CWA Hurricane Harvey Solidarity Fund 

The CWA Hurricane Harvey Solidarity Fund was established to help directly support CWA members get the help they need. A committee of CWA local leaders from Texas oversees the fund and all donations go directly to assist CWA families in need. 

You can donate online or send a check payable to CWA Hurricane Harvey Solidarity Fund: 

CWA Harvey Hurricane Solidarity Fund

c/o Judy Graves

The Parkway, Building One

4801 Southwest Parkway, Suite 115

Austin, Texas 78735


Texas AFL-CIO Workers Relief Fund

The Texas Workers Relief Fund, a 501(c)(3) charitable fund, overseen by the Texas AFL-CIO, has been established to assist workers and their families in their time of need. Funds are provided to help stabilize situations when issues occur such as natural disasters. While we cannot make anyone whole, the Texas Workers Relief Fund sends a message of solidarity and the knowledge that working people affected by this disaster are supported by Brothers and Sisters across the nation.


Houston Local Relief Efforts

Everyone knows the Red Cross and United Way are national organizations devoted to helping with disaster recovery. But many local Houston organizations are doing incredible work on the ground, in their communities they served every day. Please consider helping a local organization. 

(Below is a partial list re-posted from - covering local Houston-area issues.)

Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund - established by Mayor Sylvester Turner partnered with the Greater Houston Community Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity to accept tax-deductible flood relief donations that will go back directly into the Houston community. 

Baker-Ripley - local non-profit helping Houstonians with long-term disaster relief for over 100 years, currently running the shelter at NRG Center. 

Houston Food Bank - providing food, water and supplies to children, families and seniors in southeast Texas. 

LGBTQ Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief Fund - helping the LGBTQ community and youth displaced by the storm, including shelter, counseling, and direct assistance. 

Houston PetSet - umbrella organization that grants funds to other Houston-area animal non-profits like Houston Humane Society. 

Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services - the oldest environmental justice organization in Texas, supported by the Climate Justice Alliance, doing front-line grassroots work on pollution across the Gulf Coast. 

Texas Diaper Bank - not Houston-based but donates diapers to shelters, a resource not typically provided by disaster relief organizations. You can donate money or you can purchase diapers from an wishlist and send them directly. 

Interfaith Ministries of Greater Houston - asking for help with its Meals on Wheels program feeding seniors, refugees, and meals on wheels for pets. 


National Disaster Relief Organizations

Red Cross: Donate Online

United Way: Donate Online


The State budget shutdown ended in the early morning hours of July 4th, allowing the state to resume normal operations on Wednesday, July 5. 

Assembly Speaker Prieto, Senate President Sweeney, and Governor Christie reached an agreement on compromise Horizon legislation and the Governor agreed not to veto any of the Democrats' budget priorities.

All state and judiciary employees are expected to report to work for normal business on Wednesday, July 5. 

Thank you to everyone who contacted their legislators during the shutdown. More information will be coming in upcoming worksite meetings. 


Due to the ongoing budget deadlock at the statehouse, New Jersey may be facing a state shutdown if a balanced budget isn’t passed by midnight on Friday, June 30.  Negotiations are ongoing, and CWA continues to urge our lawmakers not to disrupt vital public services. 


While a State Government shutdown is by no means certain, we are preparing for the possibility to make sure that all of our rights are protected in the event that it does happen. We will continue to advocate on behalf of our members, and will make sure to keep you informed as this situation develops.  In the meantime, here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions we have heard so far.




What does a “shutdown” mean? 



Click here to Sign Up for one of these locations:


Atlantic County: Office of Vince Mazzeo, 507 Tilton Rd, Northfield
Bergen County: Office of Gordon Johnson, 545 Cedar Lane, Teaneck
Burlington County: Office of Herb Conaway, 8008 Rt 130 N, Building C, Delran; Office of Troy Singleton, 400 N Church St, Moorestown
Camden: Office of Lou Greenwald and Pam Lampitt, 1101 Laurel Oak Rd, Voorhees
Cumberland/Cape May: Office of Bob Andrzejczak and Bruce Land, 219 High St, Millville
Essex: Office of Eliana Pintor Marin, 263 Lafayette St, Newark
Gloucester: Office of Steve Sweeney, 935 Kings Highway, West Deptford
Middlesex: Office of Craig Coughlin, 569 Rahway Ave, Woodbridge
Monmouth: Office of Joann Downey and Eric Houghtaling, 35 West Main St, Freehold
Union: Office of Jerry Green, 200 W 2nd St, Plainfield



Attention CWA Members:
We are reporting from the Assembly Chambers at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, July 1, 2017. 
The State of New Jersey is shut down because the Legislature and Governor failed to reach a budget agreement. Essential employees will be told to report to work and everyone else will be locked out of work until this budget is passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor. 
Representatives of CWA have been here at the State House at every Budget and General Session seeking to protect our members, our pensions, and State Services. 
We have been lobbying all day, every day, this week, along with many of our allies in labor, faith, and community groups. Unfortunately, Governor Christie is more interested in exacting final revenge on New Jersey than he is in negotiating a budget.

Please check your email and cell phone for updates coming shortly. 


Hunterdon Rank and File members ratified an new contract today by a margin of 68% to 32%. The new contract will cover January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2019. 

Thank you to everyone who voted and to our bargaining  committee. Although this contract passed, we still have more work to do on salary adjustments and other issues. Stay tuned for a membership meeting schedule for the second half of 2017 and updates will be coming to Stewards and Activists. 

There are a lot of changes happening to the State Health Benefits Program starting in November 2016 and continuing into 2017. These changes affect current and future retirees, active members in State, Judiciary, and Local Government who are in the SHBP. 

It is important that all members are educated about these changes so you have time to understand the impact on you, your family, your doctors, and your prescription needs. 

Below, CWA Local 1036 has created guidance documents and gathered a list of links from various sources so you have access to all the information you need to make informed decisions. 

Ultimately, your health care choices are yours to make - we can guide you. If you have any questions, please contact the Local or your staff representative. 


CWA NJ Report on SHBP Changes in 2017

MUST READ! Detailed booklet on SHBP changes


CWA 1036 Tips and Guidance (updated 10/5)

MUST READ! Specific advice for preparing for the changes to prescription drug program in November and December 2016, and the medical plan changes in 2017. Follow these steps!


CWA 1036 Overview of SHBP Changes

MUST READ! Includes discussion of Medicare Advantage for Retirees, background of how these changes were created, premium increases for each plan and other information. 


Side by Side Comparison of All SHBP Plan Benefits

(prints on legal size paper)

A chart showing all plan designs and benefit levels so you can compare the plan benefits side-by-side. 


2017 Premium Rates and Chapter 78 Premium Sharing Chart

Also includes all premiums for the plans and your chapter 78 percentage contribution. 


What Doctors are in Horizon or Aetna?

To find a participating doctor or hospital please contact your medical plan directly: 
NJ DIRECT/Horizon Plans or  Aetna Plans/Aetna Medicare Plan (HMO)


Will My Prescription Drug Still be Covered in the new Formulary? 

Express Scripts is the pharmacy benefits administrator for the SHBP


Want to do Mail Order of a Prescription NOW to Prepare?

CHANGES TO THE SHBP FOR PLAN YEAR 2017 – Plan Design Committee

The Plan Design Committee (PDC), created under Chapter 78 as a joint union-management committee with the authority to make changes to the SHBP for State and Local Government units, passed a resolution making several significant changes to the SHBP for Plan Year 2017.  The PDC is made up of an equal number of union (6) and management (6) representatives.  The Unions represent state, county, and municipal employees, firefighters, state troopers, and police.  The PDC negotiates SHBP changes separate from any bargaining table where we negotiate our own individual contracts.  In past years, the PDC has reduced copays for retirees, added more plans to the menu of available options, and made other changes to contain premium costs.   

The State Health Benefits Commission (SHBC) approved the premium rates for plans in the SHBP and adopted the changes for Plan Year 2017 from the PDC.  The SHBC is made up of 5 representatives:  3 from management (Treasury, Banking and Insurance, and CSC) and 2 from the union (AFL-CIO representative for Local Government and State Government).

See the Local’s handouts above detailing the changes to the State Health Benefits Plan for Plan Year 2017. 

These changes include:

Prescription Drug Program Changes

  • Mandatory Generics
  • Step Therapy
  • Eliminating coverage for certain Prescription drugs on a Formulary list

Medical Plan Changes

  • Medicare Advantage for Current and Future Retirees
  • Emergency Room copay increases of $25
  • Tiered Network Plans – incentives to join
  • Limiting Out of Network Physical Therapy



Effective January 1, 2017, AON recommended overall increases of 3.4% for active employees to the total premium costs of the medial and prescription drug plans, and that overall increase reflects a 1.9% increase in single and employee + spouse rates, a 4.4% increase in family rates and a 5.9% increase in employee + child(ren) rates.  The recommended renewal increases for Plan Year 2017 were calculated separately for the PPO, HMO and Prescription Drug Plans.   

AON’s complete report can be found at:

Premium rates increase every January with the State plans, so this is not something new that was created through Chapter 78.  However, the impact of premium increases is more significant now under Chapter 78, because your contribution is tied to the premium.  This is the second consecutive year since Chapter 78 was passed that the premium increase wasn’t so significant.  If you recall, we saw an overall increase for active employees of 7.5% in 2013, 8.1% in 2014, 8% in 2015 and 4.5% in 2016. 



By enrolling in NJWELL and participating in health assessments, screenings, flu shots, online coaching and activities and telephonic wellness/disease management coaching, participants can earn points and receive gift cards as incentives to participate in the program. CWA recommends that every member consider enrolling.  Incentives for Plan Year 2017 are still being developed and we will share them with the membership in the new year.   

Information on NJWELL can be found at:



State employees can waive SHBP medical and prescription coverage, and not be required to make the Chapter 78 contribution, provided they have other medical coverage and can show proof of coverage. To waive coverage a SHBP State Waiver form and a Health Benefit Application must be completed during Open Enrollment.  



If you are getting ready to retire soon, and you are eligible for post-retirement health benefits, CWA recommends that you schedule an appointment with Pensions before you make any changes to your health benefits plan because the changes you make could impact your choice of health plans when you retire.  We particularly caution any near-retiree from dropping coverage because a spouse already has coverage without having this discussion first with Pensions.  Contact information for the Division of Pension and Benefits is: 

50 West State Street, Trenton | Counseling Hours:  Monday – Friday from 7:40 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.


About CWA 1036

Communications Workers of America Local 1036 represents over 7,000 members and working families in both the public and private sector. Our members excel in a variety of careers working for the State of NJ, the NJ Judiciary, county and municipal government, and the health care industry: blue collar, professionals, administrative, attorneys, scientists, 911 dispatchers, librarians, engineers, nursing home workers, environmental professionals, doctors, and more.

NJ State Contracts

Executive Branch Units
(7/1/2011 - 6/30/2015)

Judiciary Members

** Contracts require Adobe Acrobat Reader (download)