The health and safety of NJEA’s members, our students and our staff are paramount to our union. The increasingly rapid spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) requires a proactive approach to prevention so that we can continue the important work of representing and advocating for NJEA members while protecting the welfare of those we encounter. NJEA is taking strong measures to keep everyone safer during this pandemic.
The most effective way to do so is through the practice of “social distancing.” Essentially, this means minimizing contact with others, particularly in large groups and/or confined spaces. NJEA’s COVID-19 response is built on that strategy.
Effective immediately, and through at least April 19, NJEA is canceling, postponing or re-formatting most NJEA-sponsored meetings, conferences and other events. That date may be reviewed or extended based on the progress of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meetings that can be held remotely via web tools or telephone, such as NJEA committee meetings, may be restructured as virtual meetings. Other events, such as NJEA conferences or overnight trainings, will be postponed or canceled. Should you have a question about a meeting or event you are currently scheduled to lead or attend, please contact the event organizer. If you have registered online for an event, you should be notified of changes. At the current time, some small meetings with local associations may still take place. However, please do not show up to previously scheduled events without confirming whether the event is still scheduled to be held.
NJEA has previously shared Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance regarding the importance of individuals staying away from work and school if they feel ill or have any reason to believe they could have been exposed to COVID-19. Additionally, all individuals should practice good hygiene and take other precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. You can find that guidance and other resources here.
During this time, no non-staff groups or individuals will be invited to NJEA facilities, either in the Trenton headquarters or regional offices. The number of staff reporting to NJEA facilities for work will be limited in order to further limit the potential for any staff member to come into contact with an infected individual. Most NJEA staff will work remotely. Some staff will continue to report to NJEA facilities to carry out essential functions that cannot be handled remotely, but other staff have been asked to stay away from the buildings, and guests will not be admitted. That is for the safety of our staff as well as those who might visit and is necessary to reduce the chance of COVID-19 transmission. If you planned to visit an NJEA office or NJEA headquarters for any reason, please call the office you intended to visit to learn how to get in touch with NJEA staff to help you remotely.
Other decisions will be made in the coming weeks regarding additional measures and the timing of resumption of regular business practices. In every case, NJEA prioritizes everyone’s health and safety while NJEA staff and governance continue to work and advocate on behalf of our members. While no one wants to deal with a situation like this, we are confident that NJEA’s staff, governance and all members will come together, as we always do, and respond in a way that makes us all proud to be part of this great union.