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 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.”

CWA 1031 Solidarity Day – April 6th

Thank you to the over 10,000 members who have signed the petition calling for a Fair Contract Now!

It is not too late to add your name to the thousands of others who are fighting for a new State Worker contract with raises, protecting our healthcare, and expanding our workplace programs like telework.

Sign the Petition –

Thursday, April 6 is a CWA 1031 State Worker Solidarity Day

This Thursday, April 6, we ask all members to WEAR CWA RED to work, whether you are working in office or remotely.

We are building visibility around our contract negotiations while our bargaining team meets with the State this week. We ask our members to WEAR RED and take solidarity pictures with your coworkers, or a selfie if you are teleworking, or at lunch with a few of your coworkers holding a “Fair Contract Now” sign.


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

Show your solidarity! 2023 Contract Petition

Show your solidarity and sign out 2023 Bargaining Petition! Click Here

Now that we have the results of the 2023 State worker bargaining survey, the bargaining committee has been hard at work preparing proposals to reflect your priorities. As we start negotiations, we wanted to share what members said should be some of our biggest priorities at the bargaining table.

Economic issues are front and center for us in this round of negotiations.

Salary increases – We are not in a 2% world. We know the state’s economy is strong right now, inflation has hit everyone hard and continues to do so, and the labor market has changed. Our bargaining demands reflect these realities. Our demands on salary also take our membership into consideration. We have members still moving through the step system and we want to protect that system, and hopefully expand it. We have members at lower wage scales and we want to try to bring those up. We also have members at top step who have been there for a while. Bottom line, we are looking for higher raises and we will try to modernize the structure of the step program for all members.

Healthcare – members are in solidarity around protecting what we have, doing what we can to avoid paying more, and trying to deal with the copay increases for specialists and urgent care visits that happened this year due to the unprecedented premium increases.

During the last round of negotiations, we did a lot of work on health benefits. We negotiated away from the chapter 78 contribution rates and implemented our own rates which are a percent of salary and are much lower than if we stayed on chapter 78. This was good bargaining and has saved members thousands of dollars in the past 5 years. In fact, the only increase we have had in our contribution rates since 2019 was the small 3% increase we negotiated for 2023. That’s a success and we need to protect it.

Telework – it works well for some of our members. Some are happy with the current program and some want it expanded even more, or made more flexible. Keep in mind however that CWA represents members across ALL state government in ALL lines of work. Telework is not possible for all lines of work, so as a UNION we won’t sacrifice one group for another in terms of telework but let’s keep in mind it doesn’t work the same for everyone. We intend to bargain tough and smart on this issue because we recognize our workplaces are modernizing very quickly and telework is becoming a recruitment and retention issue as much as wages.

Job Security – As a result of our collective political efforts in passing the Responsible Collective Negotiations Act (RCNA), we now have the opportunity to negotiate anti-layoff and anti-privatization contract language under that new state law. Many members are also concerned about the threats to our jobs and promotional opportunities due to the ever increasing use of temporary workers. Fighting for strong job protections will be an on-going priority in this and every contract we bargain in the future.

There are of course other priorities in the surveys and other long-term priorities for the Union. We are going to bargain tough to get the best contract possible.

We have high goals we’re fighting for, so we’re going to need you and all of members to be 100% engaged and ready to mobilize to help push us over the goal line. We’ll be providing updates throughout the process so keep an eye out. The first thing we’re asking members to do is go to the link below and sign a petition to show your support for the bargaining team’s efforts. Our solidarity is what will give us the power to win!

In solidarity,

John Rose
Mickey Santiago
Gaye Palmer
Adam Liebtag
Ken McNamara
Shawn Ludwig
Michele Long-Vickers
Dennis Trainor
Fran Ehret