Yesterday, I was disappointed to read in the news media for the first time that the newly hired Paterson Public Schools Business administrator, Mr. Richard Matthews, has been holding meetings with private insurance representatives to look into the prospect of saving money by switching to a self-insurance program. Since this article was published, I have made it abundantly clear to the District that Mr. Matthews comments were completely unacceptable to the thousands of members that we represent.
More than that, however, the Union is also deeply disturbed regarding Mr. Matthews’ comments to explore changes in our Union labor contract. Let me be clear, any unilateral change in our Union contract by management is a clear Unfair Labor Practice Charge. Should the District intend to engage in such egregious acts against our members, ALL of the appropriate actions will be taken.
Any unilateral change to our medical benefits by management would be looked upon by the Paterson Education Association as a Declaration of WAR against 3,000 members and their families. This Union will NEVER be cowed nor swayed from doing what is right for our students, employees, and our families.
Bear in mind that a previous BA Edward Kilpatrick was forced to leave employment with the District after he attempted to make a unilateral change to our dental plan. He was NOT successful in his efforts because of our Union.
We are STRONG, UNITED, and READY TO FIGHT!
John McEntee, Jr.
President Paterson Education