Last October, the 125-member NJEA PAC Operating Committee (NJEA PAC) voted overwhelmingly to endorse Gov. Phil Murphy in the 2021 Democratic Primary.
“Gov. Murphy has demonstrated time and time again that he keeps his promises,” said NJEA President Marie Blistan. “It is so vital to the success of our students and our members that we have a governor who listens to education experts and works with us to develop solutions that work for all of us. He has shown that, regardless of job description, he respects the contributions of every school employee, and he has signed legislation to ensure fairer working conditions.”
“We are at a tipping point in our society and the question is, who will lead our state to a future that works for everyone?” said NJEA Vice President Sean M. Spiller. “Gov. Murphy shares our commitment to social justice. He knows there is much work to be done and he is eager to work with us and other partners to diversify our workforce and our curriculum. That’s the kind of leadership we need in order to make long-lasting change that benefits everyone.”
“There is no governor in the nation who has worked as closely and collaboratively with public employee unions than Gov. Murphy,” said NJEA Secretary-Treasurer Steve Beatty. “Gov. Murphy is committed to putting New Jersey on a strong financial footing and he has done that by addressing inequality and exploitation of working families. He shares our vision of a New Jersey that respects and supports the people who make this state run and make our public schools the very best in the nation.”
NJEA PAC cited Gov. Murphy’s strong record on the issues that matter most to NJEA members, their students, and their families. These include:
- Ch. 78 relief, which reduced health care premium costs for members while saving the state millions of dollars.
- Protecting educational support professionals whose jobs were at-risk due to COVID-19 school closings.
- Working with NJEA to improve health and safety conditions and to hold districts accountable when they fall short.
- Due process rights for educational support professionals.
- Subcontracting protections for educational support professional positions.
- Three of the largest consecutive pension payments in New Jersey history.
- Education funding that supports the unique needs of school districts, even in a pandemic.
- Making college more affordable through the Community College Opportunity Grant program.
- Working to diversify the curriculum, including implementation of the Amistad curriculum.
- Diversifying the workforce in our public schools and providing the funding to do so.
- Appointing New Jersey educators to serve as Commissioner of Education.
- Expanding Pre-K programs, a key indicator of lifelong success.
- Signing legislation that pays workers equally, regardless of gender.
In May, candidates in the Republican gubernatorial primary were invited to participate in NJEA PAC’s screening process. Based on the results of that screening, the NJEA PAC Operating Committee did not endorse any candidate for governor in the Republican primary.