Paterson Educators “Vote No Confidence” in Paterson Superintendent Eileen Shafer

“Paterson Educators “Vote No Confidence” in Paterson Superintendent Eileen Shafer.”

PATERSON ― On Wednesday, June 16, 2021, representatives from the Paterson Education Association’s (PEA) delegate assembly, the Union’s representative body, passed an overwhelming vote of no confidence in the leadership of Paterson Superintendent Eileen Shafer.  Below are several of the key issues that led the Union to take such an aggressive action:

·      In the Spring of 2020, Shafer required all chief custodians and maintenance employees to report back to work in person. Yet, over the course of the 2020-21 school year, she did not direct the custodial and maintenance workforce to ensure that the school buildings had working HVAC, updated filters, and other working ventilation units.

·      During the 2020-21 school year, Shafer required all “essential employees” to work in-person in unsafe working conditions.

·      On September 1, 2020, Shafer forced all employees to work in person even though it was unsafe to do so. Beyond that, during this time, no students were present.

·      During the summer of 2020, while the Covid-19 pandemic raged, Shafer only offered to provide employees one (1) cloth mask every three (3) months.

·      During the 2020-21 school year, Shafer consistently denied employees who were immunocompromised the ability to work remotely even though exposure to Covid-19 could have resulted in serious illness or even death.

·      During the 2020-21 school year, Shafer received a 15% raise even though the school buildings were in desperate need of repair.

·      Shafer has consistently refused to provide health and safety information regarding indoor air quality, maintenance logs, repair schedules, etc. such information is necessary to ensure that the buildings were safe to reopen for the 2020-21 school year.

·      Shafer has blocked the Association’s efforts to conduct worksite health and safety inspections, even though such inspections would have provided valuable information to the district to identify and address concerns with its physical plant. This resulted in a failure to remediate the physical and structural building issues before reopening for in-person instruction.

THEREFORE, let it now be resolved that the Paterson Education Association determines that it has no confidence in the leadership of Paterson Superintendent Eileen Shafer.


P.E.A. President Quote:   “Yesterday’s overwhelming support for a Vote of No Confidence in Paterson Superintendent Eileen F. Shafer should send the parents, community, and the entire state a powerful message that the members of the Union do not support the demeanor, policies, or vindictive decisions being made by Shafer.  It is time for an immediate change in District leadership as Shafer has demonstrated by her actions that she is unfit for the position.“

###The Paterson Education Association represents more than 3,100 educators serving the students of Paterson Public Schools and the Paterson, NJ, community.

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