Our members' safety remains the Union's top priority CWA 1036 received reports from staff in various worksites that they needed PPE (Protective Personal Equipment), hand sanitizers and masks during the COVID-19 pandemic. CWA 1036 was able to secure hand sanitizers and masks and make deliveries to various worksites in the Trenton area that needed supplies.
Our members in the Intensive Supervision Program and Juvenile Intensive Supervision Program have been hard at work throughout this crisis, as they were before. ISP/JISP is a special parole program that offers early release to correctional system inmates that meet certain criteria. The ISP/JISP officers, and the administrative staff that support them, are responsible for ensuring that participants abide by the program’s stringent rules. ISP/JISP Officers are not just enforcers of a punitive carceral system, but instead provide comprehensive guidance, counselling, and support to their clients. This involves a rigorous schedule of in-person contacts, even during the COVID-19 crisis. In addition to their demanding work duties, relations with ISP/JISP management has often been contentious. More grievances and Unfair Labor Practice charges have had to be filed to protect workers’ rights in this unit than any other in the Judiciary.
Earlier this week, CWA 1036 provided every ISP/JISP officer out in the field with protective KN95 masks and hand sanitizer. Our members in ISP/JISP are placing themselves in harm’s way every day to keep the program running and maintain a positive relationship with their clients throughout this crisis. As always, we stand in solidarity with them.
There’s no question the work landscape has changed because of COVID-19 and we have all made adjustments to adapt to our new work environment. This is especially true for our field workers who face a variety of different environments while performing field work and can’t always control social distancing with others. The Union is working hard to ensure PPE is provided to field workers that reflects the new challenges they face.
Our members in the Bureau of Freshwater and Biological Monitoring at DEP continue to investigate harmful algae bloom complaints during this crisis, to keep the citizens of NJ and the animals in our waterways safe. As we work through the new PPE needs for this program, the Local provided a supply of KN95 masks and hand sanitizer to support their efforts and keep them safe. That’s what a Union is: a group of co-workers united together that have each other’s backs.
DEP members in this program expressed the value and importance of the union to their colleagues “Our Local CWA 1036 has come through with providing hand sanitizer (enough to at least get us started) as well as some face coverings … Thanks to the union for looking out for us!”