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NTU Update - January 6, 2017

Colleagues,

1)      Important message from NTU President John M. Abeigon: In this War on Teachers, we can’t afford to not check our emails, NTU Website, and NTU Facebook posts daily.  In my visits to schools, I came across more than one teacher who did not know who Betsy DeVos was and the danger her appointment as Trump’s Secretary of Education could cause to all public school employees.  One was also unaware of NTU’s recent court victories.  She admitted to me that she was not “as caught up on things” as she should be. 

 

I get it.  I’m a teacher on leave of absence for Union service. I raised two daughters. I know what it’s like to come home after teaching 5th grade all day and just wanting to slam my head with the car door repeatedly just to welcome the numbness before going home and taking it out on my two innocent pains in the butt.

 

But, I also get that the timeframe for Christie, Cerf & Co. to completely destroy public education in New Jersey is drawing closer and they have upped their game—we had better up ours or we’re toast. So please, there are a million things you can disregard every day, communications from your Union is not one of them.  Ever onwards to Victory.

 

2)      Stipend Update: NPS has confirmed that staff will be getting their salary stipends (for CST’s and teachers with MA/PhD on certain steps who remained on the traditional old guides), and EWA stipends on January 20.   NPS has also informed us that the waiver money for staff who waived their health benefits went out in December.  If you did not get it, please let us know!

 

3)      Political Action Alert--The confirmation hearings for Betsy DeVos will happen shortly. Please call your senators this week and let them know you oppose her appointment as Secretary of Education.

It is most effective to call a local office. Here is the list of local numbers to call your senators.

If you want a script for your call, you can find it here too.

4)      Phase 2 Respect the Contract – So far, Phase 2 has been successful, but we know there are literally hundreds of health and safety, evaluation, Head Start, and Special Ed violations that the district continues to commit.  THEY MUST BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE!  Please follow this link to get started: http://newark.nj.aft.org/respect-contract/phase-ii-toolkit

If you have any questions or suggestions on how to improve this process, email Mike Maillaro at mmaillaro@newarkteachersunion.com.

IMPORTANT REMINDER! The Phase 2 forms are for violations of state and federal law, regulations, and guidelines.  If the issue is a “routine” violation of the contract (a la Phase 1), that should be dealt with through the Building Rep or NTU office, not by using the complaint forms!  That is what our grievance policy is for!

5)      Legal Updates – It’s been a busy, but exciting few weeks at the Newark Teachers Union

a.      The Appellate Division has granted our request to review the Superior Court’s October 28th decision declaring the Supplemental Fringe Benefits Fund (“SFBF”) void.  The Appellate Division’s decision is significant because these requests are rarely granted. We believe their decision to consider our case reflects an understanding, as we argued, that the October 28th decision was flawed.

 

b.      A Trenton Judge has ruled teachers unions have interest and are recognized as interveners in the anti-seniority, anti-tenure lawsuit supported by Superintendent Cerf, among others. This will allow US to defend our profession rather than Cerf & Co.

 

 In Solidarity,  

John  M.  Abeigon

President & Director of Organization

Newark Teachers Union

Local 481 AFT, AFL-CIO

Michael  Maillaro

Director of Research & Communication

Newark Teachers Union

Local 481 AFT, AFL-CIO

Michael R. Iovino
Secretary Treasurer

Newark Teachers Union

Local 481 AFT, AFL-CIO