CWA-State of NJ 2023-2027 Tentative Contract Information

As we announced on September 28th, CWA has come to a tentative agreement with the State of New Jersey on a new contract, running from July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2027.

Attached are some more documents that will help you to understand the terms of this proposed agreement.

All dues-paying CWA members will be given the opportunity to vote on this contract in the coming weeks. To make sure you don’t miss out on any information and get the opportunity to vote on this agreement, become a member today by speaking with your worksite branch president, shop steward, or by filling out a membership card online at

CWA and State of New Jersey Reach Tentative Contract

CWA is extremely proud to announce that it has reached a tentative agreement with the State of New Jersey for a new contract covering our 35,000 members in the executive branch. We are finalizing the terms in writing and will provide details directly to our membership in the coming days.

To be clear, any success and power CWA has at the bargaining table is based on membership solidarity, patience, and strength. When we fight, we win. Together, we fought for a pattern-breaking contract and this tentative agreement has significant gains for members in every part of CWA’s membership.

Since February, our membership has been unified in its goal of winning significant salary growth, protecting healthcare, and recognizing telework as a new reality in many of our worksites. This tentative agreement delivers strongly on those goals and sets a foundation for continued work in several areas.

Compensation Package

  • Wins the largest across-the-board package over the life of the contract since our 2007-2011 contract, with members receiving raises averaging between 19% and 35%
  • Provides across-the-boards of 14%, exclusive of annual step increases which average an additional 3.7% per year. The first ATB is retroactive to July 1, 2023.
  • Adds Step 11 to top of all pay ranges, effective July 2025
  • Adjusts all titles below range 9 to at least Range 9-step 2, establishing a new minimum salary for all CWA-represented positions, effective July 2024
  • Secures Clothing Maintenance Allowance payments for the life of the contract, retroactive for 2023

Health Benefits

  • Secures our current plan design and contribution increases – secured our current contribution rates for CWA Unity Direct
  • Continues negotiations on plan design issues such as copays through the State Plan Design Committee, and all affected unions


  • Establishes process for continued negotiations on telework program to start October 15, 2023 and end by March 15, 2024 before the Civil Service Commission considers a permanent rule
  • Provides a process to address exclusions of members in the departments of Children and Families and Law and Public Safety

Our tentative agreement also secures improved health and safety procedures, agreements to reduce and convert temporary positions into full-time bargaining unit positions, changes to Civil Service issues like out-of-title work appeals and supervisory position requirements, and continued negotiations to place Rowan SOM members in the state ranges and steps.

We look forward to sharing full details by early next week once the parties have signed off on the final documents, which is in progress.

Your Local leadership will distribute the Tentative Agreement materials and schedule membership meetings to explain the agreement and ratification procedures.



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 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 District 1 Update – February 2023

Dear Members,

Happy New Year! We’re writing today to share some important info that directly impacts you and your family. 2023 is going to be a big deal for state workers. Our current contract expires on June 30th, and CWA has just begun bargaining for our next 4-year contract. In order to get the best contract possible, it’s going to take all of us fighting together!

Only members of the union get to have input into the contract proposals, and only members vote on the final contract – these are rights and privileges we gain by committing to standing together.

Being a union member is an investment in ourselves and our family. The commitment to each other is what gives our union power, because it shows the boss that we have each other’s backs and will fight for what we deserve: dignity and safety in the workplace, and a fair contract that provides economic security for all CWA members and our families. With bargaining about to start, now is the time to stand with your co-workers and join the union!

Here is a link to our CWA electronic membership card – please download and type in the highlighted boxes (including your signature), and then email it back to CWA Local 1031 at .

Did you know that last year, CWA had three major accomplishments?

  1. After years of fighting to make sure our pensions are properly funded, the State not only made the full pension payment, an additional $500 million was included.
  2. When hit with a more than 20% increase in health benefit premiums, the union fought back and negotiated it down to 3%, which for most members amounted to just a few dollars per pay period. It was the first increase in 3 years!
  3. CWA worked with other public sector unions to get the Responsible Collective Negotiations Act (RCNA) passed and signed into law. This is the most important pro-union legislation passed and signed into law in three decades, expanding what we can negotiate for to include some vital aspects of our jobs like anti lay-off and anti-privatization job security language. Among the other things this bill does, it allows unions to charge non-members the cost of arbitration in discipline. Depending on the amount of days needed to present the case, the cost of arbitration can run from a few thousand dollars to in excess of $10,000. In order to be eligible to have the union pay for an arbitration case, you must be a full, dues paying member before to being called in to a Weingarten meeting, the time you become aware that you are being investigated for possible discipline. Otherwise, you would be responsible for the entire cost and you must pay a significant portion up front.

We need to build as much power as possible to bargain this next contract. Our union power is based on state employees like yourself standing side by side with your co-workers as CWA members.

Here is the link again that connects you to an electronic signature card.

We’re happy to answer any questions you may have so don’t hesitate to reach out to your Branch President for more information.

In solidarity,

Dennis G. Trainor, Vice President CWA District 1
Fran Ehret, NJ Director CWA District 1
John Rose, President Local 1031
Migdalia Santiago, President Local 1032
Gaye Palmer, President Local 1033
Adam Liebtag, President Local 1036
Ken McNamara, President Local 1037
Shawn Ludwig, President Local 1038
Michele Long-Vickers, President Local 1040