Hurley: More News About Atlantic City Public School Staffing Cuts
For the second consecutive Friday, "Hurley in the Morning" has major breaking news regarding the Atlantic City Board of Education and the process to reduce staffing by 226.5 positions.
In direct contrast to the Atlantic City Public Schools Union President Marcia Genova, who (for reasons I still don't know) was highly critical of my report of last Friday at a recent public Meeting of The Atlantic City Board of Education, I can reveal the following:
Staff Members (concerned for their livelihoods) from the Atlantic City Board of Education have reached out to me because they trust me, and, they know that I tell the public the truth on a daily basis for the past 25 years.
In light of this, they entrusted me with a series of important public documents that they have obtained.
In my possession, I now have the entire list of all Atlantic City Public Schools employees, with their original date of hire. This is a very important list for reasons that I will explain in just a little bit.
Staff Members that I have interviewed are concerned that there are some underhanded tactics being employed, whereby the decision-makers are attempting to make certain staffing cuts without taking seniority into account.
The employees have given me the entire list, so that if any staffing cuts take place out of order, I will have the ability to publicly challenge the decision-making process, and, attempt to help to protect those who could be wronged.
They have a decided belief that just my having the entire list of employees, with the original dates of hire, balances the scale of justice.
We have a long history of helping, whether it was the Mainland Regional Cafeteria workers who were being mistreated more than a decade ago, I have always stood behind good public employees, who through no fault of their own have been mistreated by the political agenda of the day.
While I have confidence in New Jersey State Fiscal Monitor Gary McCartney and Atlantic City Board of Education President John Devlin, it never hurts to have independent checks and balances in place.
During thee unprecedented times, I have have promised the Atlantic City Public Schools employees that I will keep a very close eye on how the process of contraction is handled.
Further, I will publicly expose any examples of injustice that may occur.
I can't help but find all of this incredibly ironic.
The Union President (Genova) criticized me at a recent public Board of Education meeting. And yet she has handled the process of notifying her Members whether or not they will be retained or cut in the worst way imaginable.
I spoke with Genova and told her that instead of criticizing me she should have thanked me. My release of the general terms of the upcoming staffing cuts gave notice to staff members days before they otherwise would have found out.
My release of the general terms also was the reason that McCartney gave Genova the initial list of staffing cuts by name, which Genova has botched terribly.
Hence, we've now come full circle and the staff have come to me and not Genova to help them in their time of supreme need.
Genova's process was a terrible one... she had staff members this week sending text messages to her cell phone, and, in return she would then text them back if they are on the Reduction in Workforce list.
Meanwhile, her list (that was leaked to her by Fiscal Monitor McCartney) even before the Board of Education was given a copy (in fact the Board of Education still doesn't have a list containing actual names to be cut), didn't take into account a number of retirements which had taken place. This one factor alone changes the outcome of the RIF list.
Meaning, that Genova may be informing people that they are being cut, when in fact they might not be.
I'm still considering whether to make the entire list of Atlantic City Public Schools public: by First Name, Last Name, and the date their employment in the District began. This list is a matter of public record, that many school districts around the state and around the country provide for the public's inspection on their school websites on a regular basis.
At the very least, I will maintain this employee list in my possession and encourage any staff member who feels that they were released improperly to contact me here at WPG Talk Radio 1450, 950 Tilton Road, Northfield, NJ, 08225, and I will do my best to go to bat for you, and, pose the appropriate questions to the responsible hiring authorities.
As always, I will keep you posted about any developments that occur as this public process continues to roll out.