Long a Rumor, Now Reality?

New bills that provides retirement incentives to NJ’s older (i.e., more expensive) teachers are now slated to go before the Legislature by June 30th. New Jersey Newsroom is reporting that, along with bills that propose contributions to health benefits beyond 1.5% of base pay, there will be legislation that allows teachers who are eligible for retirement to get out by August 1st and escape the new fees yet still receive full benefits. The set of bills will also include the constitutional amendment limiting all labor cost increases and property tax hikes to 2.5% and reinstall “last, best offer” for school districts engaged in negotiations with unions.

Guess this is the “tool kit” board members have been hearing about.

Certainly, the August retirement incentive plan would set a fair number of older teachers racing for the door, potentially saving money for districts and jobs for younger teachers. Here’s another factor: many leaders of local NJEA bargaining units tend to be older teachers. The new legislation, if passed, could bode well for those who favor changes in local union leadership.