Mediation the next step after teachers’ contract talks stall in Garfield

By Kristie Cattafi, Staff Writer, Community News (Garfield Edition)

The Garfield Federation of Teachers (GFT) group is at an impasse and will now seek mediation after working without a contract for a year.

The contract expired on June 30, 2014. The largest impact without a contract due to the laws in New Jersey is not getting a raise, Garfield Federation of Teachers Local 3977 President Rob Barbier explained. He said on Jan. 1 the health insurance rate went up and they had to contribute more money without any salary increase.

Despite productive negotiations between the Garfield Board of Education and the Garfield Federation of Teachers the state monitor for the district, Angelo DeSimone, rejected a proposed deal acceptable to both parties, Barbier said.