Welcome Members – You are the V.E.A. !
Negotiations Update (1/27): Going to Fact-Finding!
Our first session of Fact-Finding is confirmed for 2/28 at 10 am.
What is Fact-Finding?
Fact-finding is the 3rd of 4 possible steps in the negotiations process. If #1, direct bargaining with the Board and #2, mediation by a state-appointed neutral, fails (as ours did), then law mandates that we enter into Fact-Finding. A different state-appointed, neutral labor negotiations expert was selected by the Association and Board from a list provided by P.E.R.C. (N.J. Public Employment Relations Commission). The Fact-Finder will first make another attempt at mediating an agreement between Us and the Board. If that fails, then another date is scheduled for a hearing. Negotiations are over. At the hearing We (with the help of our NJEA experts from Uniserv and Research) and the Board (through their attorney representatives) present our proposals with research and facts in support of them. The Fact-Finder takes them, may ask clarifying questions, and then reviews them. After analysis, the Fact-Finder issues a report with a recommended settlement. Both sides have time to consider the recommended settlement. The recommendation is not binding; one or both sides can reject it or both can accept. After 10 days, the Fact-Finder’s report can be released to the public.
Thank you to all those who rallied in red for ed. on 11/30.
A little drizzle couldn’t stop a few hundred determined professionals, warmed up with hot chocolate and donuts, who took to the sidewalks of Landis Avenue on a chilly Friday evening to educate the Community on how the Board’s illegally high class sizes, Pre-School waiting list, inadequate E.S.L. and Special Ed. staffing, and misplaced spending priorities hurt Vineland’s kids. From the supportive responses it’s safe to say that most Vinelanders agree – enough is enough! Fund our schools! Vineland students and staff deserve better!
After more than 5 hours (5:30-10:45pm), mediation was unsuccessful. The Board would not agree to compromise on reasonable terms put forth by either us or the State-appointed mediator. The mediator recommended moving to FACT-FINDING. This is a multi-step process that will last many months.
Thank you to the 767 members who signed the health insurance petition and the 30 who showed up at the VEA office to make signs for mediation!
More information is posted on the members only Contract Information page (log in using your NJEA credentials) and a general membership meeting will be scheduled in the future. Your support is needed.
Cumberland County Family Shelter – We are collecting donations for delivery each month.
If you hear from individuals or groups trying to convince you to drop your membership or claiming to offer you cheaper representation, understand that they are fronts working for far-right, anti-union organizations funded by the Koch brothers. Their interest is to dilute the power of unions, lowering wages and ending collective bargaining for decent wages and benefits. The V.E.A. remains the only democratic membership organization that exists to represent you. Our power is our unity. Please read this (Click here) if you got the mailing from “Americans for Prosperity” to get the full context of who they are and what you received.
Have a great year and get involved – now is the time!