Contact: Nat Bender, nbender [@] aftnj.org, 908-377-0393
Ed note: Civil Service Commission order
Thirty-days since ordered to correct misclassifications, union questions status
NEWARK…Siding with Newark Teachers Union (NTU) allegations that Newark Public Schools inappropriately changed 485 workers’ titles, resulting in chaos for students, lower pay for workers and out-of-seniority layoffs, New Jersey’s Civil Service Commission ordered the district to fix the problem within 30 days on August 16, 2017. More than a month later, the union is demanding accountability from the district, asking that proof of adherence to the deadline be released.
“Timing is critical now that we are in the new academic year,” said NTU president John M. Abeigon. “Our Teacher’s Aides and Clerks are critical to the functioning of the district and it’s extremely important that they are classified appropriately and in positions where their skills are best utilized to help our students.”
When Johanna Rios’ job title was changed from Teachers’ Aide to Community Aide, she lost her seniority and was subsequently laid off. The union appealed the layoff to the Civil Service Commission, an independent body that hears and rules on appeals filed by State, county and municipal civil service employees, candidates for employment, and appointing authorities, according to Abeigon.
“This ruling stops the district from changing members’ titles to decrease their pay, lay them off or remove them from the union inappropriately,” said Abeigon. “Now, we want the district to show they have complied with the order so the workers are in their proper job titles.”
The ruling, signed by Civil Service Commission chair Robert Czech on August 16, affirmed the import of accurate personnel records as “essential to provide a fair and efficient human resources delivery system” and faults the district for its unauthorized expansion of “unclassified titles,” which are non-union represented, without review and approval by the commission.
“The district must comply with this order,” said Abeigon. “We need to know the status of these 485 workers and insure the district has complied with the Civil Service Commission order immediately.”
The Newark Teachers Union represents thousands of Teachers, Teacher’s Aides and Clerks. Learn more about our commitment to public education and neighborhood community schools at http://newark.nj.aft.org