A few weeks ago it was noted that the president of the Jersey City Education Association was stepping down. He was cited as being a “Legend.” With all due respect, The only “Legend” in Jersey City Education Association Annals was and is Louis T. Scialli. Mr. Scialli was the one who took the J.C.E.A. from an also-ran union and elevated it to be one of the most powerful urban education unions in the United States.
From the 1960’s until his death in the early 1990’s Lou fought for the improvement of teaching conditions in the schools, better salaries and benefits, and grievance arbitration system that is still in existence today. It was he, through the force of his will and leadership that led the teachers through the bitter strikes of the 1960’s and 70’s, strikes that proved to be successful and led to the benefits the Jersey City teachers enjoy today. No doubt many of the young teachers have never heard of his name and accept things the way they are, but these benefits were gained through much strife and difficulty.
As a retired teacher who was involved with Lou in the early days of our struggle, it only seems fitting that the New Jersey City Education Association building be named after him. Lou initiated and complete the purchase of the first J.C.E.A. building which cemented and legitimized the union’s acceptance as a true professional organization. It is therefore only fitting and proper that his legacy should forever be remembered by all Jersey City teachers, past, present, and future by naming that building on the boulevard after him.
Lou was the face of the J.C.E.A. for many years. It would be a great tribute to honor a man who has done so much for the children, people and teachers of Jersey City.
William F. Millevoi
Retired Teacher, Coach, Administrator for J.C. School Board
Special kudos go to the recently retired 1st vice president of the Jersey City Education Association Bob Cecchini. It was he, as chairperson of the Grievance Committee who shepherded teachers concerns and solved their problems with the Jersey City Board of Education with professional grace and intelligence. It was he who negotiated the past 3 teacher’s contracts and left todays teachers in a good place. Bob was there with Lou in the early days and did his best to keep Lou’s legacy alive, always putting the concerns of the teachers above anything else. If Lou were here today, he would say to Bob- “thanks for a job well done”