Tell your legislators we need Ch. 78 relief
Tell the Assembly: Urge Speaker Coughlin to post Chapter 78 Relief Bill!
On Thursday, May 23, the Assembly voted yes on A-3395, which prevents privatization during an active bargaining agreement and A-3664, which provides just cause arbitration rights to ESP members.
The Assembly demonstrated its support for educators by passing these two bills, but now it’s time to pass the Chapter 78 relief bill. As the legislative leader of the New Jersey Assembly, Speaker Craig Coughlin has the power to post this bill for vote, and it’s time we urge him to act.
Contact members of the New Jersey Assembly and ask them to urge Speaker Coughlin to post the Chapter 78 relief bill for a vote in the Assembly.
Educators play an invaluable role in the lives of children, and it’s time the time for talk is over. The Legislature must act. Send an email to urge our Assembly representatives to demand their leaders post this important bill.
A Senate committee has approved legislation that makes it possible for the state to raid the reserve funds of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield, New Jersey’s largest health insurance provider.
NJEA adamantly opposed that bill. You can read our testimony here. Horizon’s reserve fund is intended to pay the health care claims of its customers. It was created using the premiums paid by customers. The only appropriate use of the reserve fund is to pay customers’ claims, improve the quality and efficiency of their service or lower the cost of future premiums.
The state should NEVER be allowed to raid that reserve to fund other budget priorities.
Booker, Menendez will vote against DeVos
Members encouraged to call other senators
Published on Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Following weeks of calls and emails from NJEA members and other public education advocates, New Jersey’s Senators are united in their opposition to Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education.
On Tuesday, New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez announced he intends to vote NO on the confirmation of Betsey DeVos as Secretary of Education. Senator Cory Booker pledged to vote NO on the DeVos confirmation last week.
Menendez and Booker agree: Betsy DeVos—President Donald Trump’s pick for Secretary of Education— is not fit to be Secretary of Education.
DeVos has no experience with public education. She’s never worked as an educator or in a public school in any capacity. She didn’t attend public schools, and did not send her children to public schools.
Instead, she has spent her career working to undermine public education. DeVos has lobbied for and bankrolled failed schemes like vouchers, which take money away from public schools to fund private schools at taxpayers’ expense with little or no accountability.
As a result of public scrutiny, her confirmation vote was already delayed twice. Now it’s been rescheduled for January 31, so we need to keep the pressure on.
Here are a few ways to do that:
1. Tell the members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions that we need an experienced, qualified secretary of education who actually wants to strengthen and improve all public schools. Contact those senators now and tell them to vote NO on Betsy DeVos. Click here for a list of members and links to their contact information.
2. On Wednesday, January 25, 2017, show your support for public education by wearing red. Encourage your colleagues to wear red, too. Show your solidarity with our union brothers and sisters across the country by posting pictures of you and your colleagues wearing red on social media sites using the hashtags #DumpDevos and #StandUpForPublicEd.
Together, we cannot be ignored!
Both houses pass resolution on final day of session
Published on Monday, January 11, 2016
|Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald congratulates NJEA President Wendell Steinhauer after the pension vote.|
The New Jersey State Legislature today took a first step to put a question on the November 2016 ballot that would constitutionally require the State to fulfill its pension obligation and make quarterly payments.
The NJ Senate was the first to pass SCR-184 along party lines with a vote of 23-16. Several hours later, the NJ Assembly passed ACR-3 with a vote of 43-27 with one abstention. Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto said that this is an important resolution that should be taken to the voters because the State of New Jersey has not kept their promises to public employees. “They have been making their payments. We have to do the same.”
“This is an historic day for NJEA as we advance in our mission to resolve the pension crisis once and for all,” said NJEA President Wendell Steinhauer. “These are two preliminary victories that we will have to repeat in the new Legislature and then the real work starts with our members organizing to deliver a common-sense, fair resolution to the pension funding crisis that will ultimately benefit every taxpayer in the state, including our members.”
Nearly 200 NJEA members lobbied the Legislature to pass the resolutions. They crowded the halls of the Statehouse and waited outside caucus rooms until the votes were taken.
The pension funding amendment would require the state to make quarterly pension payments and would mandate full annual payments after a short ramp-up period.
The strategy is very similar to the funding mandated under Ch. 78, which Gov. Christie has disregarded.
The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled last year that a constitutional loophole prevented it from enforcing Ch. 78.
This amendment would close that loophole and finally put in place a legally enforceable pension funding requirement.
Today’s lobby day brought out many active and retired NJEA members who spoke to legislators about the need to put a responsible, enforceable pension funding requirement into the constitution.
Last week, each of NJEA’s three officers testified on the bills. NJEA President Wendell Steinhauer testified at the hearing held by the Assembly Judiciary Committee, while Vice President Marie Blistan and Secretary-Treasurer Sean Spiller testified before the Senate State Government Committee. Read their testimonyhere.
Published on Thursday, November 19, 2015 (From NJEA.org)
It’s been 13 years since the failed No Child Left Behind Act kick-started the nation’s standardized test obsession. It’s time for a new way. Educators, parents, and students across New Jersey have demanded that state leaders roll back unfair standardized testing that narrows the curriculum and diverts time and resources away from learning.
Without federal action to relax testing, state efforts can only go so far.
In July, both houses of Congress passed different pieces of legislation reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) (H.R. 5 in the House, S. 1177 in the Senate). Both bills would roll back high-stakes testing in different ways—but the Senate version is better overall for public education. Congress must rectify these different pieces of legislation with a bipartisan bill.
Tell Congress to get ESEA right by doing the two actions, below:
- Call 1-866-331-7233 (enter your zip, follow the prompts, pick Senator Booker when given a choice)
- Send an e-mail at GetESEARight.com
Use these materials to organize your members:
YOU CAN BE HEARD…..HERE IS HOW….
Sen.Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Vince Prieto have filed an amicus curiae (which is a friend of the court) to support the lawsuits demanding the governor uphold the law that he set forth in motion, and to pay into the pension system.
Please tweet, especially on paydays, @#FundNJPension to…
@NJSenatePres @GovChristie @NJSenDems
@VincentPrieto @senateNJ @AssemblyNJ
@NJassemblydems @njdotcom @starledger
@NYTimes @NJTVonline @maddow
Some “tweetable” sayings…
“We paid in today, did the governor?”
“NJ needs to meet its obligations.”
“I made my pension payment , now it’s your turn.”
You can find more info by going to…
Published on Thursday, May 22, 2014 From NJEA.ORG
When Gov. Christie announced his illegal plan to slash pension funding, the unions representing public employees vowed to sue to protect our members’ rights. Together, we are moving forward to file that suit quickly.
But you can do even more. Under the law governing pension payments, the pension plans themselves have the right to sue if the state fails to make its full, required contribution. We are urging pension plan members to demand that the board of their fund sue on their behalf as well.
Please take a few minutes to send a letter to your pension board. The legal language is provided for you. You simply provide the requested information. We will print and submit your letter to the secretary of your pension fund.
Click here to submit your letter today!
Here are a few pieces of legislation to keep an eye on. For more information, please refer to pages 1 and 2 of the NJEA Reporter.
S-1841 and A-2901 have been introduced in the legislature, and if passed and signed by the governor would require that
The annual summative evaluation rating of a teaching staff member for the 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years not include any SGP.
The PARCC, or any similar assessment, would not be administered in the 2014-15 school year.
A-3081 would establish an Education Task Force to analyze the implementation and potential effects of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), the teacher evaluation system, and the use of PARCC assessments.
A-3079 would prohibit the administration of any commercially-developed assessments to students in grades K-2.
A-3077 would require that school districts provide parents with information on any state assessment or commercially-developed standardized assessment administered to their students in that school year.
A-2723/S-1581 would prohibit any school district from requiring standardized testing beyond those required under state or federal law.
A-2732 would require that the degree of parental involvement be considered so that teachers are not evaluated negatively for factors beyond their control.
Please note that all of these bills have only been introduced and not passed by the legislature nor signed into law by the governor.