Local 1037 Lobbies for Fair Trade and a Fair Economy

CWA activists meeting with Congressman Frank Pallone . (from L to R – Dudley Burge - Local 1032, Mauro Camporeale – Local 1037, Seth Hahn – CWA National, Congressman Frank Pallone, Abdul-Basit Haqq – Local 1037, Karen Cunningham – Local 1037, Peter Cipparulo – Local 1038, Tanisha Freeldand – Local 1037)

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.

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Child Care Workers at The Leaguers Vote Overwhelming to Join #CWA1037

IMG_4981The 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.

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Striking Families FundPlease 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.

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aDSC_015a7---CopyFor 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!

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March 2016 #CWA1037 Legal Round-Up

legalAs 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.

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Scholarships for Union Families!

ScholarshipsAre 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.
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CWA Members Voted “YES” to Fund the Campaign to #FundThePension

IMG_87471The 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.

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Saving Liberty State Park

liberty state parkIn November, Chris Christie unveiled a plan to privatize Liberty State Park, New Jersey’s crown jewel on the banks of the Hudson River. Christie’s plan – euphemistically named “Sustainable Parks” – calls for a possible low-rise hotel along the waterfront, restaurants, an amusement park, indoor sports complex and an amphitheater at the south end of the park. Even worse, the plan would privatize and commercialize one of New Jersey’s greatest public assets.

CWA 1037 stands with a long list of environmental organizations, community groups, civic leaders and elected leaders who are strongly opposed to this plan. Beyond protecting the jobs of CWA members who make Liberty State Park great, we also recognize the serious environmental, social and economic impacts of privatizing and developing the park.

Liberty State Park is known as “The People’s Park”- we’ve won these battles before, and we believe we can win again! Please join us and take a stand against Christie’s plan to privatize Liberty State Park! Sign the petition at http://www.savelsp.org/!

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IMG_15001CWA, the AFL-CIO, NJEA and our public worker union allies have taken the next step in our fight to save our pension and the retirement security of hundreds of thousands of New Jersey residents. A ballot question during this coming November’s elections would amend the New Jersey Constitution to ensure that our pensions are fully funded. Now we need you to take the next step by joining this fight.

Just this week, more than 500 CWA Shop Stewards from across New Jersey gathered in East Brunswick to discuss how we win this campaign. What we know is that it will take a lot of hard work, one-on-one conversations, door-knocking, phone banking and a plan to fund these efforts. To win, we will need to take our message to New Jersey voters – even as powerful special interests try to convince voters otherwise. Continue reading

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