Murphy signs law offering fair new job protection

Following a years-long campaign for job justice, educational support professionals (ESP) in New Jersey will return to work this September with enhanced job protections. On Thursday, August 13, Gov. Phil Murphy signed a law granting due process rights to tens of thousands of school employees who are not covered under New Jersey’s existing statute just cause and due process to teachers and some other school employees.

After nearly two years of advocacy by NJEA members, the Senate passed S-993 in March by overwhelming majority. In the Assembly, A-631 passed for the second time in as many years in June. An earlier version of the same bill, along with a companion bill to protect against unfair subcontracting, was previously vetoed by Gov. Chris Christie. Gov. Murphy campaigned on a promise to sign both bills and has reiterated that promise repeatedly since. Today, he kept the first half of that promise by signing S-993/A-631.

“This is a job justice law because it provides professional equity to some of our schools’ most valuable employees,” said NJEA President Marie Blistan. “Educational support professionals, or as I often call them, Essential School Professionals, are foundational to our success and a major part of the reason our public schools are rated the best in the nation. This new law provides well-deserved dignity, respect and protection by providing due process protection to every school employee who did not already have it.” 

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