Ask Senators to co-sponsor bill to make healthcare more affordable
S-2606, long-awaited legislation that would tie public employees’ premium share for health benefits to a percentage of their salary instead of the premium has been introduced. This bill, sponsored by Senator Joe Cryan, would reduce the amount most NJEA members pay toward their health insurance and return fairness to the bargaining table.
Chapter 78 of 2011 removed health benefits from the collective bargaining process, setting a four-year schedule of mandatory premium sharing based on the premium itself. An unintended consequence of this law is that many school employees have seen declining take-home pay since 2011.
Since the sunset of this law, locals have tried to bargain down the premium share with only limited success. Under Governor Christie, school districts saw eight years of underfunding at the same time they were constrained by a 2% property tax cap. Member premium sharing allowed districts to balance their budgets, making changes difficult to bargain.
S-2606 will cap premium sharing at a percentage of salary, not the cost of the premium. It will also allow districts to exempt the health benefits premium relief from the 2% property tax cap. In addition, it requires more transparency around health benefits.
Write to your Senator today, and ask him or her to support collective bargaining and school employees by joining as a co-sponsor of S-2606.
- Thoughts on Teacher Compensation, Evaluation, and Measuring Teacher Effectiveness – Bruce Baker, Rutgers University
- Decoding the new evaluation system
- Evaluations by the numbers
- NJEA Resource Guide on Evaluation for Teachers
- ScIP Frequently Asked Questions
- NJEA’s recommendations on comprehensive training for the teacher evaluation system
- Parent Brochure: Using student test scores to evaluate teachers: What’s at stake for your child? – English version
- Parent Brochure: Using student test scores to evaluate teachers: What’s at stake for your child? – Spanish version
- Teaching practice evaluation instruments
- NJDOE video on Using Student Growth Percentiles
- POINT Study on Merit Pay
- Performance Pay Doesn’t Work – Kappan, March 2012
- Stop Tying Pay to Performance – Harvard Business Review, Jan.-Feb. 2012
- Merit Pay’s Trap: When Lawmakers Are Clueless About Teachers’ Classroom Realities – NEA Today, April 3, 2011
- International merit pay study inadequate for making policy decisions, independent review finds – March 31, 2011
- Questions to ask about merit pay
- Evaluation symposium a success – June 1, 2012
- Task force calls for use of test scores to evaluate teachers – May 24, 2011
- Governor announces his education reform package – April 25, 2011
- Getting teacher evaluation right – Washinton Post, Sept. 15, 2011
The Governor and the Legislature make decisions that affect our schools, our students, our communities, and our profession. Grassroots politics is not just an option, it’s our obligation. Use these resources to make your voice heard on Election Day!
For everything you need to know about voting in New Jersey, check these links to the state’s Division of Elections:
Keep in mind, any voter can now vote by mail in any election. You do not need a reason to vote by mail. Don’t feel like going to the polls? Simply vote by mail. Now there is “no excuse” not to vote!