Dear All P.E.A. Members,
I am forwarding to you an email I received from the Superintendent. Below is also my inquiry to Shafer that led to her response to me.
As you can see, Ms. Shafer is livid at the fact that I had the temerity to accuse the District of not providing a healthy and safe workplace for students and staff at MLK. Shafer’s response is particularly amazing given the fact, that yet again, rather than try to address the underlying problems of our aging facilities, she has chosen to lash out. You elected me as president to vigorously advocate for your interests and not to win any fans amongst the District administration. I will continue to press Ms. Shafer on issues that affect terms and conditions of employment and that pose risks to your well-being.
Ms. Shafer is accusing me of insubordination because I choose to present issues impacting you, the members directly to her. She does not have the right to dictate who I speak to in the DIstrict to advocate on your behalf. Furthermore, here threatening me with insubordination for doing my job as your Union president is a violation of the employer-employee relations act. We will not be cowed by Shafer’s threats, and nor should you.
The P.E.A. will not relent in its desire to improve and modernize the District’s facilities. We all deserve a cleaner and safer place to work. I challenge Eileen Shafer to put aside any personal animus she has towards the P.E.A and begin to collaborate on this common-sense goal.
John McEntee, Jr., President
Response to MLK E-mail
12:48 PM (23 minutes ago)
to me, Eileen
This is in response to your September 15th e-mail about MLK school sent to 15 recipients where you falsely accuse the District and the Operations Officer of Facilities, Maintenance and Custodial Services, Neil Mapp, of “incorrect” information, “gross incompetence”, and “grossly neglecting the safety and well-being of all”. If you have a health or safety concern, then there is a protocol in the PEA contract under 29-3 for a health and safety committee to meet and address these concerns. If there is a concern about a staff member’s conduct or negligence, then you are to bring it to the attention of the staff member’s supervisor. Those protocols, however, do not involve you e-mailing Board members, other staff, and the Superintendent, in the first instance, to launch inflammatory and slanderous statements whose sole purpose is to harass, demean, and degrade staff. Your conduct is rude, unprofessional, and violates Policy 3351 (Healthy Workplace Environment). I also reminded you in my September 14th e-mail that your inquiries regarding labor relations need to be directed first to Luis Rojas and not to me in the first instance, so your inability to follow those clear and unambiguous directions is insubordination.
Neil Mapp’s initial report was submitted relative to classrooms that were “offline”, i.e., not in use due to maintenance issues that are in the process of being fixed. Mr. Mapp reiterated that “offline” meant that MLK has only two classrooms that cannot be used by students and teachers. Having only two classrooms “offline” in a building of multiple dozens of other classrooms that are adequate for in-person education is not a legitimate reason for you to declare that the District and Mr. Mapp exhibited “gross incompetence” or is “grossly neglecting the safety and well-being of all”.
For classrooms whose HVAC units are under repair, Mr. Mapp advised that the District is using air scrubbers with HEPA filtration to ensure adequate air quality. The air scrubbers and HEPA filtration are operational during in-person instruction and provides an additional layer of protection since the HVAC units are serviced when school is not in session. These air scrubbers are part of MLK’s “HVAC systems”, so Mr. Mapp was correct to say that overall, the District’s “HVAC systems” are in good working condition and operational.
Eileen F. Shafer
Superintendent of Schools
Paterson Public Schools
90 Delaware Avenue – 4th Floor
Paterson, New Jersey 07503
Office: (973) 321-0980
Fax: (973) 321-0470
From: John McEntee <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Wednesday, September 15, 2021, 11:48 AM
To: Shafer, Eileen <email@example.com>
Cc: Rojas, Luis <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Joy Spinelli <email@example.com>; Javier Fresse <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Ann Morris <email@example.com>; Brian Grilk <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Charles Ferrer <email@example.com>; Sasha Wolf <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Kenneth Simmons <email@example.com>; firstname.lastname@example.org; Castillo, Oshin <email@example.com>; Redmon, Nakima <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Teague, Corey L. <email@example.com>; Dania Martinez <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Hodges, Jonathan <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: MLK Inaccurate Records
I am in receipt of the email that you forwarded to me with respect to an update at Martin Luther King School’s air conditioning. Your correspondence appears to be submitted to you from Facilities Director Neil Mapp.
In Mapp’s report to you he states, “Overall, the HVAC systems at MLK are in good working condition and operational.” Then Mapp proceeds to list the only areas that he knows to be offline:
Room 410 (due to mold remediation)
However, after speaking with members that work at Martin Luther King School, it appears that Mapp’s information is incorrect. For instance, while Mapp only identified two rooms as being offline, our members have sent me a more accurate list. Below is the true accurate picture of the rooms with broken or non-working air conditioners.
All of Rutland
Case management’s office
Thus, the Union is demanding that the District remedy these deficiencies and correctly update its records. How can such gross incompetence be tolerated? At the end of the day, students deserve better. So does our staff. This school district is failing them by grossly neglecting the safety and well-being of all. This is documentation is proof. Had I not sent to you these records the Board would have been led to believe (by your facilities director) that, “Overall, the HVAC systems at MLK are in good working condition and operational.”
John McEntee, Jr., President
Paterson Education Association
445 Straight Street
Paterson, New Jersey