MBOE and Unions Settle 5 Contracts in 3 Years

MBOE and Unions Settle 5 Contracts in 3 Years
Posted on 09/21/2023
Underscores Commitment of Administration and Union Leaders and Members

Five ratified agreements underscore the commitment of the District to seek consensus and collaboration with its employees who are regarded as the key to advancing student achievement. This milestone to ratify five separate contracts in the past three years between the Montclair Board of Education (Board) and the Montclair Education Association (MEA), Montclair Principals Association (MPA) and Montclair Head Custodians Association (MHCA) as well as a night-time custodians’ contract and a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) is a testament to the hard work and contributions of District staff who serve the educational needs of our students.

The PLA was approved at the Board’s September 6, 2023 meeting. This agreement will ensure that major projects supported by the Bond Referendum, passed last November, will be awarded to union contractors. We will be assured reliable, skilled and experienced labor, afforded reasonable costs and the PLA will maximize all safety conditions for both workers and the public. 

The MEA’s most recent contract was approved at the Board’s December 21, 2022 meeting, which spans school years July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2025, retains the benefits; vacation, sick and personal days; and work hours from the prior agreement; as well as pay raises.

The MPA’s contract was ratified at the Board’s July 17, 2023 meeting, for school years July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2027 and all parties agreed that this was a fair and equitable agreement. Principals retained their benefits and received pay raises comparable to the industry. Our principals are highly valued by the administration and seen as instructional leaders.

The MHCA’s contract is for school years July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2026. All parties agreed that the terms and conditions are fair and in line with industry standards. All benefits are spelled out in detail such as compensation with salary guides, work hours, transfers and reassignments, and other related benefits.

Brand new this year is a multi-year contract with our night-time custodians. The contract was awarded to Pritchard Industries, LLC at the August 21, 2023 Board meeting for the current school year, with two one-year extensions (through 2026). The night-time custodians are members of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 32BJ located in Newark, NJ. The District’s Business Administrator worked diligently with union representatives to ensure the SEIU language was incorporated into the bid documents, protecting the rights of our night-time custodians.

Moving forward the District and the Associations are working with the Rutgers Collaborative School Leadership Initiative whereby the Board, Administration and Union leaders meet periodically to work collaboratively on District projects as a District Leadership Team (DLT). The Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations provides expertise on building effective employment relationships. This forum provides an opportunity for management and unions to work collectively on defining and tackling projects that are beneficial to the overall operation of the District. The DLT is scheduled to meet for the second time on October 10. 
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