Author Archives: Karina Castrillo

CWA Endorses Newark Mayor Ras Baraka & His Entire Team for This May’s Municipal Election

(NEWARK, NJ) – Today, the Communications Workers of America (CWA) endorsed Mayor Ras Baraka for the upcoming Newark Municipal Election.  The Union also endorsed the entire Baraka Team up-and-down the slate.

“Thank you to the Communications Workers of America for their endorsement of TEAM BARAKA!,” said Mayor Ras Baraka. “When we unite, we are stronger and can intentionally move our workers forward.  As one of the largest and most diverse unions, this valued organization is founded on the core principles that as an integrated part of society, they are entitled to an equitable share in the products of our labor, and that welfare can best be protected and advanced through the united effort of all workers.  I look forward to working together to advance the quality of life of workers through efforts and policy that are imperative to our future.”

“Mayor Baraka is the right leader with the right skills and principles to keep Newark going in the positive direction we’ve seen under his stewardship,” said Dennis Trainor, Vice President for CWA District 1. “Ras Baraka has proven time and again that he has our Union’s back.  He’s a terrific and inspiring mayor for both Newark and our members.”

“When we first endorsed Mayor Baraka 8 years ago, it was because he’s a leader who clearly understands this isn’t just about one single election. It’s about core values and building a movement to revitalize urban areas, help all families and make all our communities stronger,” said Fran Ehret, CWA NJ State Director. ““Whether as Newark’s Mayor or Councilman, as an educator or a community organizer, Ras Baraka shares CWA’s ideals of equality, justice and sticking up for working families.”

“As a resident of Newark – along with my fellow 2,000 CWA members who live here – I’ve witnessed first-hand the tremendous progress this city we love has made under Mayor Baraka and his team,” said Ken McNamara, CWA Local 1037 President. “The thousands of CWA members who live and work here are ready to roll up our sleeves and hit the streets in support of the entire Baraka Team.  And we look forward to continue working with Mayor Baraka to keep moving things forward for a better, more progressive and prosperous Newark for everyone.”

CWA’s endorsements of Team Baraka in Newark:

Ras Baraka – Mayor – Incumbent

LaMonica McIver – City Council – Central Ward – Incumbent

Louis Weber – City Council – East Ward

Anibal Ramos – City Council – North Ward – Incumbent

Pat Council – City Council – South Ward

Dupre Kelly – City Council – West Ward

Louise Rountree – City Council – At-Large

Luis Quintana – City Council – At-Large – Incumbent

Carlos Gonzalez – City Council – At-Large – Incumbent

Lawrence Crump – City Council – At-Large – Incumbent

CWA represents over 2,000 members who live in Newark, as well as thousands more who work in The Brick City. These include state and county workers, plus private sector workers in telecommunications, workers in group homes and day programs for the disabled, NJPAC staff, in-care child-care providers, center-based child care workers and teachers aides and support staff in pre-schools.

The Newark mayoral and council election will be held on May 10th, 2022.

Nominate Tom Bruno for PERS Board of Trustees

Nominations are open for the State employee representative on the Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) Board of Trustees. State Workers have an opportunity to nominate our CWA Union Brother, Tom Bruno for re-election to the PERS Board of Trustees.

Click here to nominate Tom Bruno to PERS Board of Trustees.

Tom Bruno has been fighting for public worker pension security as Chairman of the PERS Board of Trustees since 2007. He filed a first-ever lawsuit against Governor Chris Christie to restore payments to the fund on behalf of public workers. He successfully demanded to decrease the amount of pension funds allocated to high-risk hedge fund investments – lowering fees and keeping more of your money in the pension system. Recently, he mounted a campaign to stop Senator Sweeney’s attempt to destabilize the PERS.

Tom was an employee for the Department of Human Services at the Division of Developmental Disabilities for 35 years. A member of CWA since 1982, he was an organizer and staff representative and later became the President of CWA’s Hunterdon Development Center Branch. He is an author of books concerning privatization and worked with legislators to write the only anti-privatization bill to be signed into law in NJ.

State Workers are eligible to vote on PERS Board nominations by visiting https://vote.election-america.com/pers-state/. Please log in and sign on to nominate TOM BRUNO by January 7th, 2022!

Childcare Providers at La Casa de Don Pedro Deliver Petitions to Demand Breaks Be Respected

On December 3rd, childcare workers at La Casa de Don Pedro in Newark gathered to deliver petitions to management demanding their rights to breaks be respected. Workers have been unable to take their lunch breaks, even foregoing restrooms breaks due to a staffing shortage at La Casa.

“We have a big problem. Today we were desperate to go to the restroom, but we couldn’t because each of us are alone with 14 children, and we can’t take a break,” said Diocelin Velazquez, a teacher at La Casa. “It’s a situation that we need to resolve. We need more staff. The quality of our teaching is being affected.”

Childcare providers have been enduring long days at work without relief for weeks; forced to take on roles that are not in their job description, including cleaning the classrooms, and even the restrooms due to La Casa’s refusal to hire more workers. “The hygiene is so poor because we need more maintenance workers. We teachers are not just doing our work of teaching, we are doing cleaning work. We are cleaning the floors, the toys because we do not want to receive the kids in these conditions. This does not allow us the time to give them the quality of education that we have been known for at La Casa de Don Pedro,” Azucena Delgado, a teacher at La Casa explained.

CWA Local 1037 members along with organizing partner NJ Communities United mobilized to deliver the petition in person to La Casa’s Chief Executive Officer Peter Rosario. When workers arrived at the La Casa worksite on 75 Park Avenue, they were informed that Rosario was not in the office, and were therefore turned away. Nevertheless, these workers were undeterred in their appeal to have their rights to breaks respected, and walked to hand in their 37 petition signatures to a manager in another office. Workers chanted in unison, “When We Fight, We Win!”