Camden City School District custodian and maintenance workers, members of CWA Local 1040, are mobilizing for job security as negotiations begin for a new contract. On April 21, over 40 workers filed into the Camden City Board of Education Building to deliver a petition signed by workers to Superintendent Rouhanifard and called upon the Superintendent to agree to job security. In addition, workers gave testimony face-to-face with the Superintendent on what secure jobs mean for their livelihoods and families.
Upon delivering the petition, CWAers were flanked by members of Locals 1014, Local 1038 and Local 1084 who also have memberships based in Camden City and Camden County. Members also received community support from local clergy members and local activists, including NJ Communities United.
Every day, custodial and maintenance workers keep Camden schools healthy, clean and secure. They are often the first to enter the schools they serve and the last to leave. These workers – most of whom are Black and Latino – make up the backbone of the Camden School District, yet they are the only workers up to Principals who can be fired without just cause. In 2016, the Superintendent took action to not renew 33 custodian and maintenance workers as a part of 154 job cuts across the school district.
The health and safety of Camden Schools is vital since they are some of the oldest school buildings in all of New Jersey. In order to achieve the best results, the students in Camden deserve clean and well-maintained schools and the custodians and maintenance workers deserve to be treated with respect, rather than being discarded like trash.