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)

Bargaining Update – May 2, 2023

We would like to begin by thanking our CWA members who signed the bargaining petition highlighting the important demands we are fighting for at the negotiations table. On April 26, a delegation of more than 300 worksite leaders marched to the State House and delivered our bargaining petition to Governor Murphy. Those members chanted “Fair Contract Now” because that is what we are fighting for and what we deserve.

Our CWA Bargaining Committee has held nine bargaining sessions with the State since late February. On day one, CWA presented a full set of proposals – economic and non-economic – because we were ready to do the intense work needed to deliver this contract before June 30. Our demands are designed to meet the moment we are in – post-COVID, short-staffed, and ready to build a strong contract for the next several years.

Unfortunately, progress is moving slower than we would like. We delivered the petition directly to Governor Murphy and we will continue mobilizing and creating pressure to deliver the strong contract CWA State Workers need. We have made progress on Health and Safety and other non-economic issues. Other important priorities like Telework, Job Security, and Out-of-Title work have been on the table for months but are not yet resolved. Our strong proposal on compensation is still under review. We have several negotiations dates scheduled throughout May and our team is pressing to reach an agreement – that meets our demands – as soon as possible.

Member activism is how we win a good contract. Members organized bargaining surveys in their worksites, collected over 10,000 signers on the petition stating our priorities, gathered for solidarity actions at worksites throughout April, and just delivered our petition to the Governor. Our campaign is continuing in May with additional mobilization activities to keep our members involved in the bargaining process. Membership action shows the administration you stand with your Bargaining Committee and want a fair contract.

Support from every member is crucial to our collective success. We ask every member to continue to wear RED on Thursdays as a clear sign of solidarity.

When we fight, we win! Let’s keep up the fight!

In solidarity,

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

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 info@cwa1031.org .

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