New Jersey

Judge Orders Striking Jersey City Teachers Back to Work

What to Know

  • Jersey City Public Schools haven’t had a teachers’ strike in 20 years; that changed Friday after they demanded a new contract Thursday
  • Students were dismissed after lunch Friday as thousands of educators went out to strike at dozens of schools
  • A judge ordered the teachers back to work on Monday after the Jersey Board of Education filed an order to stop the strike

A judge has ordered striking Jersey City teachers back to work Monday after thousands walked off the job and rallied outside dozens of schools Friday.

The Jersey City Board of Education filed an order to stop the strike, and the judge sided with the city. The decision may force the two sides back to the negotiating table this weekend.

Students were dismissed after lunch Friday because of the strike — the first Jersey City teachers’ strike in 20 years. Some 30,000 schoolchildren attend the school district, one of the largest in New Jersey.

For months, 3,100 Jersey City Public Schools teachers have worked under an expired contract and are now demanding lower health care costs and want the Board to pay more. The superintendent says the district already contributed $100 million.

Teachers demanded a new contract at a heated Board of Education meeting Thursday night.

Negotiations Friday morning broke down after less than two hours, and no talks have been scheduled for the weekend as of Friday evening. 

"They told us, 'You want an offer that's too rich, this is greedy.' And they walked out," said Ron Greco, the president of the Jersey City Education Association, a union representing the teachers. "I said, 'I'll be here tomorrow. Coffee will be on. Hope to see you.'"

The Board of Education said in a statement that it "remains committed to finding a resolution."

Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said his hope is for the two parties to come to an agreeable resolution.

"I know that we can all agree that a successful negotiation between the BOE and our teachers is in the best interest of Jersey City residents and students," Fulop said in a statement.

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