With contract talks stalled and teachers and school employees in the Greater Egg Harbor Regional School District still working without a deal after 17 months, a state-appointed mediator will now hear from both sides at a meeting set for Nov. 21.

According to Shore News Today, "negotiation committees from the Greater Egg Harbor Regional Education Association – the union that represents the district's 435 teachers and educational support professionals – and the Greater Egg Harbor Regional Board of Education met Nov. 7, but talks broke off after nearly three hours.

New Jersey Education Association negotiator Myron Plotkin said the negotiations committee was “extremely disheartened by the positions taken by the board at the face-to-face negotiations meeting last week."

"Super conciliation is the final process when parties can’t reach an agreement. The super conciliator in this matter is Martin Scheinman, who was appointed by the Public Employment Relations Commission. The duties are similar to that of a mediator, but with a little more weight.

While a super conciliator's findings are not binding, they are given more general powers than a mediator with general authority to try and get the parties to reach an agreement."

“The super-conciliator is one of the best known and effective mediators in the country," Plotkin said. "The association will be ready to stay as long as necessary to iron out our differences and reach a fair and equitable settlement.”

The school employees from Absegami, Oakcrest and Cedar Creek High Schools have been working without a contract since June of  2015. The point of disagreement is salaries.