Permits a board of education to adopt a salary policy of up to five years.

NJEA supports S-1127 (Greenstein).  This bill would allow local school districts and employee representatives the opportunity to negotiate an employee contract for a term of up to five years.

Current law limits school districts and their employee representatives to negotiate an employee contract for a term of one, two or three years.  Over the years, school districts and their employee representatives have participated in lengthy contract negotiations, sometimes lasting years into the new contract period and giving neither side any break between contract negotiations.  By allowing school employee contracts to be negotiated for a longer time period, both employers and employees will be afforded needed flexibility in the collective bargaining process. 

Because the length of a contract has to be agreed upon by both parties, a change in the law would not give either side any leverage in the negotiations process.  Furthermore, such a change might result in local school district savings, as attorney fees and other bargaining costs would be minimized in instances where longer timeframes are negotiated.

The three year labor contract limitation is not seen in other public sectors like police and fire, state workers and probation officers, none of whom have a limit on the length of their contracts.  School superintendents are limited to five years. 

Language in the bill would also clarify that the retroactive years negotiated under a protracted collective bargaining agreement would not count toward the limit on future years.

NJEA urges your support of S-1127.