Summary of Tentative Agreement between The Child Care Workers Union (AFSCME / CWA) and The State of New Jersey

CWA Local 1037 has reached a tentative agreement with the State of New Jersey for a new union contract for our childcare workers union! This tentative agreement only becomes a contract if Providers vote yes, so please review all of the information, including how you can vote.

Our new contract includes huge raises for Registered, Accredited and FFN Providers ranging from 23.4% to 63.6%. The contract also includes some important new language that protects Providers and includes additional benefits.

Please review the Summary of the Tentative Agreement document by clicking here. (Para Español haga click aquí). We will hold a virtual union meeting via Zoom on Monday, November 22nd where we will discuss the tentative agreement and voting. You will receive an email with the meeting link.

This “tentative agreement” now requires you to act before it can become our union contract. You will be receiving a package in the mail next week that includes a membership application and voting instructions. All Providers who are members of the CCWU (AFSCME or CWA 1037) have a right to vote.  Once you receive the mailing, please complete the enclosed CWA Local 1037 Child Care Workers Union Opt-in form. Then, review the voting instructions and cast your vote. We are urging you to VOTE YES! Once completed, please return all the materials in the enclosed envelope. Ballots must be received by Friday, December 3, 2021.

If you have any questions, please contact your Shop Steward, call the Local 1037 office at (973) 623 – 1828, or email us at info@cwa1037.org.

Thank you for taking the time to participate in your Union.

In Solidarity,

Shanita Hargrove                                                          Ken McNamara,

Vice President                                                                President            

Essex County Child Care Provider

2021-2024 CHILDCARE WORKER INFORMATION AND RESOURCE

RATIFICATION/ CONTRACT VOTING INFORMATION

You will be receiving a package in the mail next week that includes a membership application and voting instructions. All Providers who are members of the CCWU (AFSCME or CWA 1037) have a right to vote.  Once you receive the mailing, please complete the enclosed CWA Local 1037 Child Care Workers Union Opt-in form. Then, review the voting instructions and cast your vote. We are urging you to VOTE YES! Once completed, please return all the materials in the enclosed envelope. Ballots must be received by Friday, December 3, 2021.

Meet Our Shop Steward: Mac Biggers

Mac Biggers is a Technological Service Specialist and a CWA 1037 Shop Steward at the NJ Commission for the Blind & Visually Impaired. As a specialist for the past six years, Biggers has focused on providing technology services to blind students and their educational staff.

Can you explain to us what your job entails? 

[MB] – I evaluate students to determine what technology they need so that they can compete with their sighted peers. If I decide that technology is necessary for a student, I train them and the educational staff on the product and how to use it. A lot of the time, we use everyday technology that has built-in accessibility features. Some items or iPads and laptops with magnification or speech features allow them to access everything their sighted peer can. I like the fact that I get to share my love of technology and my life experience of going blind and losing my eyesight as a kid. By using these insights, I also am able to help educate schools on how to best work with kids who are blind. 

How long have you been a Shop Steward? 

[MB] – Officially for three years. Although I have always been known as a troublemaker and making sure my thoughts are heard. 

What kind of challenges do you and your coworkers face on the job? How do you overcome them?

[MB] – I would have to say that the biggest challenge that we have in the workplace is people not understanding what we do or even why we do things the way we do. We overcome this by sitting down and educating people on what and why we follow specific procedures. 

What have you learned from your time as a Shop Steward, both as a communicator and in the relationship with your coworkers?

[MB] – The thing that I feel I have learned the most is the need just to listen. Not everything is an issue sometimes, people just need a wall to rebound off of. When it comes to relationships, you need to be able to respect everyone, though, no matter how much you agree or disagree. Being that neutral party and helping people talk through what is going on usually solves most problems. 

You are involved in the community. Can you tell us a bit more about that? 

[MB] – As a blind individual, I am very active in the blindness community. I am a president for one of the local chapters of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB). The NFB is the largest advocacy organization with 50,000 members. I feel this is because it is all in our name, the National Federation of the Blind, not for the Blind. We are a collective movement helping people with the same issues. I have grown up having to self-advocate and having parents tell me that I can do whatever I want. Some of these include running the 2002 Para Olympic torch, participating in sports for the blind on a national level, and traveling coast to coast advocating for the blind. 

What made you get involved? 

[MB] – I think my involvement started when I was young. I was a shy kid growing up, but as it got harder and harder to see, my parents could advocate for me. Soon I realized that my parents weren’t always going to be there, and in order to survive in the sighted world, I needed to speak up. The first time I remember putting my foot down and advocating was in elementary school when one of my teachers didn’t want anything to do with me and didn’t want to help accommodate anything. My mom said, let’s transfer you into the other class. I told my mom no if I transfer and let her win, I don’t help myself or anyone else after me. Well, let me tell you that elementary school really got to know me. I think I was also the first blind kid who advocated to ride his bike to school and won the school district’s argument. 

Do you have any pearls of wisdom for union members who may be considering becoming a Shop Steward? 

[MB] – The most important words that I have are to be passionate and humble in all that you do. Be able to put your thoughts and feelings aside and try to put yourself in the shoes of others. 

Horizon Health Webinars for State Workers: November Schedule

State workers in the State Health Benefits plan have access to free health webinars from Horizon. The November webinar sessions will cover topics about protecting yourself against winter illnesses as well as daily practices for preventing and easing health issues. Click on the title to register. Space
is limited.

Managing Diabetes and Prediabetes, Wednesday, November 10, 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
According to the American Diabetes Association, over 30 million Americans are living with diabetes and millions more are considered prediabetic. With numbers of this magnitude, chances are you or someone you love has been directly impacted by the disease. Join us this National Diabetes Awareness Month to discuss this important epidemic.

Family Well-Being, Tuesday, November 16, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
In this webinar, we discuss building better family meals by educating the group on proper nutrients, using the My Plate method, and staying on track. We will also teach simple methods to get fit as a family by exploring exercising and defining exercise goals, as well as understanding how sleep can drive overall health success.

Biometrics: Know Your Numbers, Monday, November 22, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
In this course you will learn to understand what biometric values mean, learn to appreciate their importance, and realize how lifestyle habits may affect results.

Don’t Forget Your Social Life! Monday, November 29, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Are you working your life away by working six days a week or twelve hours a day? Don’t forget that it’s important to close that mental office “door,” kick back for some leisure and fun, and remember that stress reduction activities are an essential part of life. Make time for your favorite hobbies as well as the people who are important to you. Learn more in this course!

For a list of recorded webinars, please visit https://www.horizonblue.com/shbp/njwell/njwell-webinars.