About Local 1031

Kathleen Hernandez

Kathy has made Local 1031 her professional home since 1992.   She was hired as an intern at Local 1031 over 10 years ago while attending Rutgers School of Labor, and she has worked her way up to a Staff Representative I.

During this time she has worked with every kind of worker who is represented by our 1031 workforce, State Workers, UMDNJ Supervisors, Library Personnel and Township Employees. She has proudly brought groups from hopeful Organizing Committees to a first contract.  Kathy ran for office of Executive Vice President in 2002 and began her three year term on January 1, 2003. In 2023, Local 1031 members elected her president, and she started her three year term in January 2024.

As Kathy stated in her campaign, “CWA members deserve dedicated leaders who put their needs first. This is a promise you can count on”.

John Polk
Staff Representative

John Polk joined the Local in July, 2003 as a Staff Representative III.  John is currently on an indefinite leave from his state worker position at William Paterson University.  He has served our Local as a shop steward for many years as well as an elected Branch Treasurer for two terms.  In 2004 John took over the position of Secretary/Treasurer.

We welcome John to our staff and we are confident that he will be able to assist our members’ needs.

Rene Garzon
Staff Representative / Organizer

Rene worked for Verizon Information Services for Thirteen years with the last six years as an Inside Sales Representative.  In October of  2000, he helped organize Verizon Information Services, a process that lasted two and a half years giving Verizon employees a voice at the work place in 19 East Coast Divisions.  Rene joined Local 1031 in March 2003 as an Organizer.

Rene strongly believes that to protect the employee’s working rights, they need a Union  to represent them and he believes that there is no other Union like CWA.

Phyllis Haefner
Part-time Staff Representative

Phyllis is a graduate of Montclair State and Rutgers University (School of Communication, Information & Library Studies, and School of Management and Labor Relations). In 2000, she took early retirement from the Ocean County Library System after twenty-five years of service. As a Librarian, she was very active in her union, OPEIU, serving as a Shop Steward for twenty years.

Phyllis joined CWA Local 1031 in October of 2001 as a part-time staff rep for the Libraries