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Teachers’ union secures raises after wage dispute

Wage disputes can sometimes get so bogged down in the details that it is difficult to see the big picture. This is common when it comes to fields like primary education, where teachers often face social expectations of receiving unfairly low pay for very demanding work. Many administrators and even teachers themselves seem to think that it is acceptable to pay teacher wages that are far from competitive, seeing the job as more of a service position than it truly is.

In a stroke of good news for New Jersey teachers, the teachers' union in the Patterson district successfully negotiated a 3 percent raise, which the union maintains that the teachers deserve from cost of living increases alone. In addition, while the costs of living continues to increase, teachers complained in recent meetings that their pay was actually decreasing because the increased costs of medical care deducted from their paychecks.

While some details of the contract are not yet clear, the deal does call for a retroactive increase in pay for teachers who served in 2017 and 2018, and raises of roughly 3 percent each year for the next three years.

If you find yourself in a wage dispute, it is always worth fighting for fair treatment with all the resources that you have, including an experienced attorney. It is very likely that many others suffer under similarly unfair conditions, and the efforts you put into resolving you own wage dispute helps pave the way for others to also seek fair resolutions to their own wage conflicts, increasing parity in the workplace.

Source:, "Paterson teachers’ union ratifies contract with 3% raises," Joe Malinconico, June 02, 2018

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