Victory! CWA 1037 Wins Bargaining Agreement Over Healthcare with Leaguers

CWA 1037 reached an agreement with The Leaguers this week that maintained the same level of benefits coverage without passing on increases in costs to workers. In August, Leaguers management had announced a 6.5% increase in health insurance premiums and planned to pass 100% of the cost onto the backs of workers, foregoing any additional employer contributions.

These healthcare hikes would have harmed workers who are already struggling with the new health insurance changes. It would have added to the destabilization of childcare available to working-class communities and communities of color. Organizers mobilized quickly, reaching out to stewards and members at various worksites to take action and push against the proposal.

CWA 1037 in partnership with NJ Communities United and the Workers in Early Childhood Education Action Network held a direct-action training meeting, distributed flyers, and circulated a petition that opposed increases in health care costs. The organizing proved successful as the meeting had record attendance and petitions were signed by a vast majority of the workers. Leaguers were prepared to deliver the petitions to management, but their voices were heard in time! On Wednesday, October 21, Leaguers management agreed to pay the full cost of the increase. This agreement also resolved a previous grievance on healthcare. This is a win for childcare workers.

Meet Our Shop Steward: Katwana Davis

Katwana Davis is a Supervising Family Service Specialist II at the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCP&P). DCP&P ensures the safety, permanency and well-being of children and supports families. Katwana supervises five family service specialist workers to ensure they engage with families throughout the case until they can successfully function without DCP&P involvement. 

Katwana joined our union years ago to have a voice in decisions that affected her working environment, which she felt “would be almost impossible on an individual level but with the support of the Union, change can be accomplished”.  

Katwana, what made you become a Shop Steward?
[KD] – I believe in the power our Union and wanted to play an integral part in conveying the ideals of CWA by articulating their vision of improving the work life, health and economic status of members as a an advocate. Most importantly, to obtain the ability to provide members with accurate information. 

What have you learned in this role as a Shop Steward?
[KD] – I learned that being an advocate for and the forefront of protecting jobs and welfare of my fellow employees is rewarding. 

What advice would you give to a member who is considering becoming a Shop Steward?
[KD] – The Union starts with “U”, meaning having an active role in the Union gives you insight into your working environment and how it can be improved and with this knowledge they can help their fellow workers.