The NJEA Delegate Assembly met on March 30, 2019, at the DoubleTree, Somerset, N.J., at 9:30 a.m. President Marie Blistan presided.
Gillian Raye (Sussex) delivered the inspirational message and led the body in the flag salute.
Roll call was taken. There were 106 out of 126 delegates present. Alternates were seated as follows: Hurley for Chau (Atlantic); Fletcher for Kronyak (Bergen); Giacoppo for Bowman (Burlington); Grasso for Carbonara (Cumberland); Greenfield for Blodnik and Kelly-Gamble for Robertson (Essex); Mazzone for Fedele (Hudson); Hicks for Sampson-Clark (Mercer); Marino for Rodrick (Monmouth); Finnen for Adams and Hussein for Bohme (Morris); Cortinas for Jones (Union), and Williams for Hodge (Higher Education)
Absent were representatives Stinson (Camden); Hibell (Middlesex); Mould (Ocean); Miles-Austin and Zurka (Union); Capodice (Non-Classroom), and Faulkner (NEA Director)
Blistan asked if there was objection to adopting the agenda with flexibility. There was no objection.
Kahty Paternek (Morris) moved the amendments to the Standing Rules of the Delegate Assembly proposed by the committee. The motion was duly seconded. The motion carried.
The chair presented the nominations from the NJEA Executive Committee for the three NEA Director seats that will become vacant in 2019-20 and opened the floor for further nominations. Patricia Bland (Burlington) removed her name from nomination. The chair then called two additional time for nominations, and none were made. The chair closed nominations.
Vice President Sean Spiller introduced 2019-20 State Teacher of the Year Jennifer Skomial, who then presented remarks to the body.
The five NEA Director nominees were each given an opportunity to speak, after which the DA Rules Committee conducted balloting.
Blistan addressed the following topics in her report:
• The state budget proposed by Gov. Phil Murphy, highlighting many pro-education components.
• The recent contract settlement between the Murphy Administration and CWA which include Chapter 78 relief.
• Recent meetings with the commissioner of education.
• Updates on the Teacher Leader regulations and development of a new statewide assessment system.
• NJEA’s work with a coalition of superintendents and others to address school funding reductions affecting several school districts.
• A restorative justice pilot program proposed in legislation.
• Status of NJEA’s two ESP bills on due-process and subcontracting.
• A major charter investigation conducted by a team of journalists.
• The circulation of NEA’s screening questionnaire for presidential candidates.
• The work of a new Amistad Task Force to broaden the use of curriculum and materials from the NJ Amistad Commission.
Blistan called on UniServ-South Director Patrick Manahan to give a report on NJEA’s Chapter 78/ESP Job Justice campaign.
The chair recognized Ms. Paternek, who presented the results of the NEA Director election as follows:
• James Frazer – 68 votes, elected
• Susan McBride – 77 votes, elected
• Pete Moran – 26 votes
• Barbara Rheault – 45 votes
• Kimberly Scott – 77 votes, elected
The chair concluded her report with an update on NJEA’s PAC fundraising campaign.
The chair opened nominations for the three NEA Director alternate positions that will be vacant beginning Sept. 1, 2019. Lisa Palin (Union) nominated Chrystal Parr-Allen (Union); Jenifer Clemen (Bergen) nominated Peter Moran (Hunterdon); Raye (Sussex) nominated Ashanti Rankin (Cumberland); Ray Romito (Atlantic) nominated Rheault (Atlantic); Anthony Rosamilia (Essex) nominated Chris Cannella (Essex). After calling three times for any additional nominations, the chair closed nominations. Each of the nominees was given an opportunity to speak, after which the DA Rules Committee conducted balloting.
Spiller reported on NJEA’s response to the Pathway to Progress report issued by the Senate President, including the presence of many members at each of the public forums conducted on the many proposals in the report, most of which NJEA opposes. Spiller also noted there was no legislation introduced in response to the report.
The following nondelegate members were provided an opportunity to address the body:
John Coniglio (Morris) spoke of the need to teacher local leaders how to use technology to better communicate with their members, asked if NJEA could provide for group ordering of items such as shirts from vendors, and commented on the number of local affiliates not actively involved in the Chapter 78/Job Justice campaign. Maria Sequoia Enriquez (Hudson) spoke about the wok of NJ 21 United to support
Steve Beatty presented his report. (It was noted that the written report had not been provided to delegates prior to the meeting, and the chair indicated the report would be uploaded for them in two days).
He also noted that the first of two LAFAP payments had gone out to local affiliates that qualified for funding and spoke about his visits to affiliates participating in Worth-it Wednesday activities around the state.
The chair recognized Ms. Paternek, who presented the results of the NEA Director alternate election as follows:
• Chris Cannella — 57 votes
• Peter Moran – 50 votes
• Chrystal Parr-Allen – 21 votes
• Ashante Rankin – 62 votes, elected
• Barbara Rheault – 73 votes, elected
A runoff election was conducted between Cannella and Moran, and the DA Rules Committee conducted the balloting.
Ed Richardson reported on the N.J. Principals and Supervisors Legislative Conference, where the Senate President was the keynote, and summarized him remarks on issues related to school funding and Chapter 78 relief.
He also reported on the terms of the recent CWA state workers’ contract settlement, noting that they achieved Chapter 78 relief by indexing employee premium shares as a percentage of salary.
Finally, he reported 14 local Pride projects were approved for funding, totaling $26,000, in response to New Business Item 1 approve at the January 2019 meeting.