Committee moves to shield contracted school employees from private subcontracting agreements

Committee moves to shield contracted school employees from private subcontracting agreements

Gregory P. McGuckin

TRENTON, N.J. – The Assembly Labor Committee today voted to prohibit public schools and colleges from subcontracting school services while a collective bargaining agreement is in place. The bill (A3395) also establishes conditions after the expiration of a negotiated contract.

“We want to make sure the rules aren’t changed in the middle of the game,” said bill-sponsor Greg McGuckin (R-Ocean). “School employees covered by an active contract can lose their jobs without these protections. Support staff should be concentrating on their job responsibilities, not worrying about their futures.”

McGuckin noted the bill secures district employees who work one-on-one with students, drive buses, cook and serve in the cafeteria, clean classrooms, and keep schools safe.

Ron Dancer

“Students are the priority in our schools,” said Dancer (R-Ocean), also a sponsor. “Staff who provide vital services to teachers and students deserve stability. A contract is binding on both parties and the protections should not be severed by new agreements with third parties.”

In order to subcontract under the bill, a district must provide 90 days written notice to the union and the Public Employment Relations Commission before going to bid. The measure also provides employees with the ability to retain seniority and recall rights when the private agreement ends.