Scholarship Opportunities for Union Families in New Jersey

Are you or a family member attending college next Fall? If so, you don’t want to miss out on any of these scholarship opportunities offered by our partners in the Labor Movement!

ScholarshipsThe Essex-West Hudson Labor Council is offering scholarships to high school seniors who have been accepted to an accredited college or post-high school program. There are sixteen scholarships available and the application deadline is April 17, 2014. Click here for the application.

The Bergen Country Central Trades & Labor Council is offering scholarships to full and part time students through the Ed Purtill Community Service Scholarship and the Abe Solomon Scholarship Fund. The application deadline is April 12, 2014.

The Hudson County Central Labor Council has thirteen scholarships available through the Edward B. Pulver Scholarship Fund. Scholarship applicant’s parent or legal guardian must be a member of a local union affiliated with the Hudson County Labor Council.  Click here for the application.

If you or an immediate family member live or work in Monmouth or Ocean Counties and attend or are planning to attend a college, university or technical school, then you should apply for the Monmouth & Ocean Counties Central Labor Council Memorial Scholarship.  Click here for the application.

The Middlesex & Somerset Counties Labor Council is awarding scholarships to three students who submit the best essay’s explaining how the labor movement has contributed to the welfare of workers and our communities. The deadline to submit an application and essay is April 11th.  Click here for the application.

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NJ Home Child Care Providers Ratify New Contract


Home child care providers, contracted by the NJ Department of Human Services and represented by the Child Care Workers Union, a partnership between CWA Local 1037 and AFSCME, ratified a new labor contract this week, bringing a year-long set of negotiations to a close.  Home child care providers escalated their grassroots organizing power to ensure a cost of living increase of 2.25% over 18 months and successfully negotiated gains in other areas of their work. Much of the progress made in the contract came out of the Child Care Provider Bill of Rights developed by providers, which was also included in the contract itself.

Driven in large part by the Child Care Provider Bill of Rights, the new contract compensates providers for mandatory trainings, defines an eight-hour day as a legal day’s work and provides additional pay for providers caring for children with special needs.

“We worked hard at the negotiating table to make sure providers caring for children with special needs were properly compensated for the important work they do,” said Ken McNamara, president of CWA Local 1037. “We’re most proud that now providers can use their union contract and the dispute resolution procedure to advocate for the children in their care. The contract broadly defines special needs to include factors such as poverty.”

The contract provides for a ‘special needs’ rate to be paid for care of a child who is under the age of 19 who is physically or mentally incapable of self-care; or a child who has been identified through a written referral from a county welfare agency, legal, medical, social service agency, emergency shelter, or public school which indicates that the child has a serious physical, emotional or mental, or cognitive condition and child care services are required as part of a treatment plan designed to stabilize or ameliorate the situation.

“We worked incredibly hard to make this new contract a reality,” said Shanita Hargrove a child care provider in Newark, NJ. “We knocked on doors in counties across the state. We engaged the working parents we provide services for. We circulated a petition of support that generated more than 500 signatures. We packed buses filled with supporters to attend rallies in Trenton. We built a real movement. But this is just the beginning of what we can accomplish together moving forward.”

CWA Local 1037 partnered with NJ Communities United to work with child care providers to increase the grassroots organizing work needed to negotiate a strong second contract.

“This is a victory for child care providers and it’s a victory for working families who struggle to afford quality child care,” said Trina Scordo, executive director of NJ Communities United. “We engaged working class communities on this issue and built a movement of people dedicated to quality child care and early childhood education. The positive long-term impacts for providers and working families are beyond measure.”

“Everyone agrees that affordable, quality child care and early education are essential to building a foundation for success,” said Danisia Valadez, a home child care provider in Passaic, NJ. “We are extremely proud that this contract not only improves the working conditions for home child care providers, but that it also seeks to provide resources for children who desperately need additional attention and support.”

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Support Your CWA Sister’s Fight to Save Her Home from Wells Fargo!

AVIn 2010, Paulette McQueen, a CWA 1037 home child care provider and Shop Steward, missed ONE mortgage payment. The very next month Paulette attempted to hand deliver the missed payment and the current month’s payment. Wells Fargo refused to accept ANY money and the foreclosure mill began. By 2013, her home was up for a Sheriff’s sale. But this isn’t just Paulette’s home, it’s also where she works as a home child care provider…and where four generations of her family live, including her elderly mother Grandma Lavinia.

Support your CWA sister and sign the petition to Wells Fargo demanding that they negotiate a fair market value mortgage with a low fixed interest rate for Paulette, Grandma Lavinia and the working families who rely on their home for affordable, quality child care.

Just a few months ago Grandma Lavinia & Paulette were featured in news articles across the country as they stood alongside Irvington, NJ Mayor Wayne Smith who announced plans to achieve principal reductions on mortgages for struggling homeowners. Wells Fargo saw the news and immediately reached out to Grandma Lavinia & Paulette. They agreed to stop the Sheriff’s sale and promised to renegotiate a new mortgage that the family could afford.

We need to keep the pressure on Wells Fargo to ensure they follow through with their promise! Sign the petition to Wells Fargo demanding that they negotiate a fair market value mortgage with a low fixed interest rate for Grandma Lavinia & Paulette!

Sadly, we know that Paulette isn’t the only CWA member fighting to save her home. If you are in a similar situation and need support, please reach out so we can get you in touch with our good friends at NJ Communities United. Through their anti-foreclosure work, NJ Communities United is providing free mortgage counseling for CWA members fighting to save their homes. You can reach us at or 973-623-1828.

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dr king doing for othersOn Monday, January 20th, the nation will celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Throughout the year CWA Local 1037 honors Dr. King on a daily basis by organizing and representing workers in their workplaces, their communities and the halls of governance.
On January 20th we are excited to honor his legacy by participating in community service – and we invite you to join us! CWA Local 1037’s Community Service Committee and Next Generation Caucus have organized a great opportunity for CWA members to participate in community service.

Please join us for Brightening Lives & Brightening Walls in Jersey City on Monday January 20th from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM at 158 Erie Street Jersey City NJ, 07302. Volunteers are needed to help pain murals, create no-sew fleece blankets, make “I Have a Dream” pillow cases and bake cupcakes that will be donated to families displaced by Hurricane Sandy.

Space is limited and registration is required. If you’d like to honor Dr. King’s legacy through community service this Monday, please RSVP by contacting Victoria Fisher at or Maxine Taylor at

If you’re not able to join CWA Local 1037 in Jersey City this Monday, please consider participating in community service volunteer opportunities near you by visiting Be sure to let them know you’re a proud member of CWA Local 1037!

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cwa ras endorsementThe Communications Workers of America officially endorses Councilman Ras Baraka to be Newark’s next mayor.

“Ras Baraka understands this isn’t just about an election, it’s about building a movement to revitalize urban areas and make our communities stronger,” said Hetty Rosenstein, CWA NJ State Director. “The thousands of CWA members who live and work in Newark are ready to roll up our sleeves to get things done.  And we look forward to working with Ras Baraka for a better, more progressive Newark.”

“In running for mayor, I am building an inclusive, broad-based movement of people and institutions empowered to transform our city,” said Councilman Ras Baraka. “The CWA is a vital part of that movement. My theme is “Believe in Newark”. This reflects my belief that the people of Newark have the power to raise up our city if we believe in ourselves and in what we can accomplish by working collectively.”

A native of Newark, Ras Baraka is a former Deputy Mayor, the Principal of Central High School and Councilman from Newark’s South Ward. The son of poets Amiri and Amina Baraka, Ras is an accomplished poet and author. His family has lived in Newark for over 70 years.  Ras was educated in the Newark public schools system, received his B.A. from Howard University and his Masters Degree from St. Peters University.

Whether as a councilman, an educator or a community organizer, Baraka shares the CWA’s values of equality and sticking up for working families.

You can learn more about Council Ras Baraka and his campaign for Mayor by following him on Facebook and Twitter!

The Newark mayoral and council election will be held May 2014.

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NJ Department of Human Services REFUSES to Accept Petition Supporting Child Care Providers

On October 29, 2013, child care providers, working parents, union members, community supporters and children marched on the NJ Department of Human Services to deliver a petition signed by 500+ supporters demanding a new contract and a raise for 2,000 home child care providers in New Jersey. The Department of Human Services REFUSED TO ACCEPT THE PETITION!!!

Worry not…we’re coming back BIGGER, LOUDER & STRONGER!!!

If you haven’t already, lend your voice to the struggle by signing the petition at!

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CWA Local 1037 Shop Steward Running for Office

allison friedmanMy name is Allison Friedman and I am a CWA 1037 shop steward running assembly for the 13th District, which is most of the Bayshore area in Monmouth County. I have chosen to run in an effort to ensure the voice of the working families is heard. The current Assemblywoman is Amy Handlin, the sponsor of the right to work legislation.

We need for the middle class to show up at the polls and I need your help to get the word out!  I have knocked on a number of doors and I need help motivating other working families not to give up and take their lives and future back by voting November 5th. Starting October 19th, the following Saturdays and Election Day, I need volunteers to walk with me. Please sign up  AND please be sure to follow me on Facebook

Together we can put a new voice into office – and what could be better than to make it a CWA Local 1037 voice!

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Community Groups, Labor Unions Join Immigration Justice Advocates in Freehold for Rally & March

On Saturday, October 5th, several hundred gathered in Freehold, NJ as part of the National Day for Human Dignity & Respect. Immigration justice activists were joined by friends in the labor movement, social justice organizations and non-profit service providers in 160 cities across the country to draw attention to stalled immigration reform efforts in Congress and the devastating impacts that deportations are having on hard-working families and immigrant communities across New Jersey and around the country.

Supporters gathered at Casa Freehold and marched for several miles before holding a rally at the Hall of Records where speakers from Casa Freehold, SEIU 32BJ, NJ Communities United and CWA Local 1037 rallied the crowd to demand that Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ) support immigration reform in Congress.

“This is something that hits close to home as my parents are both from El Salvador,” said Emma Claro, a Union City resident and member of NJ Communities United. “My family had the opportunity to become citizens, but it was not without real struggle. We need to make sure that hard-working immigrant families are able to have this opportunity moving forward.” Continue reading

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Local 1037 Shop Stewards Gather in Long Branch

Shop Stewards for CWA Local 1037 gathered in Long Branch, NJ on September 27th, 28th and 29th for the annual conference which focused on skills building, unity and planning the work of the local for the coming year!

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CWA Local 1037 Home Child Care Providers Rally for a New Contract & a Raise!

Home child care providers rallied for a new contract and a on September 19th at the NJ Department of Human Services. After years of negotiations, these hard-working women are still being denied a wage increase – something they haven’t had in nearly 5 years! The struggle for a new contract and a raise will help child care providers manage their responsibilities as parents and providers, as well as help working families who are dependent on these critical services so they can go to work & school with the comfort of knowing their children are well-cared for, fed, educated and above all, loved!

YOU can support this struggle by signing the petition!

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