RIDGEWOOD, N.J. — The Ridgewood Board of Education and Ridgewood Education Association will meet with a state-appointed super conciliator Wednesday night to break a year-long impasse on teacher contracts.
The closed-door meeting will take place at 5 p.m. at the village Education Center at 49 Cottage Place.
In a statement released Monday night, the board stated it is committed to settling the contract before the 2016-2017 school year begins.
Students resume classes on Sept. 6.
“The Board is prepared to stay as long as needed to finalize the settlement and reach agreement on a successor contract to the one that expired on June 30, 2015,” the statement read.
Last month, the board voted against the recommendations of a state-appointed factfinder.
When the board first met with the super conciliator on June 27, it presented a three-year contract proposal including a salary increase of 1.1 percent for the first year and 2.8 percent for each of the two successive years, according to the statement.
Additionally, the board proposed a health benefit plan change from NJ Direct 10 to NJ Direct 15, increasing copays for teachers from $10 to $15. On the other hand, the best paid teachers would receive one-time payments to help defray part of the increased costs for their healthcare premiums.
In its statement, the board said its proposal does not set a stage for drastic cuts to staff and programs and yet does respect the district’s finances.
A representative from the Ridgewood Education Association did not return a phone call.
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