Teaching staff members at Oakcrest, Absegami, and Cedar Creek high schools have informed Superintendent John Keenan that they are exercising their individual right to not work on Tuesday, Nov. 8 - Election Day, which is a legal holiday.
The statute, N.J.S.A. 18A:25-3, permits teaching staff to elect not to work on a legal holiday with no loss of pay or disciplinary action. Election Day is a legal holiday as defined by N.J.A.C. 36:1-1.
“It’s a sign of the frustration, anger, and low morale in the district that teaching staff have decided to exercise their individual legal right to not work on Election Day,” said GEHREA President Stephanie Tarr. “We’ve brought our concerns about the state of the district’s leadership to the Board of Education and they have reaffirmed their misguided support of Superintendent John Keenan. The entire staff is disgusted and demoralized – but united in our effort to change the course of this district and restore the high-quality education community we were before Keenan joined the district.”
Educational support professionals such as secretaries, custodians, maintenance staff, and others are not covered under the statute that gives teachers the right to not work on a legal holiday.
There is a face to face meeting between the association and the board’s negotiating teams on Monday, Nov. 7. The association is committed to securing a fair contract – one that is in line with other districts in the county and that respects the state-appointed fact-finder’s report, which the association accepted in June.
“It’s past time for the board to settle a fair contract,” said Tarr, “and it’s past time for them to take our concerns about Superintendent Keenan seriously. The situation cannot continue as it is for much longer.”