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Passaic Social Services Workers Mobilize Demanding a Fair Contract

“What do we want? A fair contract! When do we want it? Now!”

On February 22, CWA 1037 members at Passaic County Board of Social Services (PCBSS) picketed Board Chairwoman Carol Cuadrado to demand a fair contract. The contract expired 25 months ago, and workers have been mobilizing for months to pressure PCBSS to reach a fair agreement.

A hundred workers chanted and held signs outside of 100 Hamilton Plaza in Paterson, while some joined the virtual Board Meeting of the PCBSS held at the same time. The Board continues to hold meetings virtually, refusing to meet with their constituents even though the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency orders have been lifted since June of 2021. Wanda Sawyer, a Vice President of CWA 1037 spoke on-camera at the meeting. “The Board will not ignore us! Fair Contract Now!”

On February 27, the workers mobilized again. Workers rallied outside of the PCBSS offices and marched the Passaic County Commissioners Meeting, where they filled the room. “We went over to the Commissioners Meeting because even though we don’t negotiate with them directly, two members do sit on the Board of Social Services,” said Karen McDougald, a CWA 1037 Shop Steward and Human Services Specialist at PCBSS.

“This is the longest we have gone without a contract, and the Board refuses to reach a deal with us,” said McDougald.

In a visible show of strength, clad in red CWA shirts, workers chanted and sent a clear message to the commissioners – FAIR CONTRACT NOW!

Workers are determined to get a contract and have vowed to continue mobilizing until they get one. “We’re just going to keep moving forward with everything we have,” said McDougald. “We’re going to do whatever it takes to get this contract settled.”