties to achieve resolution and accomplish mutual goals, the Association declared impasse and has requested the appointment of a mediator by the Public Employment Relations Commission, Goodhue said.
"It is disappointing that the Board rejected the Hillsborough Education Association’s request to issue a joint statement that adequately reflected the status of negotiations and the circumstances and outstanding issues that resulted in impasse," Goodhue said. "Regretfully, the Board’s negotiations team chose not to move forward in a spirit of collaboration and thus a third-party mediator is required by law," he added.
Under the Contract Resolution and Equity Act of 2003, both parties meet with the mediator. If an agreement is not reached the State will appoint a Fact Finder to come in, issue a report and make a recommendation for a settlement, according to Goodhue.
During this time and until a successor agreement is reached, the District's employees maintain their rights under the terms of the existing agreement set to expire on June 30, 2019.