With their contracts expiring at the end of the month, dozens of teachers from Caldwell-West Caldwell Schools attended Monday’s Board of Education meeting dressed in white shirts in a show of solidarity.
The Caldwell-West Caldwell School District is currently in contract negotiations with the Caldwell-West Caldwell Education Association (CWCEA), the union representing teachers in the district. The teachers’ three-year contracts expire on June 30.
During the public portion of the meeting, teachers Diana Reyes, Elizabeth Coogan-Russell and Mary Cofone—all residents of Caldwell and West Caldwell—took turns reading from a scroll a list of the many things teachers do they feel goes above and beyond their job descriptions, from planning and chaperoning field trips, writing recommendations, buying supplies for their classrooms with their own money, organizing and assisting with fundraisers and obtaining grants. The list contained items compiled from teachers throughout the district and took more than 10 minutes to read.
“As is evidenced by the presentation tonight and the list that was just read, the teachers of Caldwell-West Caldwell go well above and beyond their job descriptions to provide a quality education to the children of this district,” Coogan-Russell told the board of ed reading from a prepared statement on behalf of the CWCEA. “We are here tonight to show our support for our negotiating team and to urge the board to reach a timely resolution to contract negotiations before our contract expires.”
Caldwell-West Caldwell Board of Education President Maureen McNish said the board is “hopeful” an agreement will be reached by June 30.
“We have full confidence and faith in our negotiating team,” McNish said Wednesday. “I can’t say much more. We are anticipating a successful settlement.”
The next contract negotiation meeting is scheduled for Monday, June 18.
Board of Education members Paula Getty and Rosanne Hansen sit on the negotiating team.