Christie: Flipping the Script

In his own words, Governor Christie said the 2011 reform gives public workers a “contractual right” to full payments into the pension. Now, he wants to flip the script. It is time for the Governor to act responsibly- obey the law and fund the pension!

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PROTECT YOUR PENSION

pensionTake an active role in securing your retirement by voting for union endorsed candidates for Trustees to the PERS (Public Employee Retirement System) Board

From April 1, 2015 – May 30, 2015, you can easily vote online or by phone by doing the following:

Take an active role in securing your retirement by voting for union endorsed candidates for Trustees to the PERS (Public Employee Retirement System) Board

From April 1, 2015 – May 30, 2015, you can easily vote online, by mail or by phone by doing the following:

  1. Receive your paper ballot from your HR representative or certifying officer (this should be delivered to you between April 1 and April 10, 2015)
  2. Locate your PIN # on the ballot
  3. Cast your vote by calling 888-845-2757 for County employees or 888-845-2758 for state employees. Online voting is available at  https://vote.election-america.com/NJState

Please keep in mind that only active employees (not retirees) that are enrolled in the PERS retirement system can vote in this election.  If you are a municipal employee, you cannot vote in this year’s election.

If you are an active State Employee, please vote to elect Cary Brown.  To find out more about Carey, CLICK HERE.

If you are a County Employee, please vote to elect Tracy Smith.  To find out more about Tracy,CLICK HERE.

Why is this election important?  WHAT’S AT STAKE?

Last June, the Board of the NJ PERS voted to sue Governor Christie for his failure to make required contributions to our pension. The part of that lawsuit which will determine if the Governor must make the payment for this fiscal year is before the courts right now.  And so, management is looking to win the upcoming PERS election and retake a majority on the Board. If they are successful, the Board will likely vote to defund the current lawsuit – and let Christie off the hook.

Questions about how to vote?  Did you not receive your paper ballot?

Contact the help desk at Help+NJPERS@election-america.com or contact your Shop Steward or Union Representative.

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Using Our Votes to Protect Our Pension

Carey Brown is a career public worker who has been a member of the PERS system for 14 years. Currently an Investigator in the Department of Treasury, he holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. A union member in every job he has held, Carey has been a Shop Steward for CWA Local 1037 for the last 8 years. “Public workers dedicate our entire careers to serving the public and making New Jersey a better place," says Carey. "Many of us plan to rely on our pension when we retire – and we deserve a strong and outspoken advocate at the table. I will be that person.”

Carey Brown is a career public worker who has been a member of the PERS system for 14 years. Currently an Investigator in the Department of Treasury, he holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. A union member in every job he has held, Carey has been a Shop Steward for CWA Local 1037 for the last 8 years.
“Public workers dedicate our entire careers to serving the public and making New Jersey a better place,” says Carey. “Many of us plan to rely on our pension when we retire – and we deserve a strong and outspoken advocate at the table. I will be that person.”

In April, public workers will have an opportunity to vote for a candidate to fill an open seat on the Public Employees’ Retirement (PERS) Board. This open position could swing the direction of the Board towards management, or public workers can elect Cary Brown to the seat and protect the balance of the PERS leadership.

CWA Local 1037 proudly endorses Carey Brown for several very important reasons:

  • Carey Brown has dedicated his career to public service. Before working in New Jersey, Carey worked for the NYC Transportation Authority and the Board of Education for the City of New York. Carey continued his public service in New Jersey as a Case Worker for the Union County Division of Social Services before becoming an Investigator for the New Jersey Department of Taxation.
  • Carey Brown’s skills as an investigator are desperately needed on the PERS Board. As an investigator Mr. Brown has brought the state of New Jersey hundreds of thousands of dollars to make New Jersey whole again from those who would seek to not contribute their fair share. The skills and leadership that drive Mr. Brown to hold people accountable for paying their fair share is critical if we are to protect and save the health of our Pension.
  • Carey Brown holds a Master of Public Administration from Kean University, giving him the academic background to understand the complexities involved in managing a system like the PERS.
  • Carey Brown is a proud union member. He has served as a Shop Steward in CWA for the past sixteen years, first at the county level with CWA Local 1080 and currently with CWA Local 1037 at the state level, where he is a member of the union’s Community Services Committee. As a Shop Steward with CWA, Mr. Brown has been on the front lines in the fight to protect our public employees’ pensions.

Mr. Carey Brown’s dedication to public service and public workers, along with his strong background in public administration, more than meets the standards for the best candidate to represent the pension interests of all New Jersey State employees and its retirees.

More information about the PERS Board election in April is forthcoming. CWA Local 1037 and our partner unions representing public workers across the state will distribute detailed information about “how, where and when” to vote. Stay tuned.

 

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Update on the Pension Fight

DSC_0147On February 23rd, Judge Jacobson sided with public employees on the issue of fully funding the public employee’s pension. To no one’s surprise, the Christie Administration may not comply with the court order without a fight. Hetty Rosenstein, the director of CWA NJ, penned an op-ed outlining why the Governor must hold up his end of pension pact.

Hetty writes that, “one of the very first lessons you learn in life is that you’re supposed to obey the law. Sadly, even though he himself was an officer of the court as a lawyer, served as U.S. attorney and now sits as New Jersey’s governor, Chris Christie apparently still has not learned that lesson.”

Read the full editorial at http://bit.ly/1AOf0zI.

At the end of the day, CWA will fight to protect the hard-earned retirement benefits public workers deserve. As we begin contract negotiations with the State and continue the fight to protect our pension, we will need CWA members to stand together in the courts, in the streets, and in the halls of government. Our strength is in our collective power!

 

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CWA Member Leah Coleman Speaks Out

leah colemanNJ.com interviewed CWA member Leah Coleman about her tragic experience being attacked and stabbed 21 times by a client last November while working at the Department of Human Services office in Camden. You may recall that the incident happened just days after the State removed armed security guards from departments of Human Services and Children across New Jersey. Prior to the incident, Ms. Coleman spoke to management about obtaining a restraining order for another client.

“”The thing is, the workers may take it seriously but management doesn’t,” Leah said.

In December, CWA demanded that the State place armed security guards back in buildings or union members would stage a walk-out.

“The safety of our members is paramount and DHS employees across the state were ready to walk-out to protest the lack of security,” says Ken McNamara, president of CWA Local 1037. “But it’s a tragedy that it took this incident for the State to understand the issue.”

You can read the entire interview with Leah Coleman at bit.ly/CWALeah.

 

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NOMINATE CAREY BROWN TO THE BOARD OF THE NJ PUBLIC EMPLOYEE RETIREMENT SYSTEM!

Carey Brown is a career public worker who has been a member of the PERS system for 14 years. Currently an Investigator in the Department of Treasury, he holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. A union member in every job he has held, Carey has been a Shop Steward for CWA Local 1037 for the last 8 years. “Public workers dedicate our entire careers to serving the public and making New Jersey a better place," says Carey. "Many of us plan to rely on our pension when we retire – and we deserve a strong and outspoken advocate at the table. I will be that person.”

Carey Brown is a career public worker who has been a member of the PERS system for 14 years. Currently an Investigator in the Department of Treasury, he holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. A union member in every job he has held, Carey has been a Shop Steward for CWA Local 1037 for the last 8 years.“Public workers dedicate our entire careers to serving the public and making New Jersey a better place,” says Carey. “Many of us plan to rely on our pension when we retire – and we deserve a strong and outspoken advocate at the table. I will be that person.” 

 

Between now and January 9, nominations are open for the State employee representative on the Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) Board of Trustees. Those who receive at least 500 signatures will appear on the ballot in an election to fill the open seat in April. Right now, because State Workers have been united in our support of Labor-endorsed candidates, we hold a one vote majority on the Board.

WHAT’S AT STAKE

Last June, the Board of the NJ PERS voted to sue Chris Christie for his failure to make required contributions to our pension. The part of that lawsuit which will determine if the Governor must make the payment for this fiscal year is before the courts right now.  And so, management is looking to win the upcoming election and retake a majority on the Board. If they are successful, the Board will likely vote to defund the current lawsuit – and let Christie off the hook.

WHAT CAN YOU DO

We MUST unite and protect the voice of State Workers on the NJ PERS Board!  The Public Employee Committee of the NJ State AFL-CIO unanimously voted to nominate CWA 1037 Shop Steward Carey Brown for State Representative on the PERS Board of Trustees. We’re asking you to stand with us and nominate Carey Brown today.

HOW YOU CAN TAKE ACTION

All State employees are eligible to vote on PERS Board nominations by visiting http://bit.ly/NJPension. Please log in and sign on to nominate CAREY BROWN by 4:00 PM on JANUARY 9TH!

 

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Update on Security Measures at DCPP Offices

For CWA Members at DCPP,

Management has apparently gotten our message.

No Safety No WorkToday, two weeks after the attack on our sister Leah – and with the threat of an imminent statewide walk-out – management has finally begun to take action to secure our offices. For this reason we are postponing any job action.

Representative from all three CWA Locals and our National Union have been communicating with management and monitoring progress toward securing each and every worksite. Based on the expedited plan presented to us, we have agreed to hold off on further action at this time.

However, if management does not keep its word or fulfill its promises, they will once again face a job action.

As you may have seen in your office, the State has taken substantial steps in just the last few hours and armed guards have been arriving at many worksites. We have received commitments that the same level of response will continue in the coming days. As we have more information about the timeline for each office, we will make that available.

As we all know, our safety is an issue not only in the office but in the community. It is clear that although our short term goals are being met, we will have to continue to struggle to ensure our safety becomes a management priority. We remain committed to our demands of a return of the Human Services police and metal detectors in every worksite. We also remain committed to broader safety concerns we have raised for some time – including resistance to requests for a Buddy and requiring the use of personal vehicles for certain case work.

We thank every member – and especially every Shop Steward – for the commitment to fight  back and to be united. It is the only reason we are seeing the expedited response to the demand for armed guards. It will also be the reason if we are ultimately successful in making our jobs as safe as possible.

On this day when we celebrate our sister Leah has being released from the hospital, let’s hope this is a turning point not only for Leah and her family, but also in the State’s approach to worker safety. As we have said all along, this fight is about making sure there are no more Leahs. And this win is for her!

In Solidarity,

Ken McNamara, President, CWA 1037
Shawn Ludwig, President, CWA 1038
Lionel Leach, President, CWA 1039

 

 

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What Are You Doing To Support Pro-Worker Candidates This Election Day?

umstotWe are proud to support one of our very own, Jessica Umstot, who is running for Hasbrouck Heights Council. Jessica is a Shop Steward for Local 1037 and a co-chair of our Human Rights & Equity committee. As a proud Union member, we know Jessica will always fight for the rights of working people. Please join your CWA brothers and sisters to knock on doors to support Jessica for Hasbrouck Heights Council – sign up now!

Local 1037 is also supporting Robert Parisi for his bid for re-election as the Mayor of West Orange. His opponent, Eldridge Hawkins, has been one of Chris Christie’s biggest cheerleaders in his attack on working people. Hawkins has publicly supported Christie’s attacks on Civil Service and the elimination of our right to bargain over health care. . Supporting Mayor Parisi will send a loud and clear message to the political bosses who back Christie’s attack on working families. If you’d like to help elect Robert Parisi as the next Mayor of West Orange, sign up here!

We’re excited about this year’s elections – and we hope you are too! We look forward to seeing you on the doors!

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The CWA Movement That Saved a Member’s Home

pauletteWhen it comes to the foreclosure crisis and holding big banks accountable it’s the Wild West. Banks have negotiated back room settlements to avoid disclosing their activities in court – and homeowners have continued to lose their homes at alarming rates in New Jersey. Labor unions, like CWA Local 1037, have a powerful role to play to fight the crisis and force the big banks to play by the rule of law. Unfortunately the system is set up to reward banks while punishing homeowners – but CWA 1037 is engaged in this battle and won’t back down. Check out this important op ed from CWA Local 1037 president Ken McNamara about the fight we waged to save Paulette McQueen’s home from foreclosure.

President McNamara closes his op-ed by stating, “From the streets of Irvington to the national offices of the Communications Workers of America, a movement was built to support Paulette’s fight to save her family’s home from foreclosure. But Paulette and other homeowners like her should not have to wage this type of campaign to achieve justice, or in this case simple fairness and the rule of law. They should be able to rely on the legal system and regulatory agencies to protect their interests. Unfortunately the New Jersey attorney general’s office doesn’t consider families like Paulette’s worthy of their attention.”

If you’re fighting to save your home from foreclosure, you can count on our close partners at NJ Communities United! Contact Mary Szacik at mary@unitednj.org if you need help.

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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast Cancer flyer (2)Breast Cancer has taken too many important women from our lives – which is why CWA Local 1037 is participating in Breast Cancer Awareness Month. We’re asking everyone to wear something pink on Wednesday, October 29th to raise awareness about Breast Cancer!

The best way to fight breast cancer is to have a plan that helps you detect the disease in its early stages. Create your Early Detection Plan to receive reminders to do breast self-exams, and schedule your clinical breast exams and mammograms based on your age and health history.

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