PATERSON, NJ- Speech therapists serving local students “beyond normal school day programs,” including the District’s Saturday Academy, afterschool, and summer programs, will now be paid $75 an hour for their services after an agreement was reached between the Paterson Public Schools and the Paterson Education Association (PEA), the union that represents more than 3,000 educators and education staff in the City of Paterson.

In a joint statement the parties said that the District and the PEA reached this settlement in an effort to address the critical issue of delivering compensatory time for speech services. The agreement will remain in effect until August 31, 2018.

“Many of our students require speech therapy yet we have been challenged in our efforts to secure qualified staff for this specialized service,” said Acting Superintendent Eileen Shafer.

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Saying that the new hourly rate increase will enable the District  to hire additional speech therapists at a competitive rate, while also providing the needed compensatory services for Paterson students, Shafer went on to thank PEA President John McEntee for working “to find an immediate resolve.” 

Noting that the “students’ needs come first,” McEntee offered that the Union was “pleased to step in and work collaboratively with Acting Superintendent Shafer to ensure that our students receive all of the emergency speech related services owed to them.”

McEntee further expressed hope that “the District will continue to work with the Union to ensure that students and employees receive all of the resources necessary to succeed.”