Local 1031 Honored for Organizing at 2023 CWA National Convention

CWA Vice President Kathy Hernandez was among those on hand to receive an award from CWA at our national convention, held in St. Louis last month. Local 1031 was honored for its outstanding work in organizing employees and building CWA power. Many thanks to all of our branch presidents, shop stewards, and members across the state for their hard work.

For more info, check out the CWA website: https://cwa-union.org/news/cwa-locals-and-leaders-honored-organizing-efforts-2023-cwa-convention

NJ State Executive Branch Bargaining Update – 8/7/2023

One Day Longer, One Day Stronger

First, we want to offer our condolences to the family and colleagues of Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver. She was a well-respected leader who broke barriers as a woman of color throughout her political career, including being the first African American Speaker of the Assembly and the first African American woman elected to statewide office. Her leadership will be deeply missed.

Below is a bargaining update which reflects our most recent session on August 7. Our three most recent bargaining sessions were held on July 31, August 1, and August

We have reached tentative agreements on many non-economic issues proposed by CWA including discipline, emergency rates, eyecare reimbursement, continuation of
the SHBP ombudsperson program to assist members with medical and prescription issues, layoff rights for both classified and unclassified members, holidays, stronger
health and safety provisions, and continued clothing maintenance allowance.

During the last two sessions, we made progress on additional non-economic issues including union rights, job security and privatization, reduced use of emps/TES/part time positions, VWXY titles, and agreements to address civil service issues like supervisory positions and out-of-title work.

Salary increases, healthcare cost-sharing, and telework remain open and we expect intense negotiations over these issues. We will likely need to reach agreements on the
open non-economic issues before we can settle these most important issues. We have additional bargaining sessions scheduled during the remainder of August and CWA remains committed to winning a tentative agreement as soon as possible. Please stay in close contact with your Local for more information.

Dennis Trainor, District 1 Vice President
William Gallagher, District 1 Assistant to the VP
Fran Ehret, NJ Area Director
John Rose, Local 1031
Migdalia Santiago, Local 1032
Gaye Palmer, Local 1033
Adam Liebtag, Local 1036
Ken McNamara, Local 1037
Shawn Ludwig, Local 1038
Michele Long-Vickers, Local 1040

NJ State Bargaining Update 8/7/2023 (PDF)

State Workers Contract Bargaining Update – 6/27/2023


June 26, 2023

One day longer, One day stronger

Our CWA Bargaining Team has continued to meet with the State to try to reach a tentative agreement before our current contract expiration of June 30th. CWA has met with the State for 20 sessions, including several sessions throughout late May and early June.

As we know, our current contract remains in full force if we do not have a new ratified agreement before that date, but our goal has been to reach settlement by that date if possible.

We are writing to say we will need more time to get to a complete package that our Bargaining Team would recommend to members. From day one, CWA committed that we are not done with bargaining until we address every issue which members indicated is a priority in the best way possible. We are not there yet. We know that we can do better than what the State is offering, and we will continue negotiating until we have a contract that adequately addresses the needs of our members.

CWA made large and comprehensive demands over wages, telework, and other important issues. We took strong positions, and we are sticking to them. Our members set clear priorities for this contract: significant wage growth that breaks away from the patterns of the past eight years, protect the telework program and ensure that the program is equitable and enforceable, and protect against unaffordable and rapid healthcare increases. We are also trying to improve on prior contract language in areas like layoffs and privatization that protect us in the future.  In addition, we are looking to ensure that promotional opportunities are available to our members and are not handed out to political appointees, bypassing civil service procedures.

Here is the status of the highest priority issues:

  • Salary and Wages: We have made progress on modernizing the step system and creating growth, but we are looking to make more progress. Across the board increases are also still a sticking point. CWA made strong demands in these areas, and we have more work to do to reach a final salary package.
  • Healthcare: We have made progress to protect the Unity PPO plan and contain costs. Our current contract contains a process to reopen negotiations if future premiums increase by a certain amount. This type of reopener clause remains under discussion for our next contract. Again, healthcare is part of a final package, so our work isn’t finished on these issues.
  • Telework and Civil Service Issues: We must secure a process to deal with telework during the period that civil service regulations are created for a permanent program. We also must secure a quick and fair process to deal with disputes that arise on an ongoing basis. The State wants to retain as much control over telework as possible, so we are in intense discussions over how to resolve our issues as part of a final contract.

CWA Strong! Member mobilization has strengthened negotiations this far. We still have more work to do. 

As a recap, here is the timeline of negotiations so far:

  • Fall 2022 – Commenced bargaining preparation, which included surveying members on your priorities for these negotiations.
  • February 16 – First bargaining session.
  • March through April – Solidarity Days every Thursday to support negotiations.
  • April 26 – “Fair Contract” Petition with 10,000 signatures delivered to Governor’s Office by over 300 CWA members.
  • May – Solidarity Days continue.
  • May 31 – Worksite Picketing at over a dozen locations with thousands of CWA members.
  • 20 sessions with the State so far… and counting.

CWA members know that contract negotiations go as long as it takes to reach a quality final package. We know our members are eager to know more details, so please stay in touch with your Local for membership meeting dates and communications.

The CWA Bargaining Team cannot win the contract we need without your support. If we are unable to make sufficient progress at the bargaining table, we will be asking for your help in demonstrating to the State that we are united behind our demands for a fair contract.

CWA Bargaining Committee

Bargaining Update (PDF)

CWA Members Rally for a Fair Contract

CWA state workers at HESAA, Stockton University, and other state worksites across NJ have been meeting up to show their solidarity as we negotiate a new contract with the state. Make sure your branch president or shop steward has your email address to stay up-to-date and informed about actions at your worksite\.

CWA NJ State Workers Show Solidarity

On Wednesday, April 26th, Local 1031 joined with the other CWA Locals to deliver our petition with over 10,000 signatures calling for a fair contract with raises we deserve, protecting telework and protecting high-quality healthcare.

Members, leaders, and our bargaining team marched to the State House in Trenton, carrying a banner bearing the names of the 10,000+ members that signed our petition. Once there, we made our voices heard and delivered our petition to the Governor’s office. NJCU’s branch president, Andy Glogovsky, was selected to be 1031’s representative, personally delivering the petition on behalf of our members.

Check out a replay of the live stream of the rally here!

“We, the Executive Branch employees of the State of New Jersey, stand united in our demand for respect and dignity through a good union contract. We are fighting for significant salary increases that recognize our current economic climate. We are fighting for affordable, quality healthcare, especially in light of the pandemic. We are fighting to modernize our workplaces in order to recruit and retain a talented workforce so we can provide the services NJ residents deserve.”