Download PDF of this Report: Executive Branch Bargaining Report 9-9-2015
New Jersey Executive Branch Bargaining Report
Our last update was 7/1/2015 and it has been an eventful summer (although not at the bargaining table itself.) The last update explained that the Christie Administration has refused to pay our increments or Clothing Allowance after “expiration” of the 7-1-2011 through 6-30-2015 Contract. As we explained at the time, CWA believes this is illegal and improper for several reasons, including the fact that increments are part of the State Compensation Plan regardless of the expiration of an individual contract; and the State failed to notify CWA of its desire to bargain a new Contract as required in the Contract and therefore the Contract automatically extends for a year. We are in Court (before Judge Jacobson) later this month on the increments and we have also filed 2 grievances. The State will try to dismiss our complaint before the Judge and is trying to get the Public Employee Relations Commission to “scope” our grievances so that we can’t arbitrate them. We will keep you posted as this develops, but there is nothing surprising about the State’s actions.
We have still not gone to the Table with the Christie Administration. We believe that we still have a Contract in place until 6/30/2016. In addition, the Governor isn’t in New Jersey and we can expect nothing from him while he is campaigning. We do not want to be used as part of his campaign to show how he can stand up against workers.
We have appealed the New Jersey Supreme Court’s decision on the Pension to the United States Supreme Court. We know that it is a long shot that it will be heard, but the appeal is a part of CWA’s commitment to leave no stone unturned in protecting our pension. As part of our campaign, we are also exploring with the Legislature and our colleagues in other Unions, how we may amend the New Jersey Constitution to guarantee the funding and protection of the pension system. You will hear more about this shortly. It is still in the development stage but we believe this is the most effective answer to consistent pension underfunding.
As you know, the Christie Administration attempted to “job band” all Civil Service titles several years ago – which would do away with promotions, veterans preference, job descriptions, and potentially turn wage rates to whatever management wanted them to be. CWA successfully got the New Jersey Legislature to not once – but twice – pass Resolutions that voided the Civil Service Rules that allowed for this. In spite of those Resolutions, Civil Service is now attempting to implement job banding of Department of Transportation titles and Office of Information Technology titles. CWA has filed for Emergent Relief in Court and Senate President Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Prieto are joining us in our lawsuit because the Governor is violating the actions taken by the Legislature.
Your Bargaining Team:
We meet at least every month and we are in constant communication with each other, with the National Union and with our Legal Department over all of these issues and more. You can get on a Teletown Hall Call with CWA every month to get up to the minute information about what is going on. The next Teletown Hall call will be Wednesday, September 16, 2015 at 7 p.m. If we have your preferred number on file, we will call you and all you need to do is pick up the phone. You can sign up for email updates and Town Hall calls here: http://cwanj.org/signup/ or you can call in no later than 6:55 p.m. to 888-409-5380.