More than four months after negotiations broke down between the two sides, the Cherry Hill Board of Education and Cherry Hill Education Association are meeting once again.
Board president Carol Matlack said leaders from the board of education and CHEA met on Oct. 6 to continue discussions.
Cherry Hill Education Association president Martin Sharofsky added he has been in touch with Matlack and the two sides plan to meet again on Oct. 29.
“I have had active communication with Mrs. Matlack (on Oct. 19) and we’ve come to an agreement to meet again,” Sharofsky said.
Matlack said she discussed a number of meeting dates with Sharofsky last Monday and were finally able to settle on Oct. 29. She stated the board is willing to continue to negotiations until a fair and reasonable settlement is reached.
“This is a step in the right direction,” Matlack said.
CHEA members have been working without a contract since June 30, 2014. After meeting multiple times in late 2014 and early 2015, negotiations between the CHEA and board broke down on June 1. The two sides then went before a state-appointed fact-finder on Sept. 3. Matlack said the fact-finding process is still ongoing, but it will still be a few weeks before the two sides hear back from the state.
Through the early part of the school year, parents and community members have rallied outside of school buildings and at board of education meetings, asking the board to come to an agreement with the teachers. At last Tuesday’s meeting, a couple of parents asked the board to settle the contract with CHEA as soon as possible.
Sharofsky expressed optimism upon sharing the news of the Oct. 29 meeting, calling it a step forward in the negotiation process.
“I am very happy, given the fact that we are meeting again,” Sharofsky said.