The CWA 1037 Next Generation Caucus spent three days in Detroit with more than 200 CWA Next Gen activists from around the country for an annual summit dedicated to building our union and the labor movement into the future.
CWA 1037 activists led workshops on “Union Vs. Friedrichs” and “Talking Race & Gender at the Union Hall.” Our very own Abdul-Basit Haqq was also featured in a plenary session titled “A Labor of Love: Building an inclusive labor movement” to share his experience as a Muslim in the labor movement.
While in Detroit, our activists also joined Michigan United and dozens of local community, faith and elected leaders for a Fair Chance rally to “Ban the Box,” part of an international campaign by civil rights groups and advocates for ex-offenders, fighting to remove from their hiring applications the check box that asks if applicants have a criminal record. This measure gives returning citizens a fair chance at getting a job and becoming a contributing member of our community.
“I’m proud to have been a part of the most progressive CWA conference to date – and the most progressive union conference in the country,” said Victoria Fisher, a staff representative for CWA 1037. “The agenda was put together by CWA activists for CWA activists, reflecting the values of young workers in our union and our concerns about the future of our country and the labor movement.”
Next Generation activists were also joined by CWA Secretary-Treasurer Sara Stephens, an original CWA Next Gen member from District 9, and CWA president Chris Shelton, who encouraged attendees to build a movement based on inclusion and engage in the electoral process this November.
“One of our goals for CWA District 1 is to make sure that young activists are not just involved in this election cycle,” said shop steward Ariana Uceta, “but to actively shape the political agenda for the future.”
If you want to learn more about CWA Next Generation you can reach Victoria at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may have heard that IFPTE Local 195 has a Tentative Agreement for a 4 year Contract Agreement with the Christie Administration. IFPTE represents skilled trade and craft employees in the executive branch and is a smaller bargaining unit than CWA.
We do not as of yet have details as to all aspects of the Agreement, but we understand that it is a 4-year agreement with wage increases of 0, 0, 1.75% and 1.5% across the board each July 1st of 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018, over 4 years and a $450 onetime bonus in 2017 only for workers at who have been at Max pay for at least 3 years. It also appears that chapter 78 health care contribution percentages are maintained through the contract, and that there are no improvements in healthcare. There may also be important “work rules” and grievance language issues that we have to assess.
CWA activists from across the country met in Washington, D.C. on June 14 and 15 for the union’s Legislative-Political Conference. The two-day conference focused on CWA’s effort to reclaim the economy and democracy for working families, including the Take on Wall Street campaign and holding elected officials accountable.
CWA Local 1037 activists and leaders lobbied members of Congress on issues including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement and reforms to close tax loopholes for corporations and millionaires. CWA is still continuing its campaign to stop the TPP while advocating for fair trade that will protect workers’ rights, environmental regulation, and consumer rights. As part of our Take on Wall Street (http://takeonwallstreet.org/campaign, CWA has also joined with over 20 national organizations to push for reforms of our financial sector and stop taxpayer subsidies for the wealthiest in our country.
On Tuesday, Senator Elizabeth Warren fired up the crowd with an impassioned speech highlighting the Take On Wall Street campaign, Reps. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Mark Pocan (D-Wisc.) spoke powerfully about stopping the TPP, and activists participated in a panel on fighting for a fair economy.
Watch the video here.
On Wednesday, United States Secretary of Labor Tom Perez, who worked tirelessly to mediate negotiations between CWA and Verizon, started the day off with a great speech about strengthening the middle class and organized labor. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), and Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.) talked about restoring and expanding voting rights and reclaiming our economy.
A panel on the Black Lives Matter Movement looked at how the movement is leading the fight for civil rights in our nation. Panelists talked about the roots of racial and economic inequality, and how as a nation, the lives of black persons and people of color are undervalued.
The organizing wave continues among early childhood education workers in Newark and beyond as the staff at The Leaguers, Inc. voted overwhelmingly to join the Communications Workers of America Local 1037, AFL-CIO today. After enduring a roller coaster week which began with the signing of a recognition agreement by the employer and ended with an aggressive anti-union campaign, the agency’s 225 workers voted 161 to 18 in an election supervised by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
This newest organizing effort brings to 400 the number of early childhood education workers who have organized with CWA in New Jersey since January.
The 225 workers at The Leaguers who are now a part of CWA include teachers, lead teachers, associate teachers, EHS teachers, EHS teacher assistants, EHS child care providers, assistants/aides, child care providers, family advocates, receptionists, home visitor specialists, health/nutrition specialists, EHS/CCP clerks, floaters, substitutes, cooks, food service workers, maintenance workers, and custodians. They work at various sites throughout Essex and Union counties.
Please donate to the Verizon Striking Families Solidarity Fund to make sure that members who are facing financial hardship during the strike have a place to turn.
Donations may be made by visiting StandUpToVerizon.com/solidarity. Checks should be made out to Verizon Striking Families Solidarity Fund and mailed to Strikers Solidarity Fund, 501 Third St NW, Washington DC 20001. Contributions will go to help CWA and IBEW strikers.
Your financial support will help the most vulnerable strikers and their families.
For twenty years, politicians from both parties failed to make pension payments for public workers in New Jersey. Our pension plan could run out of money as early as 2022!
CWA members and our public union allies have been knocking on doors every Saturday (through May 21st) to talk with other union members about the Pension Amendment on the ballot this November. Join us by signing up at http://bit.ly/PensionWalk!
CWA has been fighting for years to make sure the pension is funded. We’ve organized, rallied, lobbied and advocated in the courts to make this happen. In 2011, a law was finally passed that required funding. But the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that law was unconstitutional. If the Supreme Court says the Constitution doesn’t allow our pensions to be funded, we’re going to CHANGE THE CONSTITUTION.
WE ARE FIGHTING BACK! JOIN US AND SIGN UP TO PASS THE PENSION AMENDMENT! Visit http://bit.ly/PensionWalk to sign up for Saturday morning Labor-to-Labor walks!
This November, we are asking voters to amend the Constitution to hold politicians accountable and protect our pensions. And it starts with YOU!
As always, CWA leaves no stone unturned when it comes to fighting for our members. To this end, CWA has joined other public sector unions to take our issues to the courts. We were also anxiously awaiting a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court regarding Friedrichs vs. the American Federation of Teachers. Over the last few weeks there have been decisions made, court dates scheduled and a dramatic shift in the make-up of the U.S. Supreme Court.
No doubt, you’ve already heard that ultra-conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia passed, leaving a seat empty on the highest court of the land, and shifting the balance of power from 5-to-4 to an even split between conservatives and liberals. For public workers and our unions, this means that the Supreme Court will – by vote or by default – uphold the lower court’s decision that public sector unions can continue to collect agency fees from non-members in order to fund our mandates to represent public sector workers in contract negotiations and contract enforcement.
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! If you or one of your children are attending or planning to attend a college, a university or a technical school, you may be eligible for one of these scholarships.
- Applications for the Middlesex & Somerset Counties AFL-CIO Labor Council Raymond A. Peterson Scholarship are due no later than April 8, 2016. Click here to download the application.
- Applications for the Abe Solomon Scholarship Funded sponsored by the Bergen County Central Trades & Labor Council are due by April 9, 2016. Download the application here.
- Applications for the Essex-West Hudson Labor Council Scholarship are due April 15, 2016. Click here to download the application.
- Information about CWA’s Beirne Foundation scholarship is available online at http://www.cwa-union.org/pages/beirne_scholarship_application. The deadline for applications is April 29, 2016.
- Applications for the Monmouth & Ocean Counties Central Labor Council Memorial Scholarship are due no later than May 6, 2016. Click here to download the application.
The results are in and CWA members statewide voted overwhelmingly in favor of a dues increase by an 81 percent “YES” to 19 percent “no” vote! In Local 1037, we had 88% support for the measure, as members voted 2,566 to 343. This means we can afford to run an effective campaign to pass the Constitutional Amendment on the ballot this November requiring the State to fully fund our pensions!
But this vote was just one step in a much bigger campaign – and we need EVERY MEMBER to commit to making sure we win the Constitutional Amendment in November. That means talking to your friends, family and co-workers, but it also means phone banking and door knocking and anything else we need to do to bring our message to the voters. Together, the 800,000 New Jersey residents who are current or future retirees can win – if we all do our part!
Sign up to participate in door-knocking, phone-banking, and whatever it takes to make sure this ballot initiative passes! You can sign up online at http://bit.ly/OurPension.