August 20, 2014

Teachers Will Begin School Year With No New Contract in Place

When Princeton Public Schools open this fall, teachers will be working under their “old” contract, which expired at the end of June. Negotiations that would put a new contract in place have stalled over the issue of health care and salary increases.

The Board of Education last met with representatives of the teachers’ union, the Princeton Regional Education Association (PREA) on July 24. The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, September 11, after the beginning of the school year.

Under New Jersey state law, when a new employment agreement is not reached before a contract expires, the prior contract continues in place for both parties until a new agreement replaces it.

“So the public should rest assured that all staff will start the new school year working under the same collectively-bargained contract that has been in effect for the past three years,” said BOE negotiator Patrick Sullivan in a statement released to the media. “No one will be working without pay or without contractual protections.”

PREA negotiators have repeatedly expressed their frustration with the Board of Education’s stance on health care, which Mr. Sullivan described as being constrained by the school budget and the two percent budget cap required by New Jersey law.

“At our last meeting on July 24, the Board made a detailed proposal to the PREA team that would provide all employees with a fair, predictable salary increase in each of the three years of the new contract, within the Board’s financial constraints,” said Mr. Sullivan, who announced that details of their proposal would be shared with the public at a District board meeting on Tuesday, August 26.