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School Board Meeting Promises Tension Monday Night

Union asks teachers to make show of force at meeting after contract negotiations stall.

The Montclair Board of Education meeting could be crowded on Monday. 

On its blog, the Montclair Education Association is calling on its 1,000-member union to come out in a show of unity after contract negotiations with the board stalled last week. 

The board will convene Monday at 7 p.m. in the George Inness Annex, at 141 Park St. 

The BOE filed an impasse on contract negotiations on Thursday, Feb. 21.

The association is made up of district staff members, including teachers, librarians, secretaries and security personnel.  

The union immediately struck back at the board by calling on its members to begin "working to contract" starting Tuesday, where members work only the hours they are obligated by contract.

The blog also asks members to compile a list of how many additional hours they put in beyond their contract. The lists of ancillary hours were asked to be delivered to union building representatives on Tuesday, according to the union's website. 

Superintendent Penny MacCormack will discuss the Tripod Student Surveys — Connection to Common Core State Standards in her superintendent's report at the meeting. MacCormack will also present student awards and recognitions for the 2012 fall athletic season. An agenda is attached to this story as a pdf.

The board will also vote on resolutions such as the New Jersey Department of Education Office of Special Education Contract for Parent Survey; an agreement for the provision of Progressive Therapy of New Jersey to provide consultation services and therapy for schools in the district; and the Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying report, among others. 

Board members will also discuss committee reports. 

The Montclair Township Council will meet on Tuesday for a regularly scheduled council meeting at 7 p.m. in the municipal building, at 205 Claremont Ave. 

The council will vote on ordinances to increase township attorney Ira Karasick's salary, and place a two-hour parking limit on Highland Avenue between Mt. Hebron Road and Mountainside Park. An agenda is attached as a pdf.

The township council will also consider a resolution authorizing an emergency temporary appropriation of $446,250.00. 

Other resolutions to be considered include appointments to the Capital Finance Committee (R_13_038), and awarding a contract for curbside collection and disposal of municipal noncomposted grass clippings (R_13_039). 

The meeting will be broadcast live on Channel 34 and streamed live at http://Montclair.peg.tv

MC February 25, 2013 at 12:25 PM
PATCH: I believe Mtc residents & families of public school students support our excellent teachers & the effective administration of our school District, which taken together benefit our students. Residents rely on our media's skills to help us understand what's going on behind the 2 parties valid negotiating tactics. We don't need pure reprints of the MEA or BoE's press releases. We need journalism. Have/will you make the OPRA request to report the process on negotiations to date? Have they been ongoing for some time? What offers/counter offers have gone back and forth between the Board of Ed and the MEA union leadership? How do these offers compare to other NJ districts? Many assumptions are being made based on no details. Has the union been able to review offers, make counter offer and have they presented anything to their membership? If so, when did this happen? Is it possible to know how far apart the sides really are — or does the ‘Impasse’ filing and ‘work to contract’ mean that there’s no hope of a compromise in the near term. How does arbitration or mediation usually work? Is it binding for both sides? What has been the timing of this process for other districts? Details and answers to very specific questions are invaluable. If the Board or MEA tell you they can’t comment, it helps know the questions are being asked & that OPRA requests & robust reporting are ongoing so that the community has all the facts it needs. Many thanks.
I'd-Rather-Be-at-63 February 25, 2013 at 03:15 PM
Interesting to note that this "work to contract" action by the teachers was brought to public attention by a Montclair High School student. Why Superintendent MacCormick or the BOE did think it necessary to inform parents and the community is unclear. Why did the BOE take such a strong hand move of filing an impasse rather than try to achieve a reasonable negotiation with the teachers? Why is this Town Council increasing the town's attorney's salary? Is it because of the very wrong reading the attorney provided for the deed at Nishuane Park that will allow the Town Council to proceed with putting a pump station there against the deed and the wishes of the residents?
Kevin February 25, 2013 at 09:51 PM
Details of the impasse can be found here: http://kids.baristanet.com/2013/02/details-of-impasse-between-the-montclair-boe-and-montclair-education-association/

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