Christie’s ‘Pants on Fire’ and other Fact Checks from the State of the State

While Governor Chris Christie said positive things about teachers, but stayed silent about higher education in Tuesday’s State of the State address, PolitiFact and AFTNJ identified several snippets of harmful hyperbole from the Governor that earn him a “Pants on Fire” rating. AFTNJ President Donna M. Chiera addressed Governor Christie’s education reform agenda from her classroom experience and seat on the teacher evaluation and effectiveness task force.“It
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AFTNJ Joins Suit Against Health Insurance and Pension Legislation

In conjunction with New Jersey public sector unions, AFTNJ is joining a legal challenge to implementation of June’s damaging pension and health care legislation. The union federation’s Delegate Assembly, its highest decision-making body composed of representatives from each local, voted unanimously to join the legal action.

The suit against Gov. Christie, a Republican, and the Democratic-majority Legislature, says parts of the legislation “impair the obligation of contracts and violate due process rights” by suspending cost-of-living adjustments in pension payments to retirees and continuing to underfund the state pension system.…

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AFTNJ Leadership Changes

Perth Amboy Federation’s Chiera New AFTNJ President; Skeete-Carey and Tardi EVPs

Moving up to a new challenge is always exciting. In late June Perth Amboy teacher Donna M. Chiera had her hands full being elected President of AFTNJ while serving as chair of the legislative crisis team battling in Trenton to protect collective bargaining. Chiera is a recently-retired classroom teacher with more than 30 years in the district, 22 years as local President and had been AFTNJ Prekindergarten through 12 Executive Vice President.…

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Education union files unfair labor practice charge

[…] Donna M. Chiera, president of AFTNJ, suggested the administration was engaged in union busting.
She asked, “Why would Ocean County College refuse a settlement proposed by a neutral third-party based on an independent analysis of an institution that continues to grow in every area other than salaries for unionized workers?”

Michael Putnam, president of the OCC Federation of Professional Administrators, said in a prepared statement that his union had offered several different contract proposals and each was met with a resounding “No” from the administration.…

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Ocean County College Staff Standing Up as Management Fails to Bargain

Unfair Labor Practices Charge Filed: 51-member unit passed over for raises executives award themselves

EDISON…The largest higher education union in New Jersey has filed unfair practices charges against Ocean County College (OCC) faulting resistant management there for ignoring an impartially recommended contract settlement while continuing to take raises for themselves. Despite having the highest paid community college president in New Jersey in the $222,200 Jon Larson, OCC management rejected the recommendation of an impartial factfinder that suggested the school grant modest increases in a three-year contract and maintains an inflexible position.…

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Grading teachers must be year-long process

Donna Chiera is one of nine people chosen by Gov. Chris Christie to serve on a task force that will revamp how New Jersey teachers are recruited, hired, compensated and fired. Christie has been in a heated showdown with the New Jersey Education Association, the state’s largest teachers union, over ideas such as merit pay and tenure reform.…

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Donna Chiera named to panel tasked with evaluating ways to assess N.J. teachers

Donna Chiera, a special education teacher in Perth Amboy who is also executive vice president for pre-K to 12 for AFT NJ, said she asked for the post because, “If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.”
Chiera said evaluations should be tools to help teachers hone their skills. She said she believed in using multiple measures of student growth – such as reviewing classwork – and not just scores on yearly state tests.…

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