Point Beach school union decries lack of progress on contract negotiations

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Point Pleasant Beach Education Association members wore Garnet Gulls red at the school board meeting on Tuesday night.

POINT PLEASANT BEACH — Dozens of school district employees, who have been working without a contract since their old one expired June 30, attended the school board meeting on Tuesday night to protest the lack of progress on contract negotiations with their union. 

Eric McLaughlin, president of the Point Pleasant Beach Education Association, told the board that despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, “We’ve been working diligently to keep the same level of education for our students to the best of our abilities … We pressed on and got the job done. Our actions, not our words.

“I ask you to weigh us for what we are worth, all of the teachers, educational support staff, secretaries, custodial staff and drivers, nurses and counselors,” Mr. McLaughlin said. “I ask tonight to show us respect by making negotiations with the association a priority. I ask you to focus your energies on securing a fair contract with your school staff members.”

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Michele Mosca, negotiations chair for the union’s bargaining unit, said, “We are disappointed. The voices that so loudly and publicly sing praise for efforts have fallen silent at the bargaining table … During the unprecedented circumstances of last school year, we collaborated to pull off the unthinkable.” 

Board members did not respond during the meeting, but afterward board President Michael Ramos told The Ocean Star, “There’s ongoing contract negotiation. It is a process, and I have no doubt there will be a successful conclusion.”

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