Dear Editor,

John Wayne once said, "Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway."  Members across Passaic County are growing increasingly angry with Senator Nellie Pou (D) of the 35th Legislative District.  For quite some time, public employees in her Legislative District, and beyond, have been reaching out to Senator Pou imploring her to support legislation that shows fairness to all of the hard-working public employees that live, work, and vote not only in her Legislative District-- but across the State of New Jersey  

In the past several weeks, Senator Pou has co-sponsored other pieces of legislation that have shown fairness towards others. Now, thousands of her constituents are demanding that Pou also support bills that show fairness towards hard-working public employees such as Chapter 78 relief and ESP Job Justice.

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In contrast to Senator Pou, Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly and Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter (LD 35) each had the inner strength, and courage, to "saddle up" when it was politically unpopular to sponsor legislation that would help public employees return fairness to their workplace. Wimberly and Sumter understood that all hard-working men and women deserve fair job protections and a solution to the horrendous unintended consequences of Chapter 78.

As an educator and the President of the Union that represents educators in the city of Paterson, I am offended by Senator Nellie Pou's lack of regard for my members. Thousands of my members are residents in Senator Pou's Legislative District. These are the members that have supported Senator Pou for many years--and now they feel betrayed. By failing to support the ESP Job Justice legislation, she is fueling the ever-growing threat of privatization.  Why would Senator Pou risk the privatization of quality jobs from hard-working Patersonians? 

There is no debating the fact that Senator Pou's lack of support for this legislation is a slap in the face to all educators, that "saddle up" every day.

Senator Pou, John Wayne, you're not.

John McEntee


Paterson Education Association