After four years, the city’s teachers’ union and school district have reached a tentative collective bargaining agreement, announced the district Friday afternoon.
The new contract is pending ratification from the members of the Paterson Education Association, the union that represents the district’s teachers.
“We are extremely pleased that the excruciating journey to a new contract has been completed,” said Peter Tirri, president of the union, in a release issued by the district. “No contract should ever take over four years to complete, and we hope that both parties to this process have learned from the experience.”
The parties have reached a settlement covering 2010-2014 during which teachers did not see any pay increases. The agreement most likely includes retroactive pay increases for teachers.
The new contract runs from July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2017, according to the district. Terms of the contract will be made public after union members ratify the contract. Both the district and the union are hoping the ratification will be completed shortly.
“I am extremely pleased we were able to reach an agreement, and I thank the PEA leadership for their commitment to both their membership and our 29,000 Paterson students,” said Donnie Evans, state-appointed district superintendent. “I also want to thank all of the PEA members for their patience and for their continued hard work during the negotiations process.”
Tirri, who has been under increased pressures from the union’s membership, said, “To their credit, the members of the P.E.A. worked diligently in their classrooms with their students throughout these difficult times. We are very proud of the professionalism they displayed.”
After the agreement is ratified by the union’s members, it has to be sent to the state for approval, and then signed by Evans.
“We are pleased that these negotiations have been by and large completed and look forward to ratification,” said Tirri.