Bill Would Change NJ Payouts For Unused Sick Time

By Phil Gregory, WBGO

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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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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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