No Contract for West Orange Teachers

WEST ORANGE, NJ — Despite previous publications, The West Orange Board of Education and the West Orange Education Association have not yet reached an agreement regarding teachers’ salaries.

Both sides are still negotiating the issues and a final contract is still yet to be presented. Although Superintendent of Schools, Jeffrey Rutzky, did say in a press statement that the savings factored into the pending school budget will not be removed, it is not clear whether there will be any job cuts beyond the 42 reductions already proposed. The 42 reductions featured in the preliminary budget include 13 teachers, 20 full-time and four part-time paraprofessionals, two supervisors, two assistant principals, three administrative assistants, one clerical aide and one technology technician.

Disagreements over benefits and salaries were the key reasons that the Board of Education and the teachers’ union had been unable to reach an agreement thus far. One representative to the negotiations commented that it had been two years since the teachers had a contract.

The President of the West Orange Education Association, Mark Maniscalco, declined to comment about the negotiations saying he would prefer to talk after a final agreement is reached.

Board of Education President, Sandra Mordecai, said in an interview that the board was extremely disappointed that the end of the year activities would still be willfully affected even though there was a tentative agreement for salary increases and health benefits. Nonetheless, Mordecai stressed that the board was committed to expediting negotiations so they could continue to move forward as a district.

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