Unity Rally Saturday Kicks Off 72 Days Of Action On Gun Violence

gununity082716Assembly Starts at 12 noon at Folger Park on 2nd Street SE
Rally Begins at 1 pm at NRA lobbying HQ on the 400 block of 1st Street SE

On the day before the anniversary of the I Have a Dream speech, join Reverend Al Sharpton, Founder and President, National Action Network; Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers (AFT); Martin Luther King, III and more than two dozen allies as we call for an America with dramatically fewer guns, dramatically harder to get.…

Read more

After 21 years, local control poised to return to Newark schools next fall

By Jessica Mazzola, NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

NEWARK — Complete local control of the Newark schools should be fully restored by the 2017-18 school year, according to a report released Monday afternoon by the Newark Education Success Board — the 9-member panel co-created by Gov. Chris Christie and Mayor Ras Baraka last year to help guide the transition back to local control.

Read more

AFT condemns violence against Mexican teachers

Teachers and activists in Oaxaca, Mexico—who were peacefully protesting against education reforms—were victims of lethal force from federal government police in June, an outrageous and tragic event the AFT has been forcefully condemning. In a resolution passed at the AFT convention, union leaders expressed solidarity with Mexican educators and called on the Mexican government to create an independent commission of inquiry around the violence.…

Read more

Funding the Pension Long Game

Over the past year, AFT New Jersey leaders and activists have been working intensely on building support for an amendment to the state constitution to mandate quarterly pension payments. Our members distributed educational literature about the benefits of the measure, knocked on doors to talk to other union members and made phone calls to raise awareness of the importance of funding public worker pensions.…

Read more

AFT New Jersey Joins Labor, Business, and Consumer Groups In Calling On Legislative Leaders To Pass The Out-of-Network Consumer Protection Bill

Note: AFT New Jersey, HPAE, Council of New Jersey State College Locals, and locals 1904 at Montclair State University, Rutgers AAUP – AFT and Union of Rutgers Administrators each signed on to the letter.

A letter signed by 34 groups, including major health care consumer groups, unions and employers who provide coverage for their members and employees, was sent today to Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto and Senate President Stephen Sweeney.…

Read more

Guaranteed Funding For State Pensions Probably Won’t Make Ballot

John Reitmeyer

Sweeney continues to tie the amendment to getting a veto-proof majority for his plan to renew the Transportation Trust Fund

Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester) was supported by advocates for seniors and the disabled as well as union and construction representatives.

With the deadline for final legislative approval of a proposed constitutional amendment to boost public-employee pension funding now just days away, it appears more likely than ever that it will not be put before voters this fall.…

Read more

Ms. Chiera Goes to Philadelphia

AFTNJ President Donna M. Chiera was a delegate to the Democratic convention in Philadelphia.

VIDEO: NJ Delegates Excited For Night One of Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia
July 26, 2016

Philadelphia – The Democratic National Convention kicked off in Philadelphia Monday night and the New Jersey delegates are excited for the week ahead.

Delegates from all over the garden state were excited to get things started last night.…

Read more

New Jersey slashes hedge fund allocation amid poor returns

By Svea Herbst-Bayliss

New Jersey’s state pension fund plans to slash its hedge fund investments by half, becoming the latest large investor to protest high fees and poor returns after New York and California made similar moves.

The New Jersey Investment Council on Wednesday unanimously voted to reduce its exposure to hedge funds to 6 percent from 12.5 percent, the state and a union official said.…

Read more

N.J. to slash pension investments in hedge funds that were criticized by unions

Samantha Marcus, NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

TRENTON — The State Investment Council on Wednesday agreed to slash New Jersey’s investments of public-sector pension dollars in hedge funds by more than half, responding to labor union concerns that the alternative investments aren’t paying off.

At the council’s last meeting in May, union representatives called for drastic reduction in the pension system’s hedge fund stake, from 12.5 percent to 4 percent, but the move failed on a tie vote.…

Read more

AFT Applauds NJ Public Pension Hedge Fund Divestment

WASHINGTON— American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten and AFT New Jersey state federation President Donna M. Chiera on the unanimous decision of the New Jersey State Investment Council to drop its hedge fund allocation from 12 percent to 6 percent and cut its hedge fund fee structure:
AFT President Randi Weingarten said: “Workers and the public they serve deserve to know that the trustees responsible for investing their pensions have their best interests front and center.
Read more

As deadline looms, what to know about N.J.’s epic pension amendment fight

By Samantha Marcus, NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

TRENTON — The New Jersey Senate has until Monday to vote to submit a proposed constitutional amendment to the fall ballot for voter approval.

Until this summer, the question was whether that ballot measure would succeed or fail. But now it’s uncertain whether it will make it to the ballot at all, as one complicated and fraught matter — public worker pensions — gets pulled into another — transportation funding.…

Read more

NJ Senate May Delay Votes On Gas-Tax Hike, Pension Amendment

John Reitmeyer

Democratic leaders still scrambling to get enough support to override expected vetoes by Gov. Christie

Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee Chairman Paul Sarlo (D-Bergen)
The New Jersey Senate is holding its first voting session in over a month this afternoon, but legislation seeking to renew the state Transportation Trust Fund with a gas-tax hike may not make the final agenda.…

Read more