Jacqui Greadington, EOEA President
THE STRUGGLE ISN’T OVER:
You should have received your retro-active pay by now. This marks the end of the last bargaining cycle, but the next cycle will begin before you know it. Although the contract may be settled, the hard work of enforcing and maintaining what it took nearly three years to attain, is just beginning. We must all look to organizing for the next round, knowing that it too, won’t be easy.
I am especially looking for our early career educators to get involved in the process. As you know, it can be a lengthy process that does require time and commitment. The rewards, however, are great when you know you’ve done your best to achieve a fair and equitable contract.
When you received your retro checks, I am sure you noticed the deductions for Chapter 78. The team fought long and hard to freeze those deductions and/or to have them not impact upon the retro. You need to know that, courtesy of Governor Christie, Chapter 78 is free money for Boards of Education. This money is addicting and no BOE wants to give it up. NJEA continues to fight this battle, but need ALL members to be engaged to win the battle. Please respond to our calls to write/email/call legislators who support public education. It is a small thing to do that packs a mighty impact.
As we face the new era of President Trump administration, we must keep in mind the policies he has and will bring forward and the impact the will have upon our profession and our students. His deportation agenda is not limited to the Mexican border and Islam. Many of our Haitian, Caribbean, and African students and their families who are undocumented may be impacted as well. We must unite to protect these students. We must unite the diminishment of IDEA and Special Education mandates from a Secretary of Education that has never been inside a public school. We must unite against a Supreme Court that will rule against our right to organize, represent and protect members’ rights; a Court that would make all states Right to Work, thereby turning collective bargaining into collective begging; a Court that will rule against protecting Voting Rights, and maintain the mass incarceration of black and brown boys into a for-profit prison system.
As you can see, there are many battles ahead. These battles affect members and students as well. These battles will take place on the local, state (NJEA) and national (NEA) levels. I am proud to say that I represent the EOEA on all three of those levels.
UNITED, WE WILL BE ADVOCATES FOR OUR MEMBERS AND OUR CHILDREN!
EAST ORANGE TEACHERS UNITED TO INSPIRE!!!!!!!
- President’s Message archives