The assured students and parents frustrated over stalled contract negotiations between the board and the Watchung Hills Regional Education Association that it is “committed to resolving the contract issue as soon as we can.”
Board member Peter Fallon told attendees at Tuesday night’s special budget hearing that a meeting with the state mediator is scheduled for April 12. In the meantime, the board continues to be in contact with the impasse mediator, he added.
“Our hope is that we will make some progress even before April 12. We aren’t just standing back and trying to ignore things. We are trying to make some progress even before this meeting,” Fallon stressed.
Several members of the audience expressed concern with the teachers’ institution of “work to rule,” which limits students’ access to teachers to the hours specified in the last contact.
One parent declared, “It’s impacting the kids that need the most help. They’re really just hurting innocent kids in this action. It leaves a bad taste in your mouth.”
Board Vice President Harold Grossnickle pointed out that members of the school administration are available to work with students after school but a WHRHS senior pointed out, “Students still do need the teachers. At the end of the day, education is for the students.”