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AFTNJ’s objective is to promote state wide organization and unionization of public and private school teachers, paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and staff; other workers organized in conformity with More »


Prekindergarten – 12

From the state’s largest school district to small privates, AFTNJ stands up for New Jersey’s students. Our members teach early childhood education to prepare kids for school, special education and every topic More »


Higher Education

The American Federation of Teachers New Jersey is the largest higher education union in the state, representing full and part-time faculty, all levels of administrative, professional and supervisory staff, graduate workers, and More »


AFTNJ Activism

AFTNJ members advocate for education and stand up for social justice. More »

Video: Andrew Zwicker and Maurine Vella for 16th District Assembly

Assembly candidates for Nov. 3, 2015 in NJ legislative district 16. Learn more at

Video: Eric Houghtaling & Joann Downey for NJ State Assembly 11 District

Learn more about these labor-endorsed candidates and how you can help at

Video: Nick Yovnello Social Justice Scholarship Brunch 2015

Thank you to all who attended as a tribute to labor leader Nick Yovnello and in support of social justice work and student activism

Newark teachers’ union says merit pay hasn’t worked

By Geoff Mulvihill, Associated Press

NEWARK, N.J. – It was hailed as a breakthrough when the bargain was struck: Top-performing teachers in Newark could get bigger paychecks.

The provision in a 2012 contract struck between the state-run school district and the Newark Teachers Union was the first of its kind in New Jersey. It was made possible because of a large donation from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg intended to improve education in the city.

But three years later, the contract has expired, and the new president of the union local says that it hasn’t worked and that it’s not a sure thing the union will agree to keep the provision in its current form.

Several teachers said that they had problems with the contract and that the merit pay hadn’t worked, though no one was willing to speak on the record for fear of reprisals.


John Abeigon became president of the Newark Teachers Union this year. Abeigon said the merit pay had not lived up to the hopes, or hype. It awarded just under $1.5 million to 233 teachers last year; they received an average of $6,000 each.

“It’s more a failure than it is a success,” Abeigon said. “In little pockets, it’s a success.”


Video: Corinne Reilly Ferretto accepts Nick Yovnello Social Justice Scholarship

First recipient of AFTNJ scholarship for student activism.

Video: Karen Siefring Tribute to Nick Yovnello

Karen Siefring worked with Nick at Rowan University and in the AFT local there.

Rutgers faculty union files grievance over ousted professor

MaryLynn Schiavi, Correspondent

She is an award-winning filmmaker, an educator adored by her students who credit her with raising significant funding, and developing innovative digital filmmaking programs at Rutgers University Mason Gross School of the Arts in New Brunswick, but despite Dena Seidel’s accomplishments, her contract was not renewed, and 39 students and alumni have asked for an explanation from university administration but have received no response, they said.

Until June 2015, Seidel was the director of the Rutgers Center for Digital Filmmaking (RCDF) Certificate Program. According to her students, she successfully championed a new Digital Filmmaking Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree program offered for the first time this fall.

Natalie James, a former student of Seidel, emailed a letter to Robert L. Barchi, president, Rutgers University and Richard L. Edwards, chancellor, Rutgers University New Brunswick Campus, on July 23 with 39 signatures composed of students and alumni.

On Wednesday, a formal grievance was filed on behalf of Seidel by the union representing Rutgers University faculty, according to B.J. Walker, senior staff representative, Rutgers Council of AAUP Chapters, American Association of University Professors, American Federation of Teachers.

“The grievance cites several policy violations with regard to renewable appointments,” Walker said.


AAUP-AFT protest for negotiated part-time lecturer contracts

By Sophie Nieto-Munoz


Photo by Ruoxuan Yang

Photo by Ruoxuan Yang

As Rutgers reaches its 250th anniversary of being a revolutionary higher-education institution, many say the biggest revolution would be paying part-time lecturers.

The Rutgers Council of AAUP-AFT Chapters (American Association of University Professors- American Federation of Teachers) congregated at Busch Campus Center on Monday to protest the lack of contracts, benefits and respect from the University.

Graduate students, teacher assistants and full-time employees came out to help part-time lecturers negotiate a contract.

“Right now we’re in negotiation with management for a contract for adjunct faculty, and what we’re drawing out is support and goals at the bargaining table,” said Patrick Nowlan, executive director of the Rutgers AAUP-AFT.

The AAUP-AFT works to uphold, promote and defend values essential to the protection of quality public higher education, according to their website. They also plan to enhance the quality of work life by negotiating terms and conditions of employees represented.

David Chapman, secretary of the AAUP-AFT and Mason Gross School of the Arts adjunct professor, said they are fighting for respect and recognition from the University, but also health benefits, salary and job security.

“We need to have our needs taken care of as well, just like anyone else who has a job,” Chapman said. “It’s hard for part-time lecturers to piece together a living.”


Photos: Nick Yovnello Social Justice Scholarship

AFTNJ members and leaders gathered to support students who are making a difference. Members from Perth Amboy Federation…

Posted by AFT New Jersey on Monday, September 28, 2015

Press: Bergen Community College Adjunct Faculty Approve First Union Contract

CONTACT: Nat T. Bender, nbender [@], 908-377-0393

Members ratify agreement with state’s largest community college

PARAMUS…Adjunct professors, who teach a majority of the classes at Bergen Community College, have ratified a first contract agreeing to a deal with free tuition for dependents, pay raises and incentives for continuing professional development. “This contract is good for our faculty and improves the working conditions at Bergen Community College (BCC) so students will benefit as well,” said communications professor Kristin Reeves, acting chair of the chapter.

Reeves, who has been teaching at BCC for 16 years, was among the adjunct faculty who voted to form the BCC chapter of United Adjunct Faculty of New Jersey-American Federation of Teachers in March 2012. The local represents approximately 550 adjunct faculty at Bergen and 4,000 total at Passaic, Morris, Hudson, Essex, Camden, Mercer, Middlesex, Sussex and Union County colleges.

The Bergen contract offers benefits rare for part-time faculty. Unit members and dependents may attend two college classes per semester tuition free. Once the contract is finalized, faculty will receive pay for professional development including an incentive for learning to teach online classes using the college’s system.

If a class assigned to an adjunct is cancelled within one week of the start of the semester, the professor will receive a cancellation fee worth half a credit hour. Adjunct faculty make more than $700 per credit with an increase of approximately eight percent over the four years of the agreement.

Since many adjunct faculty teach classes at multiple schools having scheduled classes cancelled is a common complaint. “I teach at William Paterson University as well as BCC so I juggle scheduling and transportation at the beginning of semesters and see my colleagues doing the same,” said Reeves. “Adjuncts are the first to lose classes to last-minute cancellations due to low enrollment or scheduling conflicts so the fee is a recognition of work done to prepare for the class and loss of opportunity.”

Members voted to approve the contract with mail in ballots, which were counted Friday. The College’s Board of Trustees is expected to confirm the ratification at its October meeting.


The American Federation of Teachers New Jersey is the largest higher education union in the state, representing faculty and staff at all the public research and four-year colleges and universities and half the community colleges.

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