Nearly a thousand Jersey City Education Association members greeted the members of the Jersey City Board of Education’s negotiations team on Saturday morning, Feb. 24, as the two bargaining teams sat down to talk. Members wearing red and carrying signs, filled JFK Boulevard, protesting the unreasonable and detrimental impact that Ch. 78 has had on their take home salaries. Again, the board of education came to the table with nothing new to settle the union’s need for affordable health care.
Members have been and will continue to participate in informational picketing, at the 41 worksites, before the start of school. Hundreds of parents and community members have been honking in support of JCEA’s right to a fair contract. The union is disappointed that Mayor Fulop has taken such a regressive anti-union action by ordering police to ticket drivers honking in support along with JCEA members exercising their free speech. “Fulop claims to be a progressive mayor. You would think that would include supporting the cornerstone of our middle class – unions – and the cornerstone of our democracy – public education and the educators who make our schools great,” stated Jersey City Education Association President, Ronald Greco. “But his progressive values apparently run only skin deep.”
For months the JCEA has been negotiating a contract with the JCBOE. The union has come to the table time and time again while the JCBOE continues to procrastinate and delay. Following Saturday’s failed negotiations talks, on Monday, February 26, over 2,100 JCEA members crowded into Casino in the Park to meet and discuss the future of the union’s further actions both at the table and on the street. Another 500 members of the Paraprofessionals and Secretaries associations arrived on Tuesday for an additional discussion of what is needed for the union to succeed.
“Our educators want to take the JCBOE at their word that they want to settle a fair contract at the table. We want nothing more than to get back to work under a contract that respects the expertise of our members and the need for affordable healthcare,” stated Greco.
JCEA members and leaders are doing their part to make sure the board lives up to what it claims to believe.
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