TO:All NJEA Members
FROM:Barbara Keshishian, NJEA President
Vincent Giordano, NJEA Executive Director
RE:Tomorrow's Legislative Assault from Gov. Christie
Our war with the Christie Administration is now full-blown.
Every NJEA member should now be fully outraged at this governor and his agenda, because it is now an official attack on the very future of public education, and on the careers and livelihoods of each and every one of us.
Despite almost daily attacks on NJEA, its members, our students, and public education in general over the past four months, we are now faced with an all-out assault which we must mobilize to defeat.
As the Newark Star-Ledger reported today, Christie will propose 33 bills that seek to crush public employees on every level.
While the focal point of this attack may be its proposed 2.5% cap on annual increases in salaries and benefits, it also includes a 2.5% cap on annual increases in municipal, school, and county property tax levies, which would have a disastrous impact on the ability of districts to maintain services and programs.
Christie is also going after the civil service system, by allowing towns to opt out of civil service protections such as the use of seniority when determining layoffs. This is on top of last Friday’s legislative proposal announcement by Commissioner Schundler, which seeks to change our tenure system and to basically abolish the seniority system as we know it.
Please know that NJEA is on top of this attack:
Stay tuned, and stay in touch with your local president for the latest updates.
- We have had work groups analyzing and preparing research, talking points, and lobbying information on all of the key issues in this package, and that information is now in hand;
- We will be holding emergency meetings first thing this week to analyze the specific legislation as soon as it is made public (sometime Monday);
- We will move quickly to put an organizing/political action plan into effect; We will be providing all staff, leaders, local presidents, and members with constant updates as events unfold, to ensure the broadest possible awareness of and involvement in this ultimate showdown.
- We must be prepared to move swiftly and decisively in the days ahead. We need everyone's singular focus on this crisis, if we are to turn back and defeat this unprecedented attack on public education, NJEA, and its members.