On January 20, in an election supervised by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the workers at La Casa de Don Pedro in Newark voted overwhelmingly to join the Communications Workers of America, AFL-CIO. The nearly 60 workers in La Casa’s Early Childhood Division voted 41 to 9 to join Local 1037!
The newly-organized group includes teachers, assistant teachers, administrative assistants, receptionists, drivers, family workers, janitors, cooks, substitutes, and wraparound staff.
Workers at La Casa will join the 1,000 other child care providers and 10,000 workers all together already represented by CWA Local 1037.
On January 11, the last day of the 2015 Legislative session, the New Jersey Legislature approved resolutions (SCR-184/ACR-3) to place a constitutional amendment before the voters on the ballot in November requiring the state to fulfill its obligation to make full payments into the pension system, protecting the benefits earned by workers.
The Senate passed the pension amendmentresolution 23-16 along party-lines with every Democrat voting in favor of responsiblepension funding and every Republican voting against it. The NJ Assembly passed the resolution with a vote of 43-27 with one abstention. Continue reading
In vetoing Leah’s Law, Governor Christie has put thousands of DCF workers at risk of injury or even death. Leah Coleman was stabbed over 20 times by a deranged client, she lost over 50 pints of blood, she nearly lost her life and there was not a single member of law enforcement present in an office with hundreds of workers engaged in some of the most dangerous work in the State. In the year since her attack, there have been more than a dozen threats of bombings and shootings of DCF workers and workers have been both threatened, held hostage and physically attacked in the field. Continue reading
The New Jersey Senate Budget Committee has approved a resolution to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot in November 2016 to compel the state to make the required contribution into the public pension system, protecting the benefits that have been earned by public workers.
CWA New Jersey Area Director Hetty Rosenstein, in a statement supporting introduction of the constitutional amendment, said: “When the NJ Supreme Court allowed Governor Christie to break both his word and his own law by refusing to fund the pension, we said our union would never permit the destruction of the pension system and New Jersey’s economy.” Read the full statement here.
Sign up today to support Assemblymen Tim Eustace and Joe Lagana in their re-election bids! Visit http://bit.ly/2015LaborWalk to participate!
During Chris Christie’s term as Governor, he has:
- Attacked our collective bargaining rights
- Refused to fully fund our pension!
- Gutted public education
- Vetoed the millionaire’s tax
- Raised taxes on the poor
But Assemblyman Eustace and Lagana have stood up to Christie and stood with us! Sign up TODAY to support their campaigns!
The stakes are high this election. In District 38 in Bergen County, Assemblyman Tim Eustace and Assemblyman Joe Lagana stood with us when Governor Christie attacked our Civil Service rights and refused to fully fund the pension. Now they are being targeted by two candidates who will spend the next two years taking orders from Governor Christie.
It’s up to us to protect our allies!!! Sign up below to walk for Assemblymen Tim Eustace and Joe Lagana! We will be walking every Saturday from now until election day from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon – and we’ll be hitting the doors on Election Day, Tuesday, November 3rd! The meeting location is IBEW Local 164, 65 West Century Rd, Paramus, NJ.
Local 1037 will provide a $30 stipend to members only who participate in our 2015 Labor-to-Labor Walks. Please sign up at http://bit.ly/2015LaborWalk!
On July 14th, 2015, two Salem County DCF workers were seriously assaulted while trying to affect a removal. Although we believe that they are okay and will make a full recovery, make no mistake about this: these workers could have been killed.
We know that you are fiercely devoted to the families that you work with and that no one wants to turn social work and family services into law enforcement – but we must make sure that workers are safe in the field. PLEASE request law enforcement assistance in any potentially dangerous circumstance including any removal. A Buddy is not enough. In this case, the worker had a buddy. Violent and mentally ill clients are extremely dangerous and even our highly skilled staff cannot possibly de-escalate every situation.
We know that we cannot rely upon the current Administration to keep us safe. Continue reading
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
As you may be aware, the 2011 Contract was originally due to expire 6-30-2015. Many things have happened in the last several months that have led us to think very carefully about negotiations with the Christie Administration. It has been necessary to focus on the pension and the budget because these campaigns will frame our political work, mobilization, member education and bargaining approach. Here is what we can tell you now:
The 2011 Contract required that either party notify the other that they want to negotiate a new agreement. The notification must come in the form of a registered letter received no later than February 1, 2015. The Contract says that if the letter is not received, the Contract is extended for a year as is. Neither CWA, AFSCME nor IFPTE sent in a letter. The Governor’s Office of Employee Relations had to send CWA a registered letter received by February 1, 2015 or the Contract would extend. They sent us a registered letter received on February 4, 2015. CWA sent the Governor’s office a letter saying that we reserved the right to say that the Contract was extended for one year. By not notifying us in time, it is our position that the Contract terms are extended.
Brothers and Sisters, the Supreme Court ruled 5 to 2 against us, while inexplicably acknowledging that the law said exactly what we said the law said, and “morally [our] argument is unassailable,” and while saying that the pensions are owed. We are right, the Majority in the Legislature is right, but the Governor is allowed to be wrong. We have developed a document updating our members on the pension campaign and our current plans of action.
Download Update to Save the Pension Plan for all CWA Members here!
Chris Shelton is now the president of the Communications Workers of America! Please join us in extending our deepest gratitude to Larry Cohen for his years of service to our great union..and a collective congratulations to Chris Shelton!
Decision: In a 5-2 decision the NJ Supreme Court upholds the governor’s appeal. Judges LaVecchia, Patterson, Fernandez-Vina, Solomon and Cuff in majority. Judges Rabner & Albin side with unions in dissenting opinion.
Full text of Supreme Court Opinion of Pension Funding for FY15, Decided June 9, 2015 can be viewed here: