The Merit Preparatory Charter School in Newark has been ordered to close down at the end of June due to low test scores. The school’s teachers are paid on a 12-month schedule for ten months of work. That means they are owed salary for July and August. At present, the school does not plan to pay what it owes the teachers. The teachers have turned to the Newark Teachers Union for help, even though they are not members of the union.

“Teachers at Merit Preparatory Charter School in Newark are not unionized and have individual employment contracts stipulating they work during the 10-month school year and have their paychecks spread out over the 12-month calendar year, according to the American Federation of Teachers New Jersey chapter.

“Some of those teachers’ contracts began in September 2016 and run through August 2017, with as much as $12,000 per teacher scheduled to be paid over July and August, the union said.

“The school, however, has informed teachers they will not receive their scheduled paychecks in July and August after it closes on June 30, a breach of teacher’s contracts, said John Abeigon, president of the Newark Teachers Union.”

“The bottom line is these people are employees in the state of New Jersey, they worked and they are owed and entitled to this money,” said Abeigon, who along with the AFT-NJ is helping the teachers try to secure their full pay though they are not union members.