Education

Paterson Teachers Overwhelmingly Approve Contract. Union President Says Agreement Will 'Foster Consistency for Teachers'

388e38719d8970913936_CEBD2772-7B29-4490-8EBC-CA9C31EC842E.jpeg
Over 2000 teachers and supporters attended a rally in March to speak out about the importance of reaching a contract agreement. Credits: Valerie Gallone
388e38719d8970913936_CEBD2772-7B29-4490-8EBC-CA9C31EC842E.jpeg

PATERSON, NJ- A  contract agreement reached between the Paterson Education Association (PEA), the union that represents the more than 3,100 teachers and other education professionals in the city’s schools, and the Paterson Board of Education was approved overwhelmingly by members on Thursday. The final vote, according to PEA President John McEntee, was 2,304 in favor and only 279 against the agreement.

The two sides, as reported in late March, reached a tentative agreement following a massive rally that drew nearly 2,000 PEA members to the BOE’s office and coincided with a 22 hour negotiating session.

McEntee praised Superintendent Eileen Shafer who made reaching an agreement within 100 days of her appointment one of her priorities as she sought the permanent position to replace former Superintendent Donnie Evans who retired in 2017.

Sign Up for E-News

“This contract shows that we now have a superintendent in place that finally understands that in order to keep quality professionals in the district, they must offer a quality contract.”

The contract, retroactive to the current school year, is for five years, expiring in June 2022, an arrangement that McEntee said “brings long term stability to the district for its employees and its students.”

Under the terms of the contract members will receive average salary increases of just over 3% per year; have one additional “family illness day” annually; have the opportunity to contribute an additional $4,000 to a Flexible Savings Account (FSA) which provides tax relief for certain costs associated with dependant care; be guaranteed a level of health insurance “equal to or better than” what’s offered by the State of New Jersey as of January 1, 2018; and have their contributions towards health care capped at 10%.

The final provision, according to McEntee, was particularly impactful as previous to this contract settlement, under the terms of legislation enacted by Governor Chris Christie, public employees across the state, including teachers, firefighters, and law enforcement, were often seeing increases to their health insurance payments outpace salary increases, resulting in reduced take home pay year after year.

While labor unions are hopeful that Governor Phil Murphy will amend this law, McEntee told TAPinto Paterson that his members “couldn’t wait for legislative change” and that taken all together the PEA “hit all of its goals” through the negotiating process.

“Through this agreement, Paterson has the opportunity to foster consistency for the students,” McEntee concluded.  “PEA members are dedicated to their careers, and this contract allows them to continue to do what they love while providing for their own families.”

According to the Office of the Superintendent the Board of Education is expected to take action on the proposed contract at their June meeting.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Paterson

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_3f27a97645e7103f9868_flyer__courthouse_plaza_programs_2018-page-001

Tue, June 26, 11:00 AM

Paterson Courthouse Plaza, Paterson

Tuesdays in the Plaza

Carousel_image_e87dccd9e01a34bb751a_17e72275-dfa6-4ff8-bbe8-8bc953cd5fcf

Wed, June 27, 9:00 AM

Paterson Fire Headquarters, Paterson

Job Fair

Business & Finance Police & Fire

Carousel_image_e1e5ce1a5e0518734e01_cec58c01-a147-4303-a3ef-79eb31c88034

Sat, June 30, 8:30 AM

Roberto Clemente Park, Paterson

Slam Dunk the Junk

Green

African Heritage Parade a Success

June 18, 2018

Dear Editor: 

I am writing this letter to publicly apologize to the African Heritage Parade Committee and its chief organizer, Ms. Ada Pugh.

I’ll explain why. Throughout the years I have been quite critical of the parade. I would often offer scaving objections to the planning, preparation, and even down to the marching itself. I have a tendency to be tough. I won’t ...

Pou Bill to Assist Saving for Higher Education Through Tax Deduction Advances

June 19, 2018

TRENTON - A bill sponsored by Senate Commerce Committee Chairwoman Nellie Pou that would assist parents saving for their children's college tuition through a gross income tax deduction passed the Senate Higher Education Committee today.

"This bill will give parents another incentive to save for their children's higher education," said Senator Pou (D-Passaic/Bergen) ...

Pascrell, Nadler, Congressional Colleagues Make Surprise Visit to ICE Detention Center to See Separated Families, Jail Conditions

ELIZABETH, NJ – This morning, U.S. Representative Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09), and Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY-10), Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY-08), Frank Pallone (D-NJ-06), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY-12), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY-13), and Albio Sires (D-NJ-08) arrived at the ICE Detention Center in Elizabeth, New Jersey on Father’s Day morning and demanded to see the parents of families ...

Sports Betting Is Off And Running in New Jersey

June 15, 2018

OCEANPORT, NJ — Governor Phil Murphy officially ushered in sports betting in New Jersey when he made the initial wager at Monmouth Park  on June 14.

Governor Murphy, an avid soccer fan who has called ESPN’s “Sportscenter” his favorite show, placed the first bet  — $20 on Germany to win the World Cup. He also bet $20 on the N.J. Devils to ...