"Concerns Arbitration for certain non-teaching school staff.”

NJEA supports S-2163 (Lesniak, Cunningham).  This bill would extend due process rights in disciplinary matters to certain non-teaching employees who do not currently have them.

Under current law, only secretaries and some school custodians and attendance officers, in addition to teachers, are afforded statutory due process rights.  Other school employees such as teacher assistants, bus drivers, security guards, and cafeteria aides, do not enjoy the same basic statutory protections of due process.  This bill would ensure all school employees have a basic right to due process.

Furthermore, this bill will protect employees from termination without just cause.  Even if an employee has contract language requiring due process, school district employers have unilaterally skirted the due process agreed to by not renewing support professionals’ contracts.  In doing so, these school districts have argued that a non-renewal is somehow not a termination, and, therefore, not subject to arbitration under a locally negotiated grievance procedure ending in binding arbitration.

If this legislation is enacted, all school employees, regardless of title, will have a  basic right to due process and binding arbitration, a right that their certificated colleagues and nearly all other public employees in the State of New Jersey already enjoy.

S-2163 merely brings equity and fairness to the handling of school employee disciplinary matters.  What is fair and just for certain public school employees should be fair and just for all public school employees.