Tentative agreement reached for teachers in Monroe

Christopher Lang, Correspondent, @topherlang2 | May 8, 2018 | MonroeNow

After many months of negotiations, the Monroe Township Board of Education and the teachers’ union have reached a tentative agreement to end the contract dispute.

Trustee President Kathy Kolupanowich made the announcement about potentially having a new deal during her report at the April 25 Board of Education meeting.

“I am very happy to announce that the Board of Education and the Monroe Township Education Association signed a memorandum of agreement for a new three-year contract,” Kolupanowich said.

The union’s teachers have been working without a new contract since July 1, 2017, however, by law when a new deal is not in place the previous agreement remains in effect. To show their displeasure, members have rallied at school board meetings and before the start of the school day multiple times.

At meetings, union members also received wide support from residents demanding that the board act quickly to get the teachers a new contract.

If the union approves the new agreement, the Board of Education will then hold a discussion and vote at its meeting on May 9. Since the deal is not yet officially approved, details are not available.

The Monroe Township Education Association did not respond to a request for comment.

“While this has taken much more time than I would have liked or anticipated we can get this over in a couple of weeks and we can all get back to working together to do what we are supposed to be doing: educating our children,” Kolupanowich said. “It was also important to get his contract in place before we move on with some of the other priorities in our district.”

Kolupanowich said that next priority is getting a referendum question back on an upcoming ballot to address the district’s facility needs.

In March, voters narrowly rejected a $68.8 million referendum question to build a second middle school on property owned by Monroe Township.

To help understand why the referendum failed, the district launched a survey targeted at parents of children in the school system. The survey was scheduled to close on April 27.