Patricia Paradiso, president of Local 857 and a third-grade teacher, has issued the following statement on the Perth Amboy school district’s full reopening plan and her concerns for the support staff:

“Superintendent Dr. David A. Roman’s request to the Department of Education to begin Perth Amboy’s 2020-21 public school year remotely and through to the end of the first marking period gives the district’s educators a certain level of comfort during this pandemic.

“Two related issues remain deeply unsettling and potentially dangerous, however. First, Local 857’s members still have not seen the ‘comprehensive hybrid plan’ for the 2020-21 school year that Dr. Roman references in his Aug. 13 online letter addressed to the Perth Amboy community. My request made to Dr. Roman and Assistant Superintendents Dr. Vivian Rodriguez and Delvis Rodriguez for the full district-specific plan has not been fulfilled, and our members need much more than just an overview from the school district that is based on the guidelines issued by the DOE.

“A much more pressing concern has to do with Local 857’s custodians, security guards and other support staff who have been inside Perth Amboy’s school buildings in recent months and will continue to do so when remote learning begins in September. In asking Delvis Rodriguez for the safety protocols in writing that these vital employees should follow, I’ve been met with resistance and obfuscation, and that’s resulted in frustration and confusion within our ranks.

“Perhaps no one understands the challenges facing Local 857 any better than Donna M. Chiera, AFTNJ’s president, who grew up in Perth Amboy, spent more than 30 years there as a teacher and still calls the community home. ‘I certainly support the request to see the Perth Amboy school district’s reopening plan as soon as possible, and with the call for remote learning during the first marking period, that will allow our members to review the plan and offer suggestions for amendments before in-person learning resumes,’ Chiera says. ‘Safety is a priority for all school workers, and those who must enter Perth Amboy’s school buildings to perform their jobs need to know exactly what they should and should not do while inside.’ ”

Similar Posts