By ERIN ROLL
The school district has reached a tentative agreement with the Montclair Education Association regarding a new three-year teacher’s contract, confirmed Superintendent Kendra Johnson.
The teachers have been without a contract for almost a year. Contract negotiations had reached an impasse for the third time this year, and the MEA had requested mediation before the tentative agreement was reached last week.
In upcoming days, changes will be ratified to ensure the district and the union agree to the contract’s new terms.
Neither Johnson nor MEA spokesperson Beth Albert would not comment on the negotiations. But some of the issues mentioned at BOE meetings included pay scales, the length of maternity and family leave, and low morale within the district. Disruptions caused by the staircase collapse at Montclair High School, and a shortage of qualified substitute teachers in the classroom when teachers are absent are also issues.
Montclair’s teachers have been working under the terms of their old contract since the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year. The last contract ran from July 2015 to July 2018.
During the spring, teachers held protests at schools and at Board of Education meetings to bring attention to the unresolved contract. On May 23, the most recent protest, teachers, staff and community members gathered outside Hillside School and the district’s central office on Valley Road with signs.