NJEA to oppose state legal filing

NJEA to oppose state legal filing

Will fight Christie’s attempt to manipulate SEHBC

Published on Wednesday, August 31, 2016

NJEA president Wendell Steinhauer responded today to an Order to Show Cause filed by the state of New Jersey against NJEA’s three representatives on the School Employees’ Health Benefits Commission. The order seeks a court ruling that would force those commission members to attend a specially scheduled meeting. NJEA’s representatives on the commission object to Gov. Christie’s failure to fill a vacant seat on the commission and his efforts to force the commission to make a change to retiree health benefits that can only be made by another body, the School Employees’ Health Benefits Plan Design Committee. Steinhauer released this statement:

“NJEA’s representatives on the School Employees Health Benefits Commission will challenge the state’s Order to Show Cause, which is another attempt by Gov. Christie to manipulate the commission into making changes in retiree health benefits without following the legal process. Gov. Christie has manipulated the composition of the commission by refusing to appoint a labor representative following the death of a commission member last year. That has created an imbalance on the commission in favor of the administration. Further, the commission is being asked to make changes to the benefits of retired school employees. Under state law, such changes can only be made by the Plan Design Committee, not by the commission. Christie’s blatant disregard for the law and his attempts to manipulate the commission are utterly inappropriate. We will fight vigorously and look forward to the opportunity to present our case in court. We will pursue every legal opportunity to uphold state law and defend the legal rights of our members against the governor’s inappropriate actions.”


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