Throughout the COVID-19 Crisis, the Bergen County Education Association has been advocating for members, taking actions, and gathering and providing resources for dozens of dedicated and diligent local leaders, throughout Bergen County. This has been an immense undertaking, coordinated by four officers, all of whom are committed educators, and two staff members. A cast of thousands, we are not.
The BCEA consists of over 100 such independent locals, whose members elect their own local leaders to represent them at the district level. Together, they make up the nearly 20,000 BCEA members, who work in our public schools, countywide.
The BCEA is a democratic institution, leading by consensus and in direct response to the requests and needs of our members and local leaders. We serve at the pleasure of those members, in an organizational capacity, with neither the power nor the authority to dictate a local’s decisions. This has been especially and deliberately true, during this COVID-19 crisis. Every local has been afforded the space, the right, and the support to address this issue independently, directly reflecting the position taken by their respective memberships.
BCEA has been a proud and responsive resource for local leaders, as needed, providing open opportunities for the sharing of information and in the advocating for the health and safety of students, members, and families.
Attached is just a SMALL sampling of the organizing opportunities BCEA has provided for the engagement and at the discretion of locals and local members…it does NOT include the hundreds of phone calls, emails, additional meetings, and personal communications that the BCEA officers have engaged in, at the request and invitation of local leaders, in seeking to support our members achieve their desired goals, during COVID.
BCEA advocacy IS HELPING influence the decision makers on the state and local levels. Just days after receiving over 7,000 emails from BCEA Members and supporters, Governor Murphy allowed districts to open remotely, on a local by local basis.
BCEA continues to play a supporting role for local associations, who are actively striving to make their own decisions and craft their own responses. And that’s as it should be.