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A look at the methods used when it comes to new contracts for teachers in parts of Bergen County



Teachers were tired of being insulted, Old Tappan Education Association President Matt Capilli said.

So, residents, students and faculty members gathered up their signs and congregated outside of the Charles De Wolf Middle School to picket in act of solidarity with the union.

The Old Tappan teachers’ union, like many others across the state, entered the new academic year without a contract.

According to statistics provided by the New Jersey School Boards Association, which “provides training, advocacy and support to advance public education and the achievement of all students through effective governance” according to its website, almost one-third of the 579 public school districts in New Jersey started the year in the same position as Old Tappan. In Bergen County, 12 district started the year without a contract.

“Negotiations are difficult everywhere right now, so I think it’s really important to show support for our brother and sister school districts,” said Jim McGuire, president of the Northern Valley Education Association, the union that represents the educators at the regional high schools in Demarest and Old Tappan.

McGuire was one of many supporters at an Old Tappan Rally Nov. 17 to show support for the teachers and urge the local board of education to reach a deal with its unionized staff.

But, McGuire’s comment was visible in several districts in the region that did not have contracts for its unionized teachers.

Before reaching an agreement in November, the Tenafly Education Association boycotted the district’s annual Back to School Nights in September.

The nights give parents a chance to meet wit their children’s teachers.

Tenafly Education Association president, Jackie Wellman, said the boycott was meant to send a message to the district.

“A program is rendered useless when quality staff is missing,” said Wellman, who is a teacher at the Stillman Elementary School in Tenafly, in a previous interview with the Northern Valley Suburbanite explaining the reasons behind the boycotts.

Unions took other steps to highlight its memberships’ displeasure with not having a contract.

These job action tactics, said Ridgewood Education Association President Michael Yannone, are the result of a change in options teachers or districts have to reach a new deal when working under an expired contract.

“Back in the day, the threat of a strike for both sides was a good thing,” Yannone said.

Strikes by public employees, including teachers, have been illegal in New Jersey since the 1960s, though, private employees can strike, with the understanding that their actions remain legal.

2 thoughts on “A look at the methods used when it comes to new contracts for teachers in parts of Bergen County

  1. #TeachersLivesMatter
    oops I mean do it fer da kidz

  2. Screw the unions

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