As the new school year is about to begin, nearly a third of the school districts in New Jersey are still negotiating teacher contracts.
But Jeanette Rundquist, communication officer for the New Jersey School Boards Association., said that is not out of the ordinary.
“It is not unusual for 150 or more school districts to be at the bargaining table when the school year begins,” she said. “There should be no impact on the opening of school or on school operations.”
Salaries and health benefits are not the only issues holding up contract settlements, said New Jersey Education Association spokesman Steve Wollmer.
“Districts are often looking for more instructional time. They might want to add days to the year,” Wollmer said Wednesday. “Those are all subject to bargaining and basically can result in more time at the table to settle those kind of things.”
The previous contracts will remain in place until teachers and their districts reach new agreements.
New Jersey law prohibits teacher strikes. The last one was a weeklong walkout in Middletown in 2001 when more than 200 teachers were jailed for not obeying a back-to-work order.