Amy and Christine

Join the Union

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 »

Public worker pension loan proposal turning heads, Sweeney says

By Samantha Marcus, NJ Advance Media

TRENTON — Senate President Stephen Sweeney says his proposal for a $1 trillion low-interest pension loan program is a “long shot,” but the federal government should help states get a handle on their crippling pension debt.

Late last month, Sweeney (D-Gloucester), who is considered a likely 2017 candidate for governor, suggested creating a nationwide Federal Reserve loan program to rescue states threatened by high government worker pension shortfalls.


Rutgers Football Coach Under Investigation

By Scott Logan


But faculty members said it was indeed unusual, and cause for concern, if Flood was regularly in direct communication with those responsible for teaching his team members.

“There is a general understanding that only academic support personnel should talk to us – and we’re under no obligation to listen,” said David Hughes, an anthropology professor who leads the faculty union.


What is the average raise for N.J. teachers this year?

By Adam Clark, NJ Advance Media for

The average raise for New Jersey teachers this school year is about 2.5 percent, according to a new analysis by the New Jersey School Boards Association.

The average raise is based on the contracts between about half of New Jersey’s school districts and their teachers unions, according the school boards association. Average teacher pay in New Jersey was about $69,038 in 2014-15, according to the National Education Association, a national labor union representing teachers and other school employees.

Though the average raise is slightly higher than last year, it’s significantly lower than raises in the 2000s, before Gov. Chris Christie implemented a 2 percent cap on property tax increases. In 2009-10, the average teacher raise was 4.2 percent, according to the school boards association.


Rutgers offers health majors aid to cover surprise 60 percent tuition hike

By Kelly Heyboer, NJ Advance Media for

NEW BRUNSWICK — Rutgers University will offer scholarships to freshmen in several health majors to cover a 60 percent tuition hike students said took them by surprise, campus officials said.

Tuition for several majors in Rutgers’ School of Health Related Professions — including sonography, dental hygiene and nuclear medicine – were scheduled to jump from $345 to $552 per credit this fall.

Rutgers officials said the steep hike was needed to bring the majors in line with similar professional programs. But new students enrolling in the program said they did not know about the 60 percent tuition increase until they got their bills this summer.

Many students and their families complained that they had been misled by the university.


Rutgers coach Kyle Flood may have emailed part-time professor, faculty union says

By Kelly Heyboer, NJ Advance Media for

NEW BRUNSWICK — The Rutgers University instructor who received an email about an athlete from football coach Kyle Flood was likely a part-time lecturer making less than $5,000 per class, a faculty union official said Wednesday.

The president of the Rutgers American Association of University Professors-American Federation of Teachers, the university’s faculty union, did not name the instructor involved in the case that triggered a campus investigation into Flood’s conduct.

But union officials suspect the instructor who received Flood’s email related to an academic issue involving his player is a part-time adjunct professor in the Mason Gross School of the Arts on the New Brunswick campus, said David Hughes, president of Rutgers’ faculty union.

“You can imagine how someone in those situations would feel,” Hughes said. “A guy earning a million dollars is talking to an instructor earning less than $5,000.”


Looking to trim deficit, Newark puts hundreds of unassigned teachers back to work

By Dan Ivers, NJ Advance Media for

NEWARK – Hundreds of city teachers who had been languishing without assignments have been placed back into classrooms as school officials continue to explore way to close a significant budget deficit.


Newark Teachers Union President John Abeigon characterized Cerf’s presentation as misleading, and said “dozens” of aides and clerks faced layoffs while the higher-ranking employees many view as responsible for the deficit remain unscathed.

“The only people who it doesn’t apply to is people who are guilty for the fiasco down there,” he said. “The numbers make it sound as though its peachy keen. The boots on the ground say otherwise.”


Chiera Calls for Asking Parents About Overtesting in New Jersey

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

EDISON—American Federation of Teachers New Jersey President Donna M. Chiera on the PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools:

“These national poll results are important because they reinforce that we all want true accountability so we can identify gaps where students could be missing relevant lessons at the school and district level. What is equally relevant for New Jersey policymakers to consider is that parents and community realize that testing data is not a comprehensive view of an individual; that is why we believe they would support a moratorium on the consequences of high stakes testing on individual teachers and student graduation requirements.

“Other responses in this poll are consistent with what we in New Jersey find—that neighborhood schools rate highly and parents are demanding appropriate funding to continue their excellence.

“We should replicate elements of the study in New Jersey and ask parents and community how they view the impact of testing, teacher evaluation and educational standards on their community schools. The PDK/Gallup poll suggests caution in overuse of testing data nationally, but one great way to see if that holds true in high performing New Jersey is to initiate real two-way conversations between parents and educators through polling and community outreach.”

See full poll: Testing Doesn’t Measure Up for Americans

Public workers v. Christie: A guide to pension, pay legal battles in NJ

By Samantha Marcus, NJ Advance Media for

TRENTON — All over New Jersey, public workers and Gov. Chris Christie have waged court fights over everything from pensions to pay raises.

They’ve fought in lower courts, the state Supreme Court, and, in one case, state troopers say they’ll be asking the U.S. Supreme Court to step in.

They’ve been after each other’s legal throats after the Republican governor did not fully fund public worker pensions as the state promised to under a 2011 reform deal he cut with Democratic lawmakers. And a new legal bout erupted over a pay freeze enacted after the latest state worker contract expired without an agreement.


China campus junket for NJ officials sparks questions at Kean

By Ted Sherman, NJ Advance Media for

UNION — Last November, Kean University spent $35,000 to fly a delegation of New Jersey public officials and school administrators to China to mark the anniversary of its branch campus in the southeastern province of Zhejiang.

University officials called it a celebration of the “unique partnership” that led to the creation of the China campus.

Kean’s New Jersey faculty, however, continues to question why the financially pressed school, which has been cutting dozens of support staff, is putting any of the public university’s scarce resources in China.

“The administration has plenty of money for everything except academic programs and student support services, which are the core function of the university,” complained James Castiglione, who heads the Kean Federation of Teachers, the faculty union. “It is unconscionable that the university is considering layoffs when it feels free to spend money in these sorts of ways.”


September 15 Last Day to Request a Review of Hurricane Sandy Claims

Over 11,000 National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policyholders who filed claims for damage are in the Hurricane Sandy Claims Review process, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today. FEMA has already validated and begun providing additional funds to policyholders taking part in the Hurricane Sandy Claims Review.

“If you believe your flood claim was underpaid for any reason, we encourage you to do what so many of your neighbors are doing and ask FEMA to take another look,” said Roy Wright, Deputy Associate Administrator for FEMA’s Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration, which runs the NFIP.

FEMA reminds policyholders that September 15, 2015 is the last day to request a review of their Hurricane Sandy claims.

To be eligible, policyholders must have experienced flood damage between Oct. 27, 2012 and Nov. 6, 2012. Policyholders can call the NFIP’s Hurricane Sandy claims center at 866-337-4262 to request a review. Alternately, policyholders can go online to to download a form requesting a review. The completed form may be emailed to to start the process.

Powered by Union Labor