Judge orders striking Jersey City teachers back to work
JERSEY CITY — A judge on Friday ordered teachers back to work on Monday as talks continue on a new contract.
Mayor Steven Fulop in a message on Twitter said a judge issued the order at the request of the school district.
Fulop, a Democrat, has no control over his city's Board of Education, but has been using social media to keep constituents informed about the negotiations between the district and the teachers union.
"Hopefully in next few days we see a compromise that provides a healthcare solution but also balances $ available in budget," Fulop said in another Twitter message, adding that he had spoken to Jersey City Education Association President Ron Greco and school superintendent Marcia V. Lyle.
Fulop said that the city will not use law enforcement to enforce the back-to-work order. A city spokeswoman has not yet returned a message about weekend talks. The JCEA has not posted any updates on the strike on their social media or website.
The two sides have been negotiating since last year but talks have stalled over health care costs.
New Jersey Education Association President Marie Blistan offered "unwavering support of JCEA members in their fight for economic justice" and called upon the Board of Education to "listen and act." Blistan said teachers across the state have been "devastated" by skyrocketing health care costs and have had to take second and third jobs to support their families.
The last teachers strike in Jersey City occurred 20 years ago.
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.