Sticking To The Union

Regardless of how the U.S. Supreme Court rules in Janus v. AFSCME, I believe New Jersey’s union members know the value of relying on one another as active members of our unions. Whether we are teaching in an elementary-school or university classroom, counseling students, crunching numbers or keeping our campus safe and clean, AFT members support one another and express our collective professional voice through our union.…

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Direct Primary Care Week
 June 18-22

Direct Primary Care allows you to save money while receiving a more patient-focused relationship with a doctor who is caring and always there for you. During Direct Primary Care Week, we’re focusing on ensuring that our members understand the importance of primary care and the access to outstanding care you now have available as part of your state and school health benefits.…

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Cooperation, Communication Highlight Among Education Leaders in Newark

Education advocates, district management talk student success at University High School

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(left to right): Newark Chief Education Officer Toni Baskerville-Richardson, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, 2018 University High School Valedictorian Prince Abimah, incoming Superintendent Roger Leon, Newark Teachers Union President John M. Abeigon, University High School Principal Edwin Mendez.

NEWARK…American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten visited University High School in Newark Tuesday June 5 with Newark Teachers Union President John M.…

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Health care unions question RWJBarnabas, Rutgers affiliation

Public sector unions, including Health Professionals and Allied Employees Local 5094 and SPAE Nurses Local 5089, are seeking details of Rutgers University’s plans under a new affiliation with RWJBarnabas Health.

[…]

“When a public institution such as Rutgers enters into an affiliation agreement with a private company there must be oversight and transparency, yet either entity is required to disclose this information with patients, workers and the community,” said Tom Murphy, co-president of HPAE Local 5094, in a statement.…

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Chiera Testimony To Senate Labor and Education Joint Meeting

The Senate Labor Committee, Chairman Fred H. Madden, and the Senate Education Committee, Chairwoman M. Teresa Ruiz, met jointly May 31 to hear testimony from invited speakers on the topics of teacher sexual misconduct, the reporting of child abuse in schools and the process for tenure charge arbitration in the case of teacher sexual misconduct.

Chiera: As the President of AFT New Jersey, representing 30,000 educators in our schools and colleges, we have a track record of working with many of you in the legislature to make sure that children are protected, the public is served and teachers are treated fairly.…

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Teacher-rights watchdog

Tina Pappas, Montclair Local

Former Mayor and present councilman Robert Russo was once arrested–but for a good cause.

As a Newark teacher, he led the 1970 strike for fair living wages and was arrested with 200 other teachers during a demonstration downtown marching against what he referred to as “a corrupt city government and board of education.”

Recently, Russo was reelected as Vice President for Higher Education at the American Federation of Teachers New Jersey (AFTNJ).…

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Bill Would Change NJ Payouts For Unused Sick Time

By Phil Gregory, WBGO

[…]

Public employee unions oppose the legislation, saying it would violate collective bargaining agreements.

Donna Chiera, the president of the American Federation of Teachers in New Jersey, says the sick day payout at the end of their career amounts to a savings account for public workers who don’t have big salaries.

“Because when you retire on a pension and social security, it’s money that you need to lean on.”

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Chiera Testifies Against Cut In Retirement Benefits

Legislation that would further limit collectively bargained retirement benefits advanced Wednesday in Trenton, despite testimony from Donna M. Chiera on behalf of AFTNJ and representatives from CWANJ, AFSCME, NJEA, FOP and PBA.

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AFTNJ President Donna Chiera

The Assembly bill, A-1851 , is sponsored by Education chair Pam Lampitt and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin. The Senate companion, S-2578, is sponsored by Senate President Steve Sweeney and Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg.…

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Ready to Work For A Cleaner, Greener New Jersey?

Delegates to AFTNJ’s 2018 convention resolved to advocate for environmentally-friendly measures to increase use of public transportation in the Garden State. The committee is now forming and chair Dan Aronson, economics professor from Raritan Valley Community College-AFT, is looking for members to get involved.

Aronson has been actively researching and writing about the potential for common ground between progressives and conservatives on labor and environmental issues.…

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Former principal Roger Leon chosen as Newark’s new superintendent

By Patrick Wall, Chalkbeat

Former principal and veteran administrator Roger Leon has been chosen as Newark’s new schools chief — its first since the city regained control of its schools.

In a unanimous vote Tuesday night, the school board chose Leon — a Newark native backed by local elected officials — over two candidates with extensive experience in other large urban districts, but whose outsider status put them at a disadvantage.…

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State Tuition Programs Now Open for Dreamers

New Jersey Dreamers—students brought to the country as minors without documentation—will now have access to state aid at public and private colleges and universities. Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation May 9 after more than a decade of activism from immigration advocates.

“We can all rest easier today knowing that more students will have greater access to a college education,” said Frank Argote-Freyre, an AFT member as professor at Kean University and chair of the Latino Action Network Foundation.…

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Gearing Up For A Run For Office?

In northern New Jersey, Montclair State University-AFT adjunct professor Mary Wallace sits on the Fairlawn Board of Education. To the south, Camden County educator Tony DePrince is a Borough of Magnolia Council member. And in Perth Amboy, paraprofessional Helmin Caba also sits on the City Council. Throughout the rest of the state, several AFT members and hundreds of union allies occupy elected positions at the municipal, county, state and federal levels.…

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Kim Snags Two Union Endorsements

By David Wildstein

The American Federation of Teachers New Jersey (AFTNJ) and Healthcare Professionals and Allied Employees (HPAE) have endorsed Democrat Andy Kim for Congress in New Jersey’s 3rd district.

“Andy Kim is committed to stopping the attacks on health and social security programs that keep Americans healthy and for improving education for future generations,” said Donna M.…

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Six Q&As On Earned Sick Days With Karen White

With a bill signing by Governor Phil Murphy Wednesday, May 2, New Jersey becomes the tenth state with an earned sick and safe days leave law, furthering a nationwide trend that has been gathering steam for the past several years. Karen White, Director, Policy Analysis and Community Engagement, Center for Women and Work (CWW), Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations explains the critical need for the new law and how it will provide some fairness for more than a million New Jersey workers.…

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Michael Savoia: In Memoriam

Perth Amboy Federation Treasurer Michael Savoia, a retired history teacher and active substitute, died after seeking treatment at Robert Wood Johnson hospital in New Brunswick in early May. Savoia previously served as Treasurer of the then-named NJ State Federation of Teachers.

Savoia Stuffs Envelopes
Savoia (second from right) stuffs Federation Flash envelopes with Rosanna Weime (right), Loris Welch (facing Savoia), Larry Bellow (left) and Norm Tankiewicz (2nd from left).
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Rutgers Adjunct Faculty Gain Access to Health Coverage

SeeR-Health For Rutgers AAUP-AFT Part-Time Lecturers (Plan information on R-Health site)

“Rutgers tells us healthcare for part-time employees is not possible,” said Teresa Politano, president of the part-time faculty union, according to the press release. “Yet most Big Ten schools offer healthcare options and job security to part-time faculty members and other employees. This R-Health option proves that there are progressive solutions to a complicated problem.”

The new option was unveiled by the labor union on Thursday at a town hall meeting, according to the press release.…

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2018-2020 Election Results

On Saturday, the following officers were elected for the term July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2020.

EXECUTIVE OFFICERS
Donna Chiera, President
Sue Tardi, Executive VP Higher Education
Rob Barbier, Executive VP PreK-12
Jennifer Higgins, Treasurer
Lucye Millerand, Secretary

PREK-12 VICE PRESIDENTS
Michael Backo
Christopher Canik
Leslie Correa
Carol Graff
Michael Iovino
Jerry Moore
Patricia Paradiso
Robin Pinckney-St.…

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Innovative Health Care Program Expanding for SHBP/SEHBP Members

Updated: March 16, 2018
New locations are being opened up for participants in the State Health Benefit Plan (SHBP) or School Employees Health Benefit Plan (SEHBP) who want better access to doctors while eliminating copays.

Direct Primary Care program features primary care doctors who see significantly fewer patients than the norm so they can typically offer same day or next day appointments, better access directly to the doctor, and appointments that are as long as they need to be.…

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