Take Action: Support Pension Funding

Write a letter to tell your state representatives to Support Pension Funding.

Requiring the state to live up to its obligation to fund pensions will restore New Jersey’s retirement system to fiscal health for the 800,000 active and retired workers who are counting on receiving the modest pensions they earned. Please send a message to your legislators in the state Senate and Assembly to convey the importance of passing resolution S-184/ACR-3 to place a ballot question for fully funded pensions before voters.…

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Happy New Year from AFTNJ

Best wishes for happy holidays and a great New Year. These are critical times for public schools and unions so I hope you will join me in resolving to help strengthen our union in 2016. Our 30,000 education workers in the American Federation of Teachers New Jersey range from caring pre-kindergarten teachers though accomplished postdoctoral researchers at colleges and universities and every position in between.…

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Mercer County Community College in jeopardy of losing accreditation

By David Foster, The Trentonian

WEST WINDSOR…Mercer County Community College is on shaky ground.

The West Windsor college, which operates a satellite campus in Trenton, is in jeopardy of losing it accreditation, according to a Nov. 19 report from the Middles State Commission on Higher Education.

The Middle States, a nonprofit that performs accreditations on colleges and universities, found in June that MCCC was lacking evidence that it was in compliance of institutional effectiveness and assessment of student learning standards.…

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Senate President Revamps Payment Plan For Closing Deficit In Pension Fund

Sweeney’s tweak of proposed constitutional amendment may make plan more viable politically, but GOP leaders say it would just result in higher taxes

By John Reitmeyer

A subtle change has been made to the original draft of a proposed constitutional amendment on public-employee pension funding that legislative leaders want to put before voters next year.

The difference isn’t a substantial one when it comes to the already ugly numbers for the grossly underfunded pension system, but it could play a big role in how the pension-funding issue plays out politically, both in the short-term during the push for approval of the ballot question and in the long-term as state policymakers would work to fund it.…

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Op-Ed: Constitutional Amendment Will Fix Pension System, Benefit Taxpayers

Every year we don’t properly fund the pension system, the future cost goes up exponentially

Four and a half years ago, the governor and the Legislature passed bipartisan legislation designed to fix the pension system for teachers and state employees, which had developed a $50 billion unfunded liability due to the failure of both Republican and Democratic administrations to make the required pension payments over the previous 14 years.…

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Op-Ed: Why We Support The Newark South Ward Community Schools Initiative

By Deborah Smith Gregory

Alliance for the Newark Public Schools has replaced the destructive corporate reforms imposed on us with a vision shared by groups and individuals

From its inception, the Alliance for Newark Public Schools sought participation from every actively engaged organization in Newark dedicated to protecting our city’s public schools.

Eighteen Newark-based organizations sit at this table and have a shared vision for the future of Newark’s schools.…

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Perth Amboy schools didn’t report crimes to cops, put kids in danger, prosecutor said

By Sue Epstein | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

PERTH AMBOY — Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey sent a letter to Perth Amboy school officials admonishing them for failing to report criminal activity by students to local police.

The failure to report the crimes, including possession of firearms (BB guns), an assault with a knife, and a sexting incident, could open up school officials to criminal and civil liability and put students and staff in danger, Carey said in the letter.…

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Leaders mourn Plainfield activist Dottie Gutenkauf

NOTE: Dottie was an AFTNJ staff rep from 1977-1997

By Sergio Bichao

PLAINFIELD – Dottie Gutenkauf, a poet, activist and longtime fixture in this city’s Democratic politics and state progressive causes, was remembered Tuesday as a champion for the Queen City.

Gutenkauf, who was predeceased by her civil-rights activist husband, Josef, three years ago this month, died Tuesday morning after living with cancer for many years.…

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Rutgers faculty oppose use of ‘big data’ in academic and employment decisions

Contact: Patrick Nowlan, 908-812-0972

Ed. note: See resolution here

Resolution raises concerns of mistakes and narrowing scholarship

NEW BRUNSWICK…Use of a proprietary database that purports to show the publications, citations, books and grants awarded to a professor provides far too limited a perspective on faculty achievement and creates the potential for career-ending errors, according to David M.…

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Black ministers’ rally continue call for Kean University president’s ouster; administration claims group ‘misinformed’

By Patricia Alex, Staff Writer, The Record

A coalition of black ministers on Friday rallied about 60 people on the Union campus of Kean University to press their demand that President Dawood Farahi resign, saying he has presided over a culture of “fear and intimidation that has hurt minority students.”

The administration countered that the protesters were “misguided and misinformed,” and one of Farahi’s most powerful backers, state Sen.…

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Report: UCC has ‘bulldozed faculty rights’

American Association of University Professors claims reorganization is ‘demeaning’

By Peter Fiorilla, Staff Writer

UNION COUNTY, NJ — Citing changes in school policy put in place since 2009, a report published by the American Association of University Professors alleges that Union County College has bulldozed faculty rights by taking advantage of a state labor law, resulting in “demeaning” treatment of faculty and an inferior educational product.…

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Can Data Measure Faculty Productivity? Rutgers Professors Say No

By Ellen Wexler

After submitting a records request, David M. Hughes received an Excel spreadsheet summing up his productivity as a scholar.

The numbers seemed straightforward: He had written three articles, won two awards, and published two books. He had received no grant money. And that, according to context provided on the spreadsheet, put him above the national average for publishing and awards.…

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Black ministers, Kean faculty call for Farahi’s resignation in campus protest

By Jessica Remo, NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

UNION — A group of about 100 ministers, faculty and activists gathered on Kean’s campus Friday chanting “Farahi must go!” at a rally calling for the resignation of the university’s president.

The group, led by Rev. Ron Slaughter of St. James AME Church in Newark, began with a series of speakers at the university’s main entrance and then marched down Morris Avenue toward Green Lane to be closer to President Dawood Farahi’s office.…

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