For over 170 years, the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) has advocated on behalf of students, educators and great public schools for every New Jersey Community. Founded in 1853 as the New Jersey State Teachers Association to elevate the teaching profession, NJEA has grown into one of our nation’s largest and most effective public school employee unions. In addition to teachers and other certificated staff, we represent Educational Support Professionals (ESPs) as well as preservice and retired educators. We advocate for great salaries, benefits and working conditions for staff, and we work equally hard to ensure safe schools, sufficient resources and ample opportunities for our students.
1853 · NJEA is founded.
The New Jersey Education Association is founded by a group of educators with a desire to improve public education and elevate the teaching profession.
NJEA holds its first convention in New Brunswick’s Bayard School.
Free public education for all was enacted.
Teachers’ Retirement Fund is created.
First tenure bill was enacted.
Elizabeth Allen elected first woman president of NJEA.
Minimum salary law enacted.
NJEA wards off efforts to undermine public education due to the Great Depression.
First sick leave law with mandated minimums.
Funding of county colleges was established.
The National Education Association merged with the American Teachers Association, the professional association and union for African American teachers.
At the forefront in the fight for member rights, Jim George is best known for his stirring remarks at the 1967 Asbury Park Rally for Teacher Rights.
NJ passed its first collective bargaining law.
Thorough and efficient education law was passed.
Judi Owens elected first African-American president of NJEA.
NJ has the highest minimum salary in the nation.
Legislation providing health benefits for retired teachers.
Family Leave Protection.
Paid health benefits for retired educational support professionals/county college members.
Zero tolerance for weapons and guns in schools.
Educational Facilities Construction and Financing Act.
Sick leave banks for school employees were established.
Legislation that enables five-year contracts to be negotiated.
Legislation prohibiting the administration of standardized assessments in kindergarten through second grade.
Teacher Leader endorsement added to the instructional certificate.
Legislation prohibiting withholding State school aid based on participation on State standardized assessments.
NJEA wins Ch. 78 relief in a landmark agreement that lowers costs of educators and districts.
NJEA succeeds in passing ESP Job Justice bills that provide just-cause arbitration and prevents subcontracting during an active collective bargaining agreement.
Historic firsts as Sean M. Spiller becomes first African-American male president and Joan Wright becomes first African-American to lead NJREA.