Download the Educators’ Bill of Rights

NJEA has developed an Educators’ Bill of Rights that enumerates your rights as an NJEA member and as a public school employee. The text which follows is available as a PDF that can be downloaded from njea.org/covid.

Right to Teach

Members have the right to teach and work in a safe, secure, orderly environment.

Right to Organize

Members have the right to organize individuals to address concerns, including engaging a school district health and safety committee, school board members, other elected representatives, community members, and/or parents.

Right to Report

Members have the right to report violations of safety requirements to the county superintendent, county/local board of health, and New Jersey Departments of Education and Health.

Right to Request

Members have the right to request colleagues and visitors uphold district mandates, including the wearing of masks and physical distancing during the workday.

Right to Technology

Members have the right to employer-provided technology devices and professional development to provide high-quality remote instruction.

Right to Request/Paid Leave

Members who have been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19 or who are seeking treatment for COVID-19 symptoms have the right to request paid leave in accordance with their local association contract, as well as up to 10 days (80 hours) of paid leave (up to $511/day) under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

Members who are unable to work because of a need to provide care for a family member who is sick or subject to quarantine due to COVID-19, have a right to request paid leave if available under the local contract, as well as up to 10 days (80 hours) of two-thirds paid leave (up to $200/day) under the FFCRA.

Members whose school or childcare provider is closed due to COVID-19 and who are unable to work due to a need to provide childcare for a child, have the right to request up to 10 days (80 hours) of paid leave up to two-thirds of an employee’s daily rate of pay (up to $200/day) for employees under the FFCRA.

Members who have been employed for at least 30 days have a right to up to an additional 10 weeks of paid expanded family medical leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay (up to $200/day) where an employee is unable to work due to a bona fide need for leave to care for a child whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19 under the FFCRA.

Right to Reasonable Accommodations

Members have the right to ask for reasonable accommodations if they have an underlying health condition that puts them at greater risk for infection, serious illness, or death if infected with the COVID-19 virus.

Right to Assistance

Members have the right to ask for assistance from colleagues, the district administration, school board, superintendent and their local association in dealing with the challenges of COVID-19.

Right to Bargain

Local associations, with the assistance of their UniServ Field Rep, have the right to bargain protection of pay and leave benefits if a member exceeds the allowable entitlements under the FFCRA.

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