Edison superintendent fights union, knocking over casket placed in front of elementary school

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EDISON, NJ – The LIUNA Local 77 is upset after the Edison School District agreed to use cheaper, non-union labor to build a $9 million expansion at the Lincoln Elementary School. Now, the union claims the district and Superintendent Bernie Bragen are taking food off their member families’ tables.

In retaliation, on Friday, the union showed up at the school with a casket draped with a sign that read “Irresponsible contractors are killing middle class wages.”

When Bragen arrived at the school and saw the casket, he sprung into action and pushed it over as children as young as five and six passed by it in the morning.

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On resident, Keith Hahn announced his support for Bragen and urged other families in town to get behind him.


“Thank you Dr. Bragen for putting our children before politics. After explaining he would not allow the coffin on school property for five and six-year-olds to walk past he removed the coffin himself,” Hahn said. “Please show your public support for Dr. Bragen as the Goon Squad from Liuna Local 77 is threatening to sign complaints. We should all support Dr. Bragen as the contract was awarded under Governor Murphy’s low bid requirements.” 

Staff members later helped Bragen cover up the coffin so the children would not be exposed to it.

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Bragen cited the distastefulness of the union to subject the students to a coffin in a year when so many people across New Jersey and the country have lost loved ones to COVID-19.

“My responsibility as Superintendent is to provide our students with a safe, secure, and nurturing academic environment where they can flourish and reach their highest potential,” Bragen said in a prepared statement.  “I take that responsibility to heart and will do everything I can to always support our students, teachers, and parents.  Anything less is unacceptable to me.”

NJ.com reported on this story.