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Statement by PA-AFT President Pat Paradiso

5/4/16 Board Meeting

PA-AFT President Pat Paradiso

PA-AFT President
Pat Paradiso

PERTH AMBOY – First I would like to congratulate all of our teachers and educational professionals of the year. We have a great staff who always go above and beyond. It’s nice that this recognition ceremony was moved to Teacher Appreciation Week. I think we can all agree that recognition is nice. But what all of us really want is to be respected and to be treated fairly.

The issues that we are facing are serious issues. In fact, they are quality issues. Many of our staff are taking home less money every year because of the cost of their health insurance. We have told you this time and time again. You have the power to fix this. You cannot tell us there is no money in the budget as the current agenda includes a half a million dollars’ worth of new administrative positions. The last thing this top-heavy district needs is four new administrators. And that half a million dollars does not include the cost of health care for these new administrators. I suppose we will have to OPRA their contacts to find out if they are the lucky few who get the great deal on healthcare.

Meanwhile over the past few years our staff members, including some of the people that you are honoring tonight, have the to grapple with extremely hard decisions.

• Can I pay my mortgage?

• Should I refinance my home?

• How can I help my children pay for their college tuition?

• Will getting a second job prevent me from being the best employee that I can be?

I have heard that this board has been blaming the Federation for that fact that negotiations are not complete, and we all know that is balderdash. We have a responsibility to analyze how any proposal will impact ALL of our membership. Unlike this Board, we do not only care about the people at the top.

Listen to the voices of your employees. We are the people who educate and take care of students. When you turn your backs on the staff, you are turning your backs on the students and the community.

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MON. Jan 22
• City Council, Caucus,
4:30 p.m.
City Hall, High St.

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City Hall, High St.

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