• Post category:News

Dear EWEA Family,

Welcome back for another year! For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Ellen Ogintz and I’m president of the East Windsor Education Association…the EWEA! I’m a special education teacher at the Ethel McKnight School and I LOVE my work!

I hope you all had an enjoyable and relaxing summer. For our new members, I want to welcome you to our district and to the most challenging, exciting, and rewarding work in the world.

As I mentioned, our work can be very satisfying and rewarding. But it also comes with challenges. We care about our students, and we care about our community. We are good at what we do. But we also need support and resources to be successful. None of that comes automatically. We must advocate for it. That’s why being a part of the union is so important.

As part of the strongest labor union in New Jersey, we must speak up on the issues that impact us the most—in our homes and in our classrooms. But we don’t have to do it alone. Our union strength is our superpower. We showed that power recently at the bargaining table when we negotiated our recent contract and would not back down or give in. YOU showed your strength at the June 12th Board meeting where you spoke the TRUTH. And we show our strength throughout the year when we defend and enforce our contract.

 Being in a union, especially in the public sector like we are, means we also need to be involved politically. Our schools, our communities, and our families are affected every day by the people we elect both locally, statewide, and nationally. This November, all 120 seats of the legislature are on the ballot. Those 120 people will make a huge difference in our lives for the next two years and beyond. We have just about two months to make sure we help elect a pro-public education majority in both houses so we can keep moving our schools and our profession forward. We have a pro-education majority now, and it shows.

 Under Governor Murphy and the current legislature, we have reduced healthcare costs, expanded sick leave, decreased the impact of test scores on evaluations and eliminated the edTPA.

That happened because we elected leaders who share our values and priorities and because we continued to hold them accountable once they were in office. We are going to keep doing that.

As a union, that is how we set the stage for what we all want: professional respect, great working conditions and successful students. That is what our union is about.

Whether you’re new to the profession or embracing a new challenge, we can help you and your students succeed. At every stage of your career, NJEA and the EWEA are here to support, protect and encourage you. We cannot thank you enough for all you do, and all you will do, to change the lives of your students. Let’s take pride in the good work we do, and let’s all commit to becoming involved in some way in the EWEA.

 Most importantly, let’s all remember to never be afraid to make the case for the respect we deserve as professionals. We are the East Windsor Education Association and together we can advocate and organize for the changes we need to be our best and make a real difference in our students’ lives.

Again, welcome back to a new year.

In unity,

Ellen Ogintz – President