Notices from CWA Local 1037 Election Committee

Attached are the notices from the CWA Local 1037 Election Committee. Please click on the links to read the full notice.

To see the notice being mailed to state worker members in the Professional Unit click here: Notice of Election for the Vice President of the Professional Bargaining Unit

To see the notice being mailed to members at the Passaic County Board of Social Services click here:  Notice of Election for the Vice President of the Passaic County Board of Social Services

Tentative Certification of Results

 

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CWA FIGHTS HEALTH CARE CUTS, WINS SAVINGS IN NEW JERSEY

After a year of work and advocacy by CWA and other public sector union representatives on New Jersey’s State Health Benefits Design Committee, nearly 40,000 CWA public workers will see no increase in health care costs in 2018 due to union-led efforts netting savings for members and taxpayers.

This is the first time that health care costs have not increased for CWA members since Governor Christie signed the sweeping pension and health benefits overhaul in 2011 which shifted costs for coverage to workers and eliminated the right for public sector workers to collectively bargain healthcare.

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INCREMENTS UPDATE: GOVERNOR CHRISTIE TRIES TO STALL

Click here to download a PDF of this statement

ON AUGUST 2, THE SUPREME COURT RULED THAT INCREMENTS CANNOT BE UNILATERALLY STOPPED AND THAT INCREMENT CASES ARE GRIEVABLE AND ARBITRABLE.

GOVERNOR CHRISTIE TRIES TO STALL

On August 2, the Supreme Court issued its decision on the “increments” cases in Atlantic County and Bridgewater. In these cases, the employers denied increments after expiration. The State of New Jersey, Judiciary, and other employers have relied upon the decision of the Public Employee Relations Commission (PERC) to deny payments of our increments.

The Appellate Court overturned PERC, and the employers appealed to the Supreme Court. PERC, Atlantic County, Bridgewater and the Christie Administration LOST. The Supreme Court UNANIMOUSLY AFFIRMED the Appellate Court’s judgment in Atlantic and Bridgewater and the Court specifically ruled that the denial of increments is grievable and can be arbitrated. (CWA’s attorney explained this in detail on a Town Hall call. If you did not join the call, you can listen to the full explanation here: http://cwanj.org/listen-increment-decision-tele-town-hall/)

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LISTEN AGAIN: INCREMENT DECISION TELE-TOWN HALL

Click here to listen to the increment decision tele-town hall.

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SUPREME COURT RULES THAT INCREMENTS CANNOT BE UNILATERALLY STOPPED

Click here to download a PDF of this statement

Today, the New Jersey Supreme Court issued its decision on the “increments” cases in Atlantic County and Bridgewater.  In these cases, the employers denied increments after expiration.  The State of New Jersey, Judiciary and other employers have relied upon PERC’s decisions to deny payments of our increments. The Appellate Court overturned PERC, and the employers appealed to the Supreme Court. PERC, Atlantic County, Bridgewater and the Christie Administration LOST.

The Supreme Court UNANIMOUSLY AFFIRMED the Appellate Court’s judgment in Atlantic and Bridgewater. The Court ruled that the denial of increments is grievable and can be arbitrated.  This is very good.  It is not perfect, however, because the Court felt it didn’t need to rule on every issue and we may find that the Christie Administration will still try to withhold increments.  If that happens, we will have to use this decision and the Appellate Division decision to further challenge the withholding of increments.

Please carefully read the explanation below.

The Appellate Court overturned PERC’s decision eliminating increments post expiration in Atlantic and Bridgewater. (The State of New Jersey relied upon PERC’s decision to not pay our increments.)

  1. The Court said that increments are a mandatory subject of negotiations and parties can agree to have them continue, or sunset, after contract expiration.
  2. If the employer denies salary increments- it is grievable and arbitrable. CWA filed grievances on this when increments were first denied. The grievances were held in abeyance waiting the Supreme Court decision.
  3. The Appellate Division held that increments must continue as part of the “dynamic status quo” even where the contract does not specifically address whether they are paid after expiration. The Supreme Court affirms that increments must be paid if the contract explicitly states this or if it states that all terms and conditions of employment continue. The Court chose to not specifically address what happens if the contract language is not specific, but did not overturn the analysis of the Appellate Division. The Supreme Court’s decision not to reach that question just means that it reserves the right to consider the issue in another case.  In the meantime, the highest court decision addressing a public employer’s obligation to pay automatic increments, says that the increments must be paid.
  1. We have a very clear history that our increments are automatic. We have refused language last Contract that would have required that increments “sunset.” We have also rejected the language accepted by other unions that increments are “frozen” after expiration. The language that we have was found to meet the conditions of an automatic increment system that must be continued under the dynamic status quo doctrine. In other words, we have good language and both the “past practices” and “custom” that the Supreme Court said would guide any future decisions.

What does this mean?  It means that the Supreme Court overturned the PERC decision that the State relied upon to deny us increments and to block arbitration our grievance.  With this Administration, we have learned to expect the worst and they may continue to delay or refuse to pay us our negotiated increments.  We may not be paid immediately based on this decision because of the issues left unaddressed.  However, the decision gives us a good foundation for our contractual challenge and we are exploring other options as well.

 

We will hold a Town Hall Call with all of our members on MONDAY, AUGUST 7 at 7:00PM.

 

If you have previously given your phone number to us and have received Town Hall calls, then we will call you on that same number.

If we don’t have your phone number, or you will not be at that phone number, you can join the Town Hall on Monday by calling 855-269-4484 OR 877-353-4701 by 6:55pm.

 

In addition, the Bargaining Committee and the Mobilization Committee are meeting this week to discuss next steps with Contract negotiations and mobilization.

Click here to download a PDF of this statement

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CWA TAKES LEGAL ACTION AGAINST THE CHRISTIE ADMINISTRATION FOR INVOLUNTARY FURLOUGHS

On Friday, July 7, CWA filed a Grievance with the Office of Employee Relations (OER) and an Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charge with the Public Employee Relations Commission (PERC) regarding July 1, 2, 3, 2017 involuntary furloughs of CWA executive branch employees and judicial branch employees as a result of the state shutdown.

Visit the CWA NJ website to read a copy of our grievance and ULP filed on behalf of all CWA-represented executive branch employees.

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CWA Update to Members Regarding Shutdown Pay

Attention CWA Members,

Here is the shutdown pay situation as of July 7, 2017:

Even though workers were paid for the shutdown during Corzine and Federal workers have been paid during the budget shutdown, Chris Christie is refusing to pay anyone who was not an essential employee.

CWA has covered all legal bases— We have filed a Grievance and Unfair Labor Practice already.

Both the Speaker of the Assembly and the Senate President are bringing the legislature back next week to vote on a bill that will require the Governor to pay us.

On Thursday, there will be demonstrations, a press event, and rallies throughout the state. Your Local will be in touch with you to let you know how to participate.

Human Resources gave people information as to how to file for unemployment. It is fine if you did, but only workers who lost 2 or 3 days have any chance of getting even a small amount of unemployment benefits. The real answer is to get everyone paid for the day— and that is what we are going to do.

We organize. When we fight— we win.

We will keep you updated.
In Solidarity,

Hetty Rosenstein
CWA NJ State Director

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NOTICE REGARDING DENIAL OF PAY FOR STATE SHUTDOWN

The State is issuing directives through all state agencies this afternoon that Governor Christie refuses to pay state workers for the days we were locked out during the state budget shutdown. You will likely receive a message from your Payroll, HR, or Managers to this effect. Every State department is sending slightly different messages so there is a lot of confusion with how the State is rolling this out.

You should receive eCATS codes by HR to enter into your timesheets systems for this week.

The State does agree to pay workers for July 4, but not for July 3 or prior.

If you were designated “essential” and reported to work during the shutdown, you will be paid for any time you actually worked.

If you requested leave time for any days during the shutdown, it is our understanding that leave time will be canceled and you will be put in no-pay status.

CWA opposes this decision and we will enforce our right to be paid during the state lockout when we were ready, willing and able to work, but were forced out.

Our legal team is already working on our legal response to this action by the Governor.

However, legal action will take some time and we are advising some immediate actions by members:

1. Submit your timesheets on time. Enter the code management provides.

2. In the “comments/notes” section of your timesheets, we advise you to enter “INVOLUNTARY LOCKOUT” for any days you were scheduled to work during the shutdown. For most members, this will be Monday, July 3rd. For other members, like in State Parks, Motor Vehicles Commission, state institutions, and elsewhere, this might mean Saturday 7/1, Sunday 7/2, and Monday 7/3.

3. You can file for Unemployment benefits online or by phone. It is not clear whether UI applications for shutdown days will be approved, but we advise all members to apply as a protective measure.

https://njsuccess.dol.state.nj.us/html/uimain.html

The deadline for applying for UI benefits online is Saturday, July 8 or by telephone Friday, July 7 at 4:30pm. However, CWA is requesting an extension of this deadline based on the large number of potential applications and the short notice during a holiday week for people to apply.

4. We are planning worksite mobilization around this issue. Information will be coming from your Locals so we can coordinate activities around the state.

STAY INFORMED!

Contact your Local to sign up for action alerts and membership meetings

To download a PDF of this statement click here: http://cwanj.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Membership-Message-Re-Non-Payment-for-Shutdown3.pdf

Communications Workers of America,
District 1 New Jersey

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CWA 1037 Statement on End of State Shutdown

Dear Local 1037 Member,

Thank you to everyone who made calls, sent e-mails, and signed up to picket Assembly offices during the State shutdown. Through your efforts we have been able to end the lockout and return to work. If it were not for this mobilization we would still be out. Your actions made a difference.

While the shutdown is over, the struggle continues. As has been the case for the better part of the last 8 years, this Governor continues to play games with people’s lives. In his press conference late Monday night, Christie stated that with the shutdown ending there would be a paid holiday for Tuesday, the Fourth of July. He has not addressed payment for those who were scheduled to work July 1st – 3rd, and from his statements prior to the shutdown, we believe his intentions are to not pay us.

We believe we must be paid. Both the law and our union contract require we be paid. Our attorneys are prepared to take action and we will have additional updates on our legal strategy as we move forward. But we also know that the same efforts that brought an end to the shutdown and lockout – members mobilizing to put pressure on the decision-makers in Trenton – is what will be required so that every member is made whole and none of our families suffer a loss of income because the politicians did not do their job.

So while today is a day to be proud of the work you have done, be prepared to take additional actions so we can see this fight through to the end. The Governor and, as importantly, the Democrats who enabled him and caused the shutdown, need to know that we will hold them accountable.

A special thank you to the Shop Stewards, Officers and staff who worked tirelessly to end the shutdown under difficult circumstances over the holiday weekend. And again, thank you to all the members who took the time to take part in this fight. We will need you again.

We will continue to provide updates and ask that all members stay informed. If you have any questions, please see your Shop Steward, contact your Staff Representative at (973) 623-1828, or e-mail us at info@cwa1037.org.

In Solidarity,
Ken McNamara
President

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SHUTDOWN ENDED

From CWA NJ:

Assembly Speaker Prieto and Senate President Sweeney have announced a compromise on the Horizon Bill to end the state shutdown on Monday. State Parks and beaches will be open on Tuesday, July 4. All members are to return to work on Wednesday, July 5th. All Wendesday pickets are cancelled. A statement from CWA will follow shortly.

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