UNION, NJ – In response to the planned privatization of 91 paraprofessional positions in the Union school district, the Union Township Education Association (UTEA) is hosting a community open house to review information about what they believe "is a terrible and unsafe decision on the part of the Board".

On May 6, Superintendent Gregory Tatum sent a letter to parents informing them that the district was looking to use a private agency to outsource 91 paraprofessional positions.  There are 156 paraprofessionals in the district.  In response, the UTEA sent out a document (“Real Answers:  The Truth About Firing Our Paras”) countering several of the superintendent’s comments and pointing out important financial inaccuracies. 

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“All the members of the UTEA make up the school team which ensure student success,” read a press release from the UTEA.  “The UTEA stands with our students, our schools, and our community.  There are so many reasons not to make this change, but especially because it is not good for the children of Union."

“UTEA members are residents, voters, and members of the community -- volunteers in service organizations, churches and synagogues, scouts, and sports teams,” continued the UTEA press release.  “UTEA members care about students because their own children and grandchildren go to Union Township schools.  Our members take pride in our schools.”

The community and parent forum will be held on Tuesday, June 11, at Café Z, from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. The UTEA will be reviewing their concerns and sharing information about the outsourcing plan.

Before the June 18 Board of Education meeting, UTEA members will be rallying on behalf of the affected paraprofessionals.  The UTEA is asking parents and the community to attend to share their concerns.  Contact: Ann-Margaret Shannon at 908-851-4430 or shannona@njea.org