After more than a year of sometimes acrimonious negotiations, the South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education (BOE) and the South Orange Maplewood Education Association (SOMEA) teachers’ union have agreed on a teachers’ contract.
“As Chairperson of the BOE’s Negotiations Committee, I am pleased to confirm that the SOMEA membership voted overwhelmingly [Wednesday] to ratify the Memorandum of Agreement that the BOE’s Negotiations Committee and SOMEA’s Negotiations Committee signed during a mediation session last week,” said BOE member Sandra Karriem.
The Agreement calls for a 4.25% salary increase over the two-year period from July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2015. The Board of Education will vote on ratification of the agreement during its regular July meeting.
The previous contract, approved in 2011 after teachers had gone two years without one, expired in June 2013. At a Board of Education meeting that month, Karriem said the negotiations that had begun two months earlier were at a stalemate and that SOMEA had filed a declaration of impasse with the State of New Jersey’s Public Employment Relations Committee (PERC). The two parties entered into mediation.
The Village Green has reached out to SOMEA President Paula Bethea for comment.