Subcontracting bill advances in Senate Education Comm.

TRENTON – The Senate Education Committee released bills today involving subcontracting and non-resident teaching certificates.

S1191:  This bill, released  4-1 with Sen. Michael Doherty voting no, prevents an employer from entering into a subcontracting agreement if it will affect workers covered by an existing collective bargaining agreement.

The would allow the employer – a school district or college – to subcontract work if it provides written notice 90 days in advance of a pact’s end, and offers the union a chance to negotiate its impact.

“This bill is about one simple thing, and that’s fairness,’’ sponsor Sen. Diane Allen said.

The N.J. Association of State Colleges and Universities objected that subcontracting is a managerial prerogative, argued this bill might prevent schools from engaging in work that must be done quickly in the interests of public safety, and feared the bill is too broadly written.

Lynn Nowak of the N.J. Council of Community Colleges raised the specter of colleges’ hands being tied by such a bill, leading to tuition increases. “It will hamstring any ability to subcontract,’’ she said.

Allen responded the bill is about ensuring contracts are honored.

And Barbara Keshishian, president of the N.J. Education Association, said the bill provides job protections while still allowing schools to privatize some functions. “You cannot break the contract that the employer and the employee have already agreed to,’’ she said.

Other bills:

S1927/A2892:  This bill would allow a nonresident military spouse to be given a temporary instructional certificate to be employed as a teacher.

It passed unanimously.

S1196: This bill recognizes American Sign Language as a world language for purposes of meeting high school graduation requirements.

It passed unanimously. Subcontracting bill advances in Senate Education Comm.