UNION, NJ – The fight to save the 95 school paraprofessionals slated to be outsourced before the start of the upcoming school year came to an end at Tuesday night’s Board of Education meeting with the administration and the Union Township Education Association (UTEA) reaching an agreement.
Board members convened in executive session during the meeting and upon return to the public meeting, Board President Nancy Minneci announced an agreement had been reached. The agreement only impacts paraprofessionals with one, two or three years of service. Paraprofessionals with four, five, or six years of service will see no change to their employment package. Of the original 95 paras (those with six or less years of service), 54 have under four years of service.
Minneci said paraprofessionals in years one, two and three shall be required to work 29.75 hours or more to receive health benefits. “No paraprofessional who reaches his or her four year anniversary during the duration of this agreement shall be entitled to the health benefits.”
“I’m very glad that we finally came to a conclusion,” said Ann Margaret Shannon, UTEA President. “This was a nightmare; people’s lives were at stake. I’m glad we were able to collaborate and I hope it continues during next year’s negotiations.” According to Shannon, the agreement is for one year.
“I’d like to take some time to thank everyone for their hard work,” said Minneci during the meeting, “Mr. Tatum, Ann Margaret, Mr. McDowell – everybody that worked so hard to come to this agreement. We’re glad to have you all back with us.”