Jared Berger is a Geospatial Analyst and CWA 1037 Shop Steward at the New Jersey Water Supply Authority.
Berger’s analysis helps identify prime land in the headwaters of the Authority’s reservoir for the purpose of preservation. The NJ Water Supply Authority maintains the water resources of the Raritan Basin system—which includes the Spruce Run Reservoir, Round Valley Reservoir, and the Delaware and Raritan Canal—providing water to over 1.5 million residents in central New Jersey.
Shop Stewards are the backbone of a Union Local and are the key to building a strong, democratic labor movement. Stewards provide a vital link between the CWA’s elected officers, the Employer, and their fellow workers. As an elected Shop Steward, Berger plays an important role as a point of contact between members and union staff and leadership, keeping members informed workplace issues, addressing any concerns or questions members have at the worksite, and organizing members to be active in their union.
Jared, what made you decide to step up as a steward?
[JB] – I have a really positive view of the work that the CWA does in NJ and nationwide. When we have an unfriendly governor in Trenton, they help to protect members from damaging decisions, and when we have a friendly governor in Trenton, they negotiate on decisions that will make member’s working lives better. The position of steward at my site was vacant for several years, so I decided to help with that interface between members and the local office.
What do you like about the steward role?
[JB] – I like being able to represent my coworkers when it comes to issues that come up here at my site or statewide.
What have you learned about the steward role?
[JB] – Not a huge amount yet, but I’ve gotten an idea for how people feel about union membership at my site and who is interested in engaging with the local organization.
Do you have any advice for others considering taking on a steward role at their worksites?
[JB] – If someone is considering taking the steward role and their site is in need of one, they should absolutely do it! They are providing a vital link for their coworkers to be heard by the local office, and also keeping their worksite visible to union and state officials. Membership needs all the help it can get right now, and having a steward at your site can make a difference to someone who has questions or concerns.
Watch a video featuring Jared on Instagram, here.