PATERSON, NJ – After teaching over three years without a contract, the Paterson Education Association (PEA) has approved a new agreement with the Paterson Public School District.
The successful contract ratification vote by the members of the PEA was announced jointly by PEA President Peter A. Tirri and Paterson State District Superintendent of Schools Dr. Donnie Evans on Friday.
“We are both pleased and thankful that the long, four-year effort to reach an agreement on a new contract between the P.E.A. and the Paterson Public School District has ended,” Tirri and Evans said in a joint statement. “The closeness of the vote on this new contract is a clear indication that after four years of negotiations, the membership were not only interested in reaching agreement, but were also interested in what the new agreement would mean for them and their families.”
As recently as June, Paterson teachers were unhappy with the proposed agreement between association leaders and the district. Tirri and Evans said the current agreement shows the commitment both parties have for giving students a quality education.
“Our students have always been our top priority, and this agreement will give both sides the opportunity to focus even more clearly on meeting the needs of students and parents as we move forward,” the duo said.
The agreed settlement covers the non-contracted years from 2010-11 through 2013-14. It also includes a new three-year contract beginning with the upcoming 2014-15 school year and ending in 2016-17.
“I am deeply appreciative of the PEA’s leadership, and for their membership’s patience as we have worked to reach agreement and for their unwavering commitment to the children of Paterson.” Evans said. “Because of [the PEA’s] commitment, the district has continued to demonstrate significant improvements during this difficult period as illustrated by increases in test scores, graduation rates, and numbers of students entering college upon graduation, and more.”
Acting Commissioner of Education, David Hespe, now has to review and supply his approval on the agreement, before Evans gives his final approval of the contract.