ELMWOOD PARK, N.J. — The Elmwood Park Board of Education and teachers' union remain at a crossroads on a contract.
The previous deal expired June 30, 2014. Since then, the board and union met for negotiations five times, met with a fact-finder twice and enlisted an outside mediator.
The main issue, according to the Board of Education, is pay hikes.
The board issued a statement on the district's website stating the members respect the staff and work they do in Elmwood Park -- but that need to keep the budget in-check.
"The board is committed to entering into a new contract with the association that is fair to the community, the association, and most of all, our children," the board statement reads. "It must be financially stable."
Health insurance is another obstacle. Premiums for the most popular plan increased 11.35 percent since 2010-2011, the board stated.
Members of the Elmwood Park Education Association organized demonstrations outside the schools in recent weeks. People held signs stating "settle now," with the most recent rally held Nov. 24.
Sue Pace and Kathryn Mulligan, co-presidents of the education association, didn't return email requests for comment as of early Thursday evening.
The association represents the district's teachers, nurses, counselors, child study team members, secretaries, janitors and maintenance department.
Elmwood Park staff had the lowest pay in Bergen County in 2013-2014, the last year of their previous contract, the education association posted on its Facebook page.
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