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School Ethics Commission Decisions
Public Advisory Opinions
Collective Bargaining, Negotiation & Contract

A16-96 Board member with a spouse in the administrators’ association may not participate in discussions and vote on a contract with the teachers when provisions of the contracts are linked. 1/28/97
A08-98 1) A Board member with sister-in-law in the local bargaining unit would not violate the Act by voting on the contract; 2) Board attorney must advise that board members with a conflict of interest with one unit may vote on the contract of another unit if the contract provisions are not based on the settlement of the other. 5/26/98
A02-00

Board member whose spouse is employed as a teacher in another district may not negotiate with teachers in his district who are affiliated with the same statewide general union, although the spouse has no NJEA affiliation and does not pay a representation fee.

03/28/00

A14-00

After In the Matter of Pannucci, SB #16-97 (2000), board members who are teachers in another district and members of the same statewide general union would not violate the Act, N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(c), if they were to vote on collective bargaining agreements with the local teachers' affiliate in the district in which they serve. However, board members would violate N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(c), if they were to participate in negotiations with the local affiliate or participate in closed session discussions regarding negotiations prior to the signing of a memorandum of agreement.

11/28/00

A16-00

Board member would violate N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(c) of the Act if he were to participate in negotiations or vote on a contract with the local education association when his brother holds a position in the maintenance department and is a member of the local education association in the district in which he serves.

11/28/00

A01-01

Board members would violate N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(c) of the Act if they were to participate in negotiations and vote on the contract with the teachers' association when their spouses are teacher aides in the district. Board member who is also Board president would not violate the subsection by appointing the chairperson and/or members of the negotiations committee.

1/23/01
A13-02 Three Board members who were endorsed by the local teachers' association in the 2001 election would not violate the School Ethics Act if they were to participate in upcoming negotiations involving the local education association or vote on the collective bargaining agreement. However, the three Board members who were endorsed by the association in 2002 would violate the Act if they were to negotiate and vote. 12/02/02
A14-02 A Board member whose brother-in-law teaches in another school district would not violate the Act if he were to participate in negotiations with the local education association. The Doctrine of Necessity should not be invoked to allow the entire Board to participate in negotiations when there are three Board members without conflicts who may serve as the negotiating committee. Third, the Business Administrator whose spouse is an NJEA member may provide technical assistance to the Board without invoking the Doctrine of Necessity. 11/15/02
A19-03 Board president who is a member of an NJEA affiliate in another district and spouse to an NJEA member in the same district would not violate N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(c) by signing the retainer agreement for the law firm, signing the collective bargaining agreement, or signing off on the monthly bill list which includes payment to the labor negotiators, or the payroll certification which authorizes payment to district employees.
8/27/03
A23-04 Board members who have retired from the NJEA may serve on the board’s negotiations committee without violating the Act provided they are not actively participating in the NJEA. 8/23/04
A19-05 Board member, whose sister is a teacher in another school district and is a member of the same statewide union with which the board negotiates, would not violate N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(c) by participating in negotiations with the local education association. 7/22/05
A34-07     The Commission clarified prior advice issued in A14-00 specifying that board members who are conflicted from participating in negotiations but not from voting may participate in discussions and vote on any outstanding issues where the signed MOA includes the salary guides and the total package of money to be offered. However, where the signed MOA does not include the salary guides and/or the total package of money to be offered, board members who are conflicted from negotiations but not from voting would violate N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(c) if they participate in discussions or vote on outstanding issues. 2/26/08
A14-12

School board member, whose son is a custodial employee, may  participate in negotiations for administrators unless some relationship exists that links the  administrators' contract  to the custodians' contract,  providing a benefit,  advantage, profit or gain to the son.

7/26/12
A20-12

Board member, whose husband and brother work in the district,  may not participate in closed session discussions and performance evaluation of either of the direct administrators or the central administration evaluations of the superintendent or assistant superintendents. Moreover, the Board member may not review any of the executive minutes, sit in on or be advised of the negotiation of committee's updates unless the information is also available to the general public.  Finally, the Board member may not participate in an executive session that considers the administrators' positions in schools in which the brother or husband teaches.  Doing so would violate N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(c) and N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24.1(g).

10/31/12