Union leader tapped for job in Providence school department

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The president of Providence’s school clerical workers’ union is leaving her post for an administrative job within the school department.

Jo-Anne Micheletti, who has worked for the school department since 1986 and has served as president of Local 1339 for 14 years, has been selected to become the district’s timekeeper administrator, according to Laura Hart, a spokesperson for the school department.

Micheletti’s appointment will be considered by the Providence School Board at a meeting Tuesday night.

“If approved, Micheletti will be responsible for developing protocols and practices to ensure the successful adoption of the timekeeping system across all central office departments and in all PPSD schools,” Hart wrote in an email to Eyewitness News.

In the new position, Micheletti will earn $75,748 annually. She earned $50,320 in her previous clerical job. Hart said Micheletti was selected from 54 applicants during a three-and-a-half month search process.

Reached Tuesday, Micheletti said the union’s bylaws call for Vice President Charlene Vela to be promoted to president for the remaining two years of the term. Vela has worked for the city since 1967, according to city payroll records.

Micheletti said she is proud of her time leading the union, but was ready for a new challenge.

“My heart is in labor,” Micheletti said.

In July, the City Council approved a new three-year contract for Local 1339. The deal included a 1.75% pay increase on July 1 and a 3% increase on July 1, 2017, but also eliminated two steps of longevity pay for senior employees. (The agreement was retroactive to 2015.)

Separately, the union agreed to a restructuring of the central office to the school department that was designed to place more clerical workers directly into schools.

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Dan McGowan ( dmcgowan@wpri.com ) covers politics, education and the city of Providence for WPRI.com. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter: @danmcgowan