to the CWA Local 1032 website.
Local 1032 of the Communications Workers of America represents
public and private sector workers in New Jersey and New
York. We are here to share with you some information about
our union and its members.
Call Your State Legislators to Save Your Pension!
Right now, the New Jersey State Legislature is considering legislation— SCR2 and ACR109 — which would place a Constitutional Amendment on the ballot this November to guarantee pension payments for the state’s public worker pension system.
Both the State Senate and the State Assembly must approve in order for it to appear on the ballot this November. The Amendment would require quarterly pension payments— protecting the pension and saving taxpayers billions.
Stop Giving Pension Money to Wall Street Hedge Funds
Under Governor Chris Christie, fees paid to Wall Street money managers have skyrocketed. More than $700 million a year goes from public worker pension systems to hedge fund managers to invest in high-priced alternative investments.
In 2015 alone, the New Jersey State Investment Council paid $728 million in fees and bonuses to Wall Street firms to manage less than a third of pension investments. The year before, Wall Street raked in $600 million in fees and bonuses.
That’s $1.3 billion of the hard-earned retirement of nearly 800,000 active and retired public employees in New Jersey being doled out to Wall Street in just two years.
Reducing the investment in these high-priced funds and investing more prudently could save taxpayers $20 billion over the next 30 years without making a single change to the pensions of the workers.
It's time to put a stop to this.
On May 25th, the State Investment Council will vote on how to allocate the pension funds for the next year. Sign the petition now.
Tell the State Investment Council: Public Worker pension funds shouldn't be a piggy bank for Wall Street financiers. Stop the overuse of high-priced hedge funds now.
Design Changes and Updates. Click here for important updates on the SHBP
Posted: March 18th, 2016
Unions Win Increment Decision
Governor Christie Likely to Appeal
In a strongly-worded rebuke of Governor Christie’s pro-management-packed Public Employee Relations Commission, an appeals court found on March 9 that PERC overstepped its authority when it reversed over 30 years of labor relations policy in two decisions that permitted management to stop paying automatic increments after the expiration of a contract.
In a decision involving Atlantic County, PERC disavowed what is called the “dynamic status quo” doctrine and ruled that the County’s decision not to pay salary/step increments was not an unfair practice. In a related decision involving Bridgewater Township, PERC ruled that payment of salary/step increments after contract expiration is no longer subject to negotiations and that an agreement to pay those increments is not enforceable in arbitration.
The appellate court reversed PERC on both counts. The court ruled that PERC’s two decisions were outside its legislative mandate. The court noted that the 2% tax levy cap and the 2% interest arbitration award cap did not extend to increments and that PERC did not have the authority to do what the Legislature chose not to do. Finally, the court stated that PERC undermined the parties’ legitimate expectations based on their negotiations and their contracts.
If the Supreme Court does not agree to review an appeal of this decision, or if the Court upholds the 3 to 0 published decision by the Appellate Court, all increments will have to be paid retroactively.
Either Atlantic County, Bridgewater or PERC may file a petition asking the New Jersey Supreme Court to review the cases. A petition must be filed within 20 days.
State Executive Branch Members Approve
Dues Increase to Fund Campaign for Secure Pensions
By 80.65 percent to 19.35 percent, CWA state workers in the executive branch in New Jersey voted overwhelmingly to finance a constitutional amendment campaign to secure public workers’ pensions and hold elected officials accountable to fund New Jersey’s pension system.
Votes were casted from February 22 to March 4. Members in New Jersey’s judicial branch will vote separately from March 14 to March 25.
The campaign for a pension constitutional amendment will include an unprecedented, statewide member education campaign, aimed at mobilizing some 800,000 active employees and retirees. CWA volunteers will go door-to-door to talk with other union members, and a media/public communications campaign will make the case to New Jersey’s nearly 4 million voting residents. More than 500 shop stewards and activists already have partcipated in mobilization trainings in December and February. The amendment will be on the November ballot.
Thank you to all of the members that voted.
Members in the Judiciary are voting on the increase now. Polls are open until 5:00PM on Friday, March 25.
If you have any questions about voting, please call the local at 609-434-1032
Posted: Oct 23th, 2015
STATE WORKER BARGAININGUPDATES
NJ Executive Branch December Bargaining Report
December 1, 2015
Design Changes and Updates. Click here for important updates on the SHBP
Posted: May 14th, 2015
Governor Christie says he deserves a "Thank You" note for breaking the law on pension payments and using the pension as a piggy bank for his allies on Wall St.
Well, we wrote him one.
WATCH and SHARE CWA New Jersey's new TV spot!
Posted: April 8th, 2015
Pension Funding Lawsuit
As you know, we have two outstanding lawsuits regarding
Governor Christie's failure to make the required pension payments. The first deals with the cut to the FY 2015 contribution. Judge Jacobson issued a ruling in our favor on February 23rd. The next day, Governor Christie proposed a budget for FY2016 that once again fails to make the required contribution. As a result, we filed a second lawsuit regarding FY 2016 funding. Judge Jacobson is
scheduled to hear oral argument in this case on May 12th. We are
also planning a rally in Trenton on this day to support pension funding.
More details will be announced soon.
In the meantime, Governor Christie has appealed the ruling on FY 2015 funding to the Supreme Court. The Court will hear oral argument in this case on May 6th.
Click here to read a statement from NJ Area Director Hetty Rosenstein on the Supreme Court taking the case
Click here to read CWA Statement on FY 2015 lawsuit
Click here to call your legislator.
Tell them not to support a budget that doesn't make the required pension payment
Click here for information on upcoming teletown hall calls
Posted: March 18th, 2015
CWA RELEASES VIDEO ON HOW CHRISTIE’S ILLEGAL FAILURE TO FUND PENSION PUTS NEW JERSEYANS AT FINANCIAL RISK
It's "Shirk Week"
Check out CWA's latest ad on
Christie's Broken Pension Promise
Posted: June 26th, 2014
CWA-NJ Statement on Pension Lawsuit
June 25, 2014
Today Judge Jacobson made a ruling on our request for a preliminary injunction on our lawsuit about Governor Christie not making the legally required pension payment.
The Judge said:
1) She would not rule on what the Governor makes as a pension payment for Fiscal Year 2015 (July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2015) because the budget is not completed and it is premature to make a decision;
2) She was persuaded by the Union's argument that there is a contractual right to the pension payment and that not making the unfunded liability payment is a "impairment" of that contract. (This is a central and key component to our lawsuit. It means that the Judge agrees that the law - Chapter 78 - gives us a contractual right to have the pension paid. This is a critical decision in our favor.)
3) She believed, however, that the very unusual and specific circumstances of Fiscal Year 2014 (July 1, 2013 - June 30, 2014) where at the very end of the Fiscal Year the budget was found to be extremely underfunded, it was reasonable in that specific circumstance for the Governor to not make the full payment. She made it clear that she was only speaking of Fiscal Year 2014.
4) She specifically said that she was not dismissing our complaint and that she is expecting us back in her court about Fiscal Year 2015.
We will continue to litigate this matter. We will go back into court when Christie vetoes the 2015 payment. We are preparing for a long fight to protect the pension plan. We also expect Christie to very shortly take direct aim at post-retirement medical.
We will fight to maintain our benefits and our standard of living. We will fight in court. We will fight in the Legislature. We will fight at the Worksite. We will fight in the Street. We will not back down.
CWA STATEMENT ON CHRISTIE BREAKING PENSION PAYMENT PROMISE
TRENTON, NJ) – This afternoon, Governor Chris Christie broke his latest promise. In dealing with a budget shortfall north of $800 million - of his own making - Christie declared that he is refusing to make pledged pension payments.
Below please find a statement from Communications Workers of America’s NJ State Director Hetty Rosenstein in response:
“Governor Christie said he fixed the state pension. He said our economy was the New Jersey Comeback, and he’d stop relying on one-shot gimmicks. He said record-breaking tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy would create jobs. After five years of Christie at the helm, it turns out every single thing he's promised has failed miserably - with a record sixth credit-downgrade by Wall Street to show for all his failures. It’s time Christie realizes what everyone else knows: cutting taxes for the super-wealthy, while stealing money from pensions hasn’t worked yet. And it wont work this time. At every turn, Governor Christie has chosen the path of economic instability, due to his wrong priorities and callous actions towards New Jersey’s working families. Since Christie is clearly unwilling to be a responsible actor, we call on the state legislature to step up and be the adults in the room.”
Posted:May 15th, 2014
CHRISTIE’S CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION IGNORES CONSTITUTION & STATE LAW REGARDING PROMOTIONS PROCESS
Putting Patronage, Corruption, Nepotism & Political Abuse Ahead of Protecting Taxpayers & Good Government… Let Alone Following The Law
(TRENTON, NEW JERSEY) – This morning, the New Jersey Civil Service Commission (CSC) voted to enact sweeping changes to the promotional process for non-uniformed state workers. In doing so, the Christie administration is seeking to gut modest taxpayer protections from political patronage. These measures have not only been on the books for over a century, but are so vital to fairness in public service that they’re written into the state's Constitution. The changes also allow the Christie Administration to gut veterans’ preference in promotions for most positions in State Government.
Today’s regressive action comes in spite of a binding resolution passed by the State Legislature in January – which prohibited the Christie Administration from enacting the rules. The CSC is not only ignoring the actions of the legislature, but also ignoring what is enshrined in the State Constitution, as well as what New Jersey Supreme Court says is the law of the land.
“It is inconceivable that the Christie Administration is granting itself permission to promote anyone it wants, while getting rid of oversight and objective standards for fairness,” said Seth Hahn, CWA Political and Legislative Director. “Their scheme blocks lanes of promotions for the deserving, while subjecting advancement to the whims of political pressure. This radical change is especially galling given all we know about what’s happened on Governor Christie’s watch in both various agencies around the state and his own office in the Statehouse. Today’s action has the potential to open the entirety of State Government to the abuse we’ve recently seen at the Port Authority.”
The CSC’s arrogance and inability to follow the law would expose every single New Jerseyan to higher taxes due to corruption, cronyism, nepotism and patronage….if they were able to get their way This would amount to a wholesale attack on working families, women, LGBT workers, disabled people and people of color. Thankfully, the Christie Administration will not be able to get away with this, as the state constitution says you cannot write regulations contrary to the intent of the statute. And the New Jersey legislature has already agreed and passed two concurrent resolutions.
As passed, today’s proposal would allow the CSC to lump workers into “broad bands” of job titles - limiting valuable public oversight of which employees are performing specific tasks. It would then replace promotions for workers based on objective qualifications and done based on a transparent and objective testing process with “advancement” through the employment “bands.” The “advancement” would be done solely at the discretion of management. It would not be subject to minimum qualifications requirements or public oversight. And it could allow politically-friendly workers to get ahead, at the expense of those who are deserving.
Furthermore, since the testing process is the only place that veterans’ preference exists in New Jersey Civil Service, it replaces a clear commitment to our state’s veterans with a “trust me” system. Management would merely be directed to weigh veterans status in their own minds when making decisions about advancement.
Today’s action comes despite a binding legislative resolution that was passed in January that prohibits the Governor from adopting the proposal. The legislature used a little-known provision of the State Constitution, enacted by voters in 1992, that allows the legislature to prohibit or invalidate regulations or rules proposed or enacted by the Executive. The procedure required two votes of the legislature, and an open public hearing.
Not only is today’s adoption of the rule likely illegal, it most likely runs afoul of the State Constitution. Article VII, Section 1, paragraph 2 requires that state promotions shall be made and veterans’ preference shall be protected by an open and competitive testing process, “as far as practable.”
This morning’s CSC vote comes despite widespread condemnation from Civil Rights organizations, veterans, people with disabilities, women’s organizations and public watchdogs. It also comes after more than a year of the Christie Administration refusing public input. Last year, they held a single public hearing in Trenton at 3 pm on a workday in the middle of the week – in a room that could only seat thirty people. Even worse, not a single Civil Service Commissioner attended this meeting to discuss 96 pages of new rules marking the most radical changes since the inception of civil service. Since then, Christie’s Commission has steadfastly refused requests from thousands of people for additional hearings. They’ve stonewalled, even though previous Administrations – both Republicans and Democrats – have granted more hearings for changes far less sweeping. The state legislature held two oversight hearings and requested someone from Civil Service attend. Both times the invitations were denied.
It’s no surprise the Christie Administration has failed to be transparent on this issue. Because Christie’s latest scheme will create more patronage and corruption at all levels of government. It undermines promotions for the deserving and subjects promotions to the whims of political pressure. Simply put, Christie’s proposal hands power over to politicians and backroom players, at the expense of both good government and New Jersey’s taxpayers. However, their attempts to do so will be moribund as it is simply against the law to make these radical changes.
On May 14th, Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto sent a letter to Governor Christie and CSC Chair Robert Czech stating the Legislature's intenet to go into court to enforce its resolutions invalidating the rule. Their letter makes clear that the Legislature views the adoption by CSC as illegal. CWA is also prepared to join any legal action if it comes to that.
The Legislature is still prepared to go into court to enforce the resolutions passed earlier this year, but they are doing another round of concurrent resolutions as an added precaution. To initiate that process, on Monday, May 19th, the Senate Budget Committee passed a resolution nullifying the job banding rule adopted by the Civil Service Commission. More updates will be provided as the resolution moves through the Legislature.
Posted: February 5th, 2013
State Worker Contract: July 1, 2011 - June 30, 2015