On Tuesday, March 6, Governor Phil Murphy joined over 250 principals, teachers, board members and superintendents who have been engaged in the New Jersey Labor Management Collaborative Project. NJPSA, along with the NJEA, NJ School Boards Association and NJ Association of School Administrators, have been founding partners to this project which was initiated by the research and efforts of Dr. Saul Rubenstein of Rutgers University, School of Management and Labor Relations. The Labor Management Collaborative began in 2015, after Dr. Rubenstein presented research findings showing that:
- Labor Management Collaborative Partnerships, which include a shared vision for schools and districts, shared decision making and formal collaboration process, are linked to student achievement gains, even in socio-economically challenged districts;
- Labor Management Collaborative Partnerships lead to innovation in schools/ districts advancing student learning;
- Labor Management Collaborative Partnerships lead to changes in traditional roles among teachers, unions, administrators and boards leading to shared decision-making at the school/district level; and
- Labor Management Partnerships result in a more positive and productive school climate, setting the foundation for collaborative work on teaching and learning.
The pilot program currently has 20 districts in two cohorts working to develop and implement school and district level teams to perform collaborative work on issues impacting teaching and learning in their schools. The districts include Montgomery, South Brunswick, New Brunswick, Metuchen, Haledon, Bergen County Special Services, Delran, Bordentown, Hawthorne, Ocean City, Plainfield, Bergenfield, Secaucus, Atlantic County Technical, Teaneck Community Charter School, Lower Cape May Regional, Pompton Lakes, Hamilton, South River and East Brunswick.
In addition to Governor Murphy’s address to the associations and school districts interested in the project, NEA Vice-President Rebecca Pringle and National School Boards Association President Kevin Ciak expressed their national association’s support and interest in the pilot. The national interest is particularly significant in light of the Supreme Court’s imminent decision this spring in the Janus case which will consider whether union fair share provisions violate an individual’s First Amendment rights.
The remainder of the program consisted of panel discussions by individuals working in the pilot districts discussing their experiences, successes and continued challenges in doing this important work.
NJPSA is a partner in this effort. For further information about the project, contact Debbie Bradley, NJPSA Director of Government Relations.