June 1, 2018
It is my pleasure to let you know that the contract was successfully ratified last night by a very large margin (2,304 yes – 279 no votes). Thanks to those of you who recognized the merits of the negotiated agreement—we truly believe, through this settlement, the Paterson Board of Education has begun to recognize that in order to maintain a quality education for its students, it must reward its staff with a fair and equitable settlement. As we said throughout this process, respect begins with a contract.
As you know, we entered into negotiations with three main goals established by our membership during the 2015 member survey: First, everyone who was eligible to advance a step on the guide will be able to do so. Second, more money would be available at maximum, commonly known as the top of the guide. Finally, we would seek and obtain Chapter 78 relief. I am proud to say that all three goals were achieved. Additionally, I am proud to share that—through this five-year deal—we can bring long-term stability to our members, providing much-needed consistency and stability for the student of Paterson. We did that…every single one of us.
Make no mistake: This round of bargaining was not without its share of challenges; there were many times when it may have appeared that these challenges would overwhelm us. But just the opposite happened; in fact, I would dare say that this effort made us stronger than ever.
I want to thank all of you who have, in one way or another, show your support during this time. Your support, patience, and dedication to the PEA do not go unnoticed, nor does it go unappreciated. You continue to emulate what it means to be a union, and I am proud to be your president.
So as we wind down this school year, let us reflect on the year that went by and celebrate the success of our achievements. While there’s no doubt more challenges that lie ahead, I am confident that we will rise to meet them. In the meantime, let’s continue to work together to show everyone just how amazing the Paterson Education Association continues to be.
Finally, I must again thank all of my hardworking officers, office staff, executive board members, elected delegates, action team members, and negotiating team members, and retirees. Your hard work and dedication to this organization are not unnoticed. In many cases, each of you placed the good of the membership ahead of your personal and family commitments. On behalf of the entire membership, we thank you for your tireless efforts.
John McEntee, Jr. President