AFT, other unions sue OSHA, Department of Labor

The American Federation of Teachers is among the unions that filed a lawsuit Oct. 29 against the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Department of Labor and Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia.

In the suit, the AFT and its fellow plaintiffs are asking the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to require OSHA “to cease its unlawful delay in issuing an Infectious Diseases Standard” in order to protect health care workers.…

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Getting to know higher education secretary nominee Brian Bridges

Upon being introduced Oct. 30 as New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy’s selection for secretary of higher education, Dr. Brian Bridges spoke about his experience, family, building relationships and more.

Here is some of what Dr. Bridges had to say:

  • “I want to give special recognition to Zakiya Smith Ellis, the previous secretary who continues to serve Gov.
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Brian Bridges nominated for higher ed secretary

New Jersey Gov. Phil. Murphy has nominated Dr. Brian Bridges to be the state’s secretary of higher education.

“Today marks the end of a nationwide search to find an individual who shares our vision, who is experienced and who is fully committed to ensuring that a college education in New Jersey is not just available, but accessible to all who want it,” Murphy said Oct.…

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Ruiz-Turner bill for school PPE amended

S2698, a bill co-sponsored by state Sen. M. Teresa Ruiz and state Sen. Shirley K. Turner to assist New Jersey school districts and county colleges in acquiring personal protective equipment, was amended Oct. 29 ahead of the Senate voting session on Nov. 16.

“Superintendents around the state have been struggling to get the PPE they need to bring students back into the classroom,” said Sen.…

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Rutgers professor: ‘More truthful’ sense of nation’s history is needed

In a guest column for The Star-Ledger, Rutgers University professor Beth C. Rubin writes about the importance of a “greater understanding of the past” in school curriculum that would help children on multiple levels.

“My students, this country’s future social studies teachers, are thinking about how they can talk about the past with their students in a way that moves us forward: dialogue across difference, for a deeper understanding of the past disparities that explain present challenges,” she writes.…

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Murphy explains reasons for latest executive order

During his Oct. 29 coronavirus briefing, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy explained the need for signing Executive Order No. 192, which goes into effect Nov. 5 and mandates health and safety protections for New Jersey workers during the pandemic.

“We took this step because, yet again, the federal government hasn’t,” Murphy said, adding that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration “has not yet put forward comprehensive COVID-19 health and safety standards.”…

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Rutgers’ Nelson weighs pros, cons of legal recreational marijuana

The wording of Public Question No. 1 on the New Jersey 2020 election ballot is simple enough: Do you approve amending the Constitution to legalize a controlled form of marijuana called “cannabis”?

Should it pass, the resulting actions and reactions could become complicated.

“We have evidence from other states that have made this change, and like many issues we see in politics and philosophy, the interpretation is often subjective even when the data are objective,” said Rutgers University professor Dr.…

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AFT resolution defends democratic principles

In Protecting American Democracy, an American Federation of Teachers resolution that was unanimously passed by the executive council, the AFT details its dedication to the following four propositions:

  • Every American citizen registered to vote must be able to vote.
  • Every vote must be counted.
  • The electoral verdict of “we the people” must be respected.
  • We will not be intimidated.
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Weingarten to AFTNJ: ‘Make sure you have your say’ in the 2020 election

In a video message to AFTNJ members, AFT President Randi Weingarten touches upon the issues at the forefront of the presidential election and explains why it is important to vote for the union-endorsed New Jersey congressional candidates, among them Amy Kennedy.

“Just this week, I spent time with Amy when the AFT Votes [bus] swung through New Jersey,” she said.…

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AFT ranks high among most powerful unions in U.S.

The American Federation of Teachers has placed third on a list of the 30 most powerful unions in America compiled by the financial website GOBankingRates.

As part of its methodology, GOBankingRates ranked the unions in terms of total members, using information available through the Office of Labor-Management Standards’ union reports under Schedule 13.

To view the full list, click here.…

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Murphy looks ahead to second marking period

With the first marking period of the 2020-21 academic year winding down, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy was asked during his Oct. 26 media briefing if COVID-19 guidance modifications may be in store for the second marking period.

“I don’t anticipate any new guidance, but each of the districts has to coordinate,” he said. Murphy does expect “continued high-level of communication” and cooperation among school districts and the education and health departments.…

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