Why should I join the OBEA?
“Membership is doing for yourself what you cannot do by yourself. It is an investment in your future. It is not a purchase or a donation. Consider membership for its longe-range benefits rather than immediate results.”
Association membership–local, state, and national–represents the chance to do more for public education and your students than you could ever do alone. When you join your local association, you are joining together with nearly 196,000 people across this state who have different ideas, opinions, and interests, but who all care about public education.
People join their Association for many reasons.
We become better educators.
- Members have access at the local, state, and national levels to professional development classes and publications.
- Members are connected to their colleagues through local activities, state and national conferences, online resources, publications, and countless other sources.
- Members have access to leadership and advocacy training.
We help our students and public education.
- We bargain locally to enhance employee quality, working conditions and to address instructional issues such as class size and time to teach.
- We lobby the state Legislature and the U.S. Congress for quality education for all children.
- We’re involved in textbook and curriculum committees locally, as well as professional standards boards and education reform panels at the state and national levels.
We have protection for our legal and contractual rights.
- We work at the local and state levels to enhance working conditions and salary, and to work on other relevant issues.
- We work to protect you from being treated unfairly or arbitrarily.
- NEA membership provides a $1 million employment liability insurance.
We have a great collective voice.
- Together we can do more than we can individually. Together we can send a united message to advocate for students and public education. Together we can influence the organization, the profession and the people who make education decisions.
What does the Association do for me?
- Negotiates your contract – improves it and fights off attempts to strip it.
- Protects you from improper and illegal dismissal or suspension.
- Represents you in Trenton.
- Stops yearly attempts to return jobs to political patronage.
- Continues to liberalize your retirement benefits.
- Provides full-time professional staff alerted to your professional needs in the speed of a phone call.
- Floods the state with image-building billboards, news releases, features, educational materials, koffee klatches.
- Puts on an annual battle to win subsidy money for school districts and colleges (directly benefits your contract).
- Enforces your contract through your request.
- In case of trouble, provides staff and legal assistance as appropriate.
- Analyzes your district’s budget to find funds that otherwise would be hidden from the negotiators of your contract.
- Provides low-cost insurance plans.
- Trains your local leaders in techniques of bargaining your contract; protecting it from abuse; advising you in safeguarding your job, retirement income, teaching conditions.
NJEA also advocates for you in many ways.
- NJEA provides a multitude of professional development opportunities, such as the NJEA Convention.
- NJEA lobbyists pursue legislation that protects our members and public schools.
- NJEA members are eligible to receive scores of discounts through the Consumer Services program.
- NJEA publications provide up-to-date information on issues affecting members and their professional careers.
- NJEA field staff bring negotiations expertise to your local’s doorstep.
These are only a few of the services brought to you from NJEA headquarters and 21 UniServ offices located across the state.
What services do the NJEA members need?
According to the NJEA Strategic Poll, members are clear about their needs. Their top 10 priorities for NJEA are:
- Protect our pensions and retirement health benefits.
- Protect our legal, contractual, and tenure rights.
- Negotiate our salaries and benefits.
- Work to raise academic standards in our schools.
- Promote safety in our schools.
- Encourage parental involvement.
- Communicate with members.
- Work for more support when special needs students are mainstreamed into our classrooms.
- Help us improve our professional skills.
- Help increase funding for our schools.