Union cuts deal to end Jersey City strike as teacher protests spread
19 March 2018
The Jersey City Education Association (JCEA) announced late Sunday night that it had reached a deal with the school district to end the strike by 4,000 teachers and school employees in the US state of New Jersey’s second largest school system. The union rushed to get the agreement as rank-and-file teachers prepared to defy a Hudson County judge’s back-to-work order, which could have quickly escalated into a broader confrontation with the state’s Democratic and Republican politicians.
With typical contempt for rank-and-file teachers, the JCEA issued a perfunctory statement on its Facebook page, announcing, “As of the time of posting, details of the settlement had not been released, but JCEA had long maintained that relief from the onerous health care contributions imposed by Ch. 78, but negotiable under state law, was a fundamental issue in the negotiations.” The union declared that schools would reopen as scheduled Monday morning without saying a word about strikers voting on the deal, let alone being forced to return to work without even seeing its details.
“I think we reached a fair and equitable agreement with the district,” JCEA President Ron Greco told the Jersey Journal, adding that teachers would vote to ratify the agreement sometime “before April’s school board meeting.”
Any agreement reached behind the backs of rank-and-file teachers to end the strike without a vote can be nothing but a sellout that betrays the fight to end soaring health care costs that erode teachers’ paychecks in one of the most expensive metropolitan areas in the nation. Jersey City teachers and school employees should reject this with the contempt it deserves and elect…