Perth Amboy educators working without contract say school board is unfair

Perth Amboy teachers and other school employees have been working without a contract since July 2015 and negotiations with the Board of Education have broken down.

Patricia Paradiso is president of the Perth Amboy Federation, a part of the American Federation of Teachers Local 857 AFL-CIO that represents bus drivers, cafeteria workers, custodians, paraprofessionals, school-related personnel, secretaries, security guards and teachers.

“We are extremely disappointed that the Board declared impasse in negotiations May 24 instead of staying at the table and working out a fair deal on health insurance for all members,” said Paradiso. “Our union proposed a progressive solution, which would take into account how much members actually make and lower costs for everyone in the unit.”

Paradiso, a third-grade teacher, says the union wants a decrease in health insurance costs. Some district employees currently pay up to 35 percent of their health insurance premiums and some have yearly out-of-pocket health costs of more than $10,000.

“It is hypocritical that a well compensated administrator like the superintendent is paying 1.5 percent of his two hundred-thousand dollar salary for coverage while a staff member making a third of that pays significantly more,” said Paradiso.

“The money is available,” said Paradiso. “The district just created four new top-level administrative positions allocating more than a half-million dollars in salaries for personnel who will never see the inside of a classroom.”

Paradiso said the teachers union is collecting signatures on a petition urging the school board to bargain in good faith, drawing on support from parents and other community members who feel employees should be treated with more respect.


Connect with NJTODAY.NET

Join NJTODAY.NET's free Email List to receive occasional updates delivered right to your email address!
Email for advertising information Send stuff to NJTODAY.NET Like Us On Facebook Follow Us On Twitter Download this week's issue of NJTODAY.NET
Print Friendly, PDF & Email