LETTER TO DCF WORKERS ABOUT SAFETY
full-text letter here.
Dear DCF Brothers and Sisters,
On July 15, 2015,
two Salem County workers were seriously assaulted while
trying to affect a removal. Although
we believe that they are okay and will make a full
recovery, make no mistake about this: these workers
could have been killed.
We know that you are fiercely devoted to the families
that you work with and that no one wants to turn social
work and family services into law enforcement - but we
must make sure that workers are safe in the field.
PLEASE request law enforcement assistance in any
potentially dangerous circumstance including any
removal. A Buddy is not enough. In this
case, the worker had a buddy. Violent and mentally
ill clients are extremely dangerous and even our highly
skilled staff cannot possibly de-escalate every
We know that we cannot rely upon the current
Administration to keep us safe. That is why we
asked Assemblywoman Valerie Huttle and Senator Nilsa
Cruz Perez to sponsor legislation - Leah's Law -
that would require licensed police officers in the
building, proper security features including metal
detectors, and police trained in child protective
services to accompany workers in removals and any
dangerous situation. It allows the caseworker and manger
to make an assessment about whether a buddy and/or
police are necessary and says the police have to be
available within 30 minutes of the request. We will need
your help in lobbying for and getting this legislation
passed, but in the meantime, we need you to help keep
all DCF workers safe by appropriately requesting law
enforcement when needed. If you are not afforded
law enforcement assistance when you ask for it, make
sure that you let your shop steward know BEFORE you go
out in the field so that your steward can contact your
Local for assistance.
Thank you for your attention. Please be safe.
President, Local 1037
President, Local 1038
President, Local 1039
CWA 1038 Picnic!
CWA 1038 is hosting the Union Picnic in Wildwood, NJ!
Click Here for more information and to purchase tickets!
State Worker Bargaining Update
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
As you may be aware, the 2011 Contract was originally due to expire
6-30-2015. Many things have happened in the last several months that
have led us to think very carefully about negotiations with the Christie
Administration. It has been necessary to focus on the pension and the
budget because these campaigns will frame our political work,
mobilization, member education and bargaining approach. Here is what we
can tell you now:
1. The 2011 Contract required that either party notify the other that
they want to negotiate a new agreement. The notification must come in
the form of a registered letter received no later than February 1, 2015.
The Contract says that if the letter is not received, the Contract is
extended for a year as is. Neither CWA, AFSCME nor IFPTE sent in a
letter. The Governor’s Office of Employee Relations had to send CWA a
registered letter received by February 1, 2015 or the Contract would
extend. They sent us a registered letter received on February 4, 2015.
CWA sent the Governor’s office a letter saying that we reserved the
right to say that the Contract was extended for one year. By not
notifying us in time, it is our position that the Contract terms are
2. The Administration has not asked for any bargaining days, perhaps
because we have reserved this right to extend the Contract, perhaps
because they are not interested in negotiations anyway. The
Administration has met with some smaller unions for bargaining sessions
but discussions have been preliminary so far. There have been no
discussions with CWA, (or with AFSCME or IFPTE) and no effort to have
discussions with CWA.
3. On June 29, 2015, the Office of Employee Relations emailed
us a letter
saying that it would not pay increments, clothing allowance, tool
allowance or vision benefits past June 30, 2015, citing the expiration
of the Contract. CWA has replied to that letter, we are filing a
grievance, and we will take what legal action necessary to protect those
benefits retroactive to July 1, 2015. The Bargaining Committee, made up
of eight Local Presidents, is meeting to discuss these issues and set a
consistent approach to bargaining. Our position at this time is as
a. Our main focus in the past several months has been and will remain
making sure that we protect our pension and healthcare benefits so that
they are not so damaged by Governor Christie that they can't be repaired
once he is gone.
b. We expect negotiating a reasonable Contract to be difficult and long.
It is in our interests to be patient and negotiate a fair contract
rather than accept a bad or concessionary Contract now.
c. It is important, where possible, to coordinate our bargaining
approach with other state worker unions which are at the table. All
unions received similar notices to stop paying steps and allowances.
Those unions will be notifying their members. CWA will coordinate
however possible with our brother and sisters so we have a unified
approach at the bargaining table.
We are, therefore, asking that you be patient about the progress
at the bargaining table.We don't want to become part of the
Governor’s broader political agenda and we want to take our time and act
with care. We are also being very careful in our communications so that
they do not become part of the public dialogue surrounding the
Governor’s run for President and so that we do not make our Contract
and our issues
part of his politics. We hope that you will understand and appreciate
that. Over the next several weeks, Locals will communicate carefully
with Local Executive Boards, Branch Officers, and Shop Stewards, so that
your representatives understand what the Bargaining Committee is
planning. As much as possible, we will communicate on phone calls and in
and membership meetings for state workers will be very important in the
coming months. Please try to attend.
We will, very shortly, hold a teletown hall with our members and with
the Bargaining Committee so that you can hear as much as possible
directly. In order, however, to be sure that only members are on that
call, you will have to register to receive the call. If you have already
filled out a Rapid Response form and you are receiving the teletown hall
call, you do not have to fill out another. If you have not been getting
the teletown hall call, you will need to give us your cell and home
phone number, so that you receive the call and can get all of the
information. You can get on the list to get the call by going to www.cwanj.org and
clicking on “Sign up for updates.” You can also email your information
to Antoinette Miles at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your patience and your participation in our fight to save
the pension and protect middle class jobs. This fight is not over. We
are very proud of the role our Union played in seeing to it that the
Legislature produced a budget with a full pension payment. Our members
were outstanding – making phone calls, coming out to the Rally, and
making their presence and power felt. If we keep up the same level of
engagement, we will negotiate a Contract agreement we can be proud of.
Hetty Rosenstein, NJ Area Director
John Rose, CWA Local 1031
Patrick Kavanagh, CWA Local 1032
Gaye Palmer, CWA Local 1033
Adam Liebtag, CWA Local 1036
Ken McNamara, CWA Local 1037
Shawn Ludwig, CWA Local 1038
Lionel Leach, CWA Local 1039
Carolyn Wade, CWA Local 1040
The July 15th membership meeting has been
General Membership Meeting
Attend our general membership
meeting tonight for
updates on the pension fight and more!
24, 2015 at 6:00 p.m.
Where: Pennsauken Country
3800 Haddonfield Ave. Pennsauken Twp, NJ
CWA LOBBY DAY FOR FULL PENSION FUNDING ON MON. 6/22 @ 9 A.M.
June 22, 2015 • 9:00 AM • CWA Office • 120 South Warren St. • Trenton, NJ 08068
RSVP at http://bit.ly/CWALobbyDay
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
By now you probably know that the Supreme Court ruled against us in the pension case. How disgraceful! The Court agrees that the law said exactly what we said it said, and that all parties knew exactly what they were agreeing to and that “Morally (our) arguments are unassailable” but still decided that the Governor does not have to make the payments.
WE WILL FIGHT AND WE WON’T STOP FIGHTING UNTIL WE WIN!
1. Over the next 3 weeks we must make sure that the budget that is passed by the Legislature fully makes the Chapter 78 payment. We need every member to call their Legislators immediately and insist that the money is put in the budget and if the Governor vetoes it out, that they will vote to override that veto. The number to call is
844-325-5396 and you will be patched through to your legislator.
2. Our lawyers are reviewing the decision to determine whether or not we have any means to appeal to the Federal Supreme Court. If we do, we will pursue it.
3. Along with the rest of the New Jersey Labor Movement, we are reviewing our options for a Constitutional Amendment.
4. We are meeting with all of our New Jersey Local Presidents to develop a full and robust mobilization and communications plan.
5. We have a tele-townhall meeting on Thursday at 7 p.m. If we have your phone number, we will call you and you need only pick up the phone. If we don’t, you can call into the meeting at 6:55 p.m. on Thursday by calling 855-269-4484.
WE WILL FIGHT AND WE WON’T STOP FIGHTING UNTIL WE WIN!
CWA Local 1038 President
Click here to
download our flyer.
Both union endorsed candidates for the PERS Board won their election!
Brothers and Sisters,
We all know how student debt is crushing our younger generation, or
anybody looking to further their higher education. Well, there may be
some relief if you have a public service job.
If you have federal loans you may qualify for loan forgiveness under the
What is the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program?
The PSLF Program is intended to encourage individuals to enter and continue to work full-time in public service jobs. Under this program, borrowers may qualify for forgiveness of the remaining balance of their Direct Loans after they have made 120 qualifying payments on those loans while employed full time by certain public service employers.
Click here to visit the government website to take advantage of the
program if you qualify!