Ocean City Teachers Rally as Contract Negotiations Continue
Education Association members show support for their negotiating team.
Ocean City teachers gathered outside the Board of Education meeting room at Ocean City High School on Tuesday (Jan. 10) afternoon in a show of solidarity as their negotiating team prepared for a contract mediation session on Tuesday night.
Members of the Ocean City Education Association (OCEA) have been working without a new contract since June. Representatives of the OCEA and the Ocean City Board of Education have had a dozen meetings and four mediation sessions in more than a year of negotiating, according to Alex Brigden, an OCEA departmental representative.
Another mediation session is scheduled for tonight (Jan. 10).
"We're here to show the board that we're behind our guys," Brigden said.
The gathering included coffee and refreshments and was scheduled after school to avoid any disruption to school operations.
The OCEA negotiating team includes Curt Nath, president of the OCEA, Matt Oster, Bill Nickles, Drew Breckenridge, Bryan Chojnacki, Jennifer Sera, Michelle Tornblom, Nick Verducci, Ed Hirsch and Karen Heist.
Joe Clark, a Board of Education representative in negotiations, said Tuesday that the OCEA had notified the board of their intention to hold the peaceful gathering.
He said the board—like the teachers—is hoping to settle soon on a new contract. But he said he didn't believe (because information was still coming on on some new educational proposals) that the two sides would reach a final agreement tonight.