ATTENTION STATE WORKERS: Local 1037 Emergency Membership Meetings on Upcoming State Worker Contract Bargaining

CWA and the State of New Jersey will soon begin bargaining on a new state worker contract. CWA Local 1037 will be holding meetings to discuss the upcoming state worker contract bargaining. Bargaining surveys will be distributed.

To register for a meeting visit: https://bit.ly/2023bargainingemergencymeeting

Members will be able get access to bargaining surveys online. An email will be sent to all members with a link. If you are not receiving our emails, please contact the Local at 973-623-1828.

Please see your Shop Steward or contact your Staff Representatives for information.

CWA 1037 Workers at PCBSS Remind Each Other of the Power of Solidarity

PCBSS Workers at 80 Hamilton in Paterson pose for a photo together on bargaining day

CWA 1037 workers at the Passaic County Board of Social Services (PCBSS) in Paterson showed unity by wearing CWA red on a Thursday to support our Bargaining Team. “Just to come in wearing red together skyrocketed the morale. You felt a part of something,” Marshena Edwards, a Human Services Specialist at PCBSS explained. After coming out of a pandemic, and meeting with a new PCBSS administration, the Bargaining Team is working to secure a fair contract for 350+ PCBSS workers. The negotiations include securing language in the contract, better working conditions, and other economic and non-economic demands.

PCBSS workers have been deeply engaged in the fight for a fair contract and know that solidarity is our power.

“We showed support to our bargaining unit, and let everyone know that united we stand, divided we fall! Even people who don’t normally participate, showed tremendous support. People were full of humility and joy that day because we felt the strength. It encouraged us as well. Everybody came in so happy.”

Meet Our Shop Steward: Sameerah Bond

Sameerah Bond is a CWA Local 1037 Shop Steward and an Agency Service Representative at the Division of Consumer Affairs in New Jersey. As a staff member for the Board of Nursing, Sameerah provides important services by licensing health care professionals to be able to care for the health of the public. Read on to learn more about Sameerah’s work.

Tell us about your job. What do you do?  

[SB] – I work for the Board of Nursing. I reinstate, reactivate, renew, and upgrade all Registered Professional Nurse (RN) and Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) in the state of New Jersey. We’re one of the biggest nursing boards in the state of New Jersey – handling over 180,000 nurses in the state.

How do you think that the services you provide benefit the people of New Jersey?

[SB] – Well, by issuing licenses to nurses they can be able to work in hospitals to care for patients. Nurses are there to serve the public, and we make sure we review everything before we give them a license. After that, nursing licenses have to be renewed every two years.

During the pandemic when our covid numbers were high, a lot of retired nurses helped out.  Governor Murphy signed an executive order to temporarily reactivate the licenses of retired health care professionals so they could assist patients with covid. (This was for health care professionals who had been previously licensed within the last five years). I assisted with reinstating these expired licenses for nurses so that they could care for patients with Covid and bring them back to health.

Many applied, and many of them are still specifically working with Covid patients providing care.

How long have you worked at the Board of Nursing?

[SB] – 21 years and counting.

Has being in a union helped work through challenges at work? 

[SB] – Yes. Most definitely.

Why do you think being in a union is good for working people?

[SB] – Being in a union means we have the ability to negotiate from a position of strength with employers over wages, benefits, workplace health and safety, job training and other work-related issues. Unions also serve an important role making sure that management acts fairly and treats its employees with respect.

What have you learned from your time as a Shop Steward?

[SB] – I learned that a Shop Steward takes on a number of roles in the union. You provide leadership in the workplace. You organize coworkers to take collective action. You communicate with workers, union leaders, and management. You educate members about solidarity, justice, and the importance of political and legislative action.

Do you have any tips for members considering becoming a Shop Steward?

[SB] – First thing is that you don’t have to be an expert. You have to know how to delegate tasks. Learn how to listen. Never assume management knows better than you. Pick your fights. Always get back to people. Lastly, you have to be a responsible worker on the job.