Contract talks between the West Morris Regional Board of Education and the district’s teacher’s association are taking a step in the next direction, albeit more than three months after the current accord expired.
A mediation meeting is set for Oct. 15 between the two sides, which came to an impasse during the spring.
“It’s a step in the right direction,” Teacher’s Association President Joyce Hartmann said Monday night. “We’re looking forward to a third party getting involved.”
The two sides have been the farthest apart of the three contracted groups when it comes to negotiations, as the custodian group came to a settlement recently, and the negotiation committee is in the midst of its fact-finding process with the administrative assistants, according to board of education president James Johnston.
When asked if there was a chance the settlement could be reached at the October meeting, district business administrator Doug Pechanec said, “Anything’s possible.”
The discussion, which was brought up in the public portion of a June board meeting by Hartmann, grew heated as verbal exchanges were thrown from the Association’s representatives and the negotiation committee.
At that meeting, board vice president Joseph Galayda said the Association’s proposal was full of unrealistic expectations.
There were no meetings held between the two sides throughout the summer.
The teacher’s contracts expired June 30, 2013, which capped a four-year agreement between the two sides. The first two years of the contract were retroactive to 2009-10 and 2010-11, as negotiations wore on for two school years.
Details of the current proposals by each side have not been divulged.