With 96% voting yes to 4% voting no, CWA members have approved the proposed contract with the NJ State Executive Branch..  

Thanks to everyone who participated in voting. 

This is not the end of the discussion, but only the beginning.

CWA Local 1036 will be conducting information sessions and worksite meetings with members between April and June to talk about the new health insurance plan and your options. Although the newly bargained plan retains the same provider networks as the NJ Direct and Aetna Freedom plans, this is an opportunity for everyone to become better educated about health care, to review your personal usage and explore ways to take better care of your health and your costs. We are launching an intensive health care organizing and education program for State executive branch members around this new contract, so stay tuned and come to your union meetings. Four our members in Judiciary and local government, the State agreement may provide a model to be considered in other contracts.  

And finally, remember all union meetings are for members only. 

Thanks for sticking with the Union. 



LOCAL 1036 Voting Period: Thursday, March 7 through 2:00pm on Wednesday, March 20

Members in good standing are eligible to vote. Non-members may join to become members at any time.

Voting will be by secret ballot, whether in-person or online. How you vote is confidential.

Worksite Voting will be held in large work sites in Trenton. (See below).





1. Keep Your Current Doctors: CWA Unity plan is administered by the State Health Benefits Plan and Horizon, Aetna. Our new plan uses exactly the same networks of Horizon and Aetna as the current NJDirect (Horizon) and Freedom (Aetna) PPO plans. If you use NJDirect providers in Horizon now, they are the same providers as the CWA PPO plan. Same goes for Aetna users. We are using the same national networks of providers as the current plans. There is no change in this with the new plan. 


2. Open Enrollment: Do I need to do anything if I am moving from NJDirect to CWA PPO with the Horizon network? Do I need to do anything if I am moving from Aetna Freedom to the CWA PPO with the Aetna network?

Open enrollment for the CWA plan is happening between April and June 2019. The new plan will take effect July 1, 2019. Migration will be automatic from your current PPO plan to the CWA PPO based on your selected network, Horizon or Aetna.

If you have NJDirect with Horizon now and want to keep that network, you will be automatically enrolled in CWA PPO with Horizon.

If you have Aetna Freedom now and want to keep that network, you will be automatically enrolled in CWA PPO with Aetna.

Since we are starting the new CWA plan in July 2019, we will have a 6-month remainder to this year and then we will go back on the regular open enrollment and plan year schedule for 2020. Open enrollment for 2020 will be in October 2019. 

Deductibles, out of pocket maximums, etc. that have already been spent under your existing plan (NJDirect or Freedom) will carry forward to the CWA PPO for the remainder of the 2019 plan year. 


3. Pre-approvals: Any pre-approvals you have for the 2019 plan year for a healthcare service (bi-weekly injectables, for example) carries through to the new CWA PPO plan. You will not need another pre-approval. Remember, the network providers (Horizon and Aetna) are the same with the CWA PPO plan as with the current plans. 


4. Coverage Charts and Costs: Many of us have not looked at a coverage chart in a long time, or do not know the coverage limits for the current NJDirect/Freedom plans now. Looking at a chart for the new CWA Plan might be confusing, but these coverages actually exist for the current plants now. 

  • What is the In Network Coinsurance of 10%? This is the same as NJ Direct 15 and Aetna Freedom 15 now. A member will pay 10% of the cost of in-network specialty services such as ambulance, durable medical equipment, and prosthetics. This co-insurance exists in the current plans. The CWA plan is the same as current plans. Again, this is the same coverage level as the current plans, not a change. 
  • What is the Out of Network Coinsurance of 30% This is the same as NJ Direct 15 and Aetna Freedom 15 now. A member will pay 30% of the cost of out-of-network services, meaning a provider that does not accept your Horizon or Aetna insurance. This is the same coverage level as the current plans, not a change. 


ONLINE VOTING – Field Sites and Absentee voting

Online voting will be offered only for absentee voting and to members outside the worksite voting areas. 

Online Voting information will be EMAILED to members in worksites not listed above.

Ballots will be emailed to your work email address starting Thursday, March 7 and you can vote online any time until 2:00pm on Wednesday, March 20. 



Absentee ballots may be requested ONLY by calling the Local at (609) 530-0060.

Do not email your staff rep or steward. Absentee ballots will be cast online.


A report of final results will be broadcast to all members after voting closes on March 20th 






CWA is pleased to announce that we have a Tentative Agreement for a new Contract with the State Executive Branch and Gov. Murphy for a July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2023 Agreement.  The details of the Agreement are embargoed until we have a Tele-Townhall Call with our members and Shop Stewards on Monday, March 4. The Shop Steward call will be at 6:30 p.m. and the Member call will be at 7:30 p.m.  If you are a member or a shop steward and you have not been receiving calls for the Town hall meetings, please contact your Local so that you can receive the call.  We will announce the schedule for ratification on Wednesday and you will receive a detailed summary of the Tentative Agreement before ratification. 

In Solidarity, 

Your Bargaining Committee

John Rose, Local 1031

Patrick Kavanagh, Local 1032

Gaye Palmer, Local 1033

Adam Liebtag, Local 1036

Ken McNamara, Local 1037

Shawn Ludwig, Local 1038

Carolyn C. Wade, Local 1040

Hetty Rosenstein, NJ Area Director

Dennis Trainor, District 1 Vice President

Steven P. Weissman, Counsel


Download Retro Estimate Worksheet & Salary Charts [Adobe PDF]

Members should recieve retro payments by 10/26/2018.

Above is a worksheet for State Executive Branch members to use to estimate retro pay. This is a useful tool to estimate retro, but the actual calculations and payments are being made by your Department's Payroll office.  The worksheet is an estimator - it comes close to the gross total retro that a member should receive. The estimate will be a few dollars off based on a member's anniversary date.

For members who had title changes (promotion, demotion) since July 1, 2015 to present, this will affect the final salary calculations. Unpaid leaves of absence will also affect retro.


Here are the steps to follow for retro inquiries:

1). State worker members all received an email from their Department's Payroll office with instructions if they have a dispute or question. Some Payroll offices circulated an "Inquiry Form" that the member can fill out and email to a specific address that is collecting retro problems. Members should complete that form or email Payroll - they should follow the instructions sent to them by their Payroll Departments.

Members should contact Payroll first - this is the lowest level of dispute resolution. If things are not sorted out with Departmental Payroll, then level two is to escalate the dispute to the Union.

Depending on the number of questions and disputes, Payroll may be scheduling meetings with members or call-backs within two weeks. Responses may not be immediate.

CWA will ensure every member receives every dollar owed. The State did not provide backup explanations for the multiple checks which has led to a lot of confusion. It may take a little time to work through problems, but the Union will enforce our contract and ensure every member is paid what is owed under the contract.

2). Please try to use the Estimate Worksheet.

Members should always be educated on their salary, their anniversary dates, and how the contract works. This retro situation is an opportunity for all members to take a closer look at the contract, how they are paid, and to be more aware of the process.

3). CWA staff will help with and respond to urgent situations as quickly as possible.

Thanks to everyone as we work through this. Let’s remember Chris Christie blocked step payments and refused to negotiate in good faith for three years. This created a backlog of raises that this contract successfully reinstated, but it’s a huge mess to cleanup. One more remnant of a bad 8 years.

Here is the latest update and ACTION ALERT for the State Budget situation. A shut down on July 1 seems more and more likely as time goes on. The Legislature’s last scheduled session day is this Thursday, June 28th.


The budget passed by the Legislature last week is out of balance. It overestimates revenue and cost-cutting that will definitely result in a midyear budget shortfall … which will put our pension payment and public services at risk.   


1. RIGHT NOW! Call your Legislators at 609-400-4763. These calls are really, really important! Legislators have reported receiving thousands of calls and it is the best way to communicate our message. The Legislature and Governor need to reach a compromise and finalize a budget this week. We cannot have a shutdown.


Please call your Legislator and tell them:


The current budget the Legislature has passed will lead to cuts and layoffs and more credit downgrades.  A compromise must be reached with the Governor that includes a Millionaires tax which is supported by 70% of New Jersey.


2. Monday, June 25th - Governor Murphy is holding a statewide Town Hall call Monday night at 7p.m. You can join by calling 609-246-3298 at 7 p.m.


3. Tuesday, June 26th - CWA Town Hall Call.  You can join the call by dialing 888-409-5380 so you can hear a budget update from CWA leadership. We have a special guest on our CWA call - Gov. Murphy.  


4. Thursday, June 28th - Mobilization at State House starting at 10am. We need hundreds of members there. This is the last day the Legislature may vote on a revised budget proposal, so we need maximum pressure on Thursday.



Here is what is going on:


The New Jersey Legislature has passed a budget that the Governor will not sign because it relies on an overstatement of revenues and savings and it will not pay for the budget priorities that both the Governor and the Legislature have agreed upon, including increased education funding, increased funding for public transportation, a significant pension payment, and funds for other important priorities such as property tax relief and services that have been cut under Chris Christie.  


The Legislative Budget assumes that there is $1 billion in new revenue from a Corporate Business Tax (that will sunset in two years) when the Governor and the Treasurer say that it will bring in far less than that. Not only that, the Legislative Budget leaves a gaping loophole - it does not require that multi-state business "combine" their reporting, which will allow such business to claim their profits in a state with a lower Corporate Business Tax, thus defeating the purpose of raising the CBT in the first place.


The Leadership of the Legislature and the Governor appear to be at impasse and we are a few short days from one of two terrible results. Either the Governor must cut hundreds of  millions from the spending side of the Legislature's budget because they haven't passed the revenue for that spending, or there will be  a possible shut down of Government - an action that will close government services and result in the lockout of tens of thousands of workers.



Salary Charts

Members can use these salary charts to look up your salary, map out retroactive pay, and chart your salary after increases in 2017 and 2018.

Salary Chart - effective June 30, 2015 through August 14, 2017

Salary Chart - effective August 15, 2017 through June 30, 2018

Salary Chart - effective July 1, 2018


Health Benefits Calculators

Members can look up the cost of their health insurance plan and calculate their chapter 78 employee contributions based on salary.

Health Benefits Rates (2018)

Health Benefits Employee Contribution Chart

CWA members approved the new State Executive Branch Contract by a wide margin. 

This is a huge victory for CWA members who worked three long years to secure a better contract, enforce our prior contract language, and reach a fair agreement with the State. 

Contract implementation and payroll issues will be discussed in the coming weeks at work site meetings and membership updates. 

We thank every member who voted. We thank every Steward who helped inform members, worked at the polling locations, and brought new members into the Union. And we thank every member in advance for staying strong and staying motivated as we prepare for bargaining the next contract.  

Over 70% of members voted.

Below are complete results compiled from all Locals. 


Administrative-Clerical Unit

YES 99.6%
NO 0.4%




Professional Unit

YES 99.7%
NO 0.3%




Primary Level Supervisors Unit

YES 99.4%
NO 0.6%




Higher Level Supervisors Unit

YES 99.6%
NO 0.4%




(View/Download the Summary of the Tentative Agreement) [PDF]

Local 1036 is holding several informational meetings about the Tentative Agreement, including explanation, Q&A, and discussion of voting procedures. 


Summary of the Tentative Agreement (PDF)

Download/View a Summary of the Tentative Agreement

The Summary of the TA describes the negotiated changes that will take effect if the TA is approved by membership. Please read this Summary carefully before voting. Bring your questions to worksite meetings this week and to the polling place on voting day in your building. 


Voting Information

Voting will be open Wednesday, April 25 through Monday, April 30. Trenton-area offices will have set voting days and times in the worksite. Field offices and members who request absentee ballots will be given specific instructions to cast their votes online. 

Full voting information and instructions will be posted on this website on Friday, April 20th, so check back for updates. 

Voting information will be discussed in worksite meetings on 4/19 through 4-24 (see below). 


Worksite Meeting Schedule

Below is the worksite meeting schedule to discuss contract ratification and the TA. 



Tuesday, April 24

401 E. State Street from 12pm to 4pm in Public Hearing Room, 1st floor

* Open to ALL DEP workers and Agriculture at Station Plaza



Thursday 4/19

DOH Main Bldg

11am - 12pm



Friday 4/20

135 E. State



Thursday 4/19

NJN Bldg

12:30pm - 1:30pm  

Friday 4/20

5 Commerce Way

4pm - 5pm

Thursday 4/19


3pm - 4pm  

Monday 4/24

50 Cap, 6th fl




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)

NJ Judiciary Members

** Contracts require Adobe Acrobat Reader (download)