STATE — The NJEA filed suit against the State of New Jersey Wednesday over recently enacted legislation which will take 1.5 percent of salary from public school employees as a requirement to qualify for health insurance coverage.
The mandatory contribution is in addition to any current contribution toward the cost of health insurance already negotiated and agreed to by school employees.
NJEA’s lawsuit charges that the new law violates the collective bargaining rights of school employees, illegally reduces salaries for those employees, and violates several clauses of both the New Jersey Constitution and the United States Constitution.
“This legislation was ill-conceived from the beginning, and was rushed through the Legislature to meet an artificial timeline imposed on lawmakers by the governor,” said NJEA President Barbara Keshishian. “Now the courts will have to sort out what the Legislature should have looked at before it passed this legislation without any meaningful debate or consideration. We are asking the court to see this for what it is: a tax imposed selectively on public employees only.”
“Our members work hard every day to make sure every student in New Jersey receives a great education,” said Keshishian. “That’s their job. They don’t ask for any special treatment, but they have a right not to be singled out for attacks on their compensation. We will fight to ensure that their rights are respected.”
NJEA’s lawsuit is similar to two other suits filed last week by firefighters and police and other public employee unions.
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