Dear CWA 1036 Members,

 

As expected, the United States Supreme Court ruled, in a 5-4 decision, against workers and their rights to collectively bargain for better wages, benefits, and working conditions. The case, Janus v. AFSCME, makes the entire public sector “right-to-work”, which is an ironic moniker for having no rights at work.

 

By allowing non-members to pay nothing for the services and benefits that having a Union provide; such as grievance representation, collectively bargained raises and benefits, and due process rights for discipline, the purpose of this decision is to undermine the Union, cause division among members and non-members, and make it more difficult to fight for our members.

 

There are open questions from the decision, such as the extent to which a non-member is still covered under our contract and whether they receive any representation from the Union if they pay no representation fee or dues.

 

The Janus ruling is a blow, to say the least, but it cannot and will not defeat us. Here in New Jersey, we stood together through eight years of one of the most anti-worker administrations in this state’s history. By standing together and standing firm, we fought off the worst proposals and emerged with a new administration and a new Contract. Make no mistake, we only made it through to this point by standing together as a Union.  When we stand together and commit to fighting for one another we will not only survive whatever they throw at us but grow stronger as a result.

 

Please also understand that having a Union is what gives us the ability to fight for raises, benefits, and due process protections. Without a strong Union with vigiliant membership, ALL of those things are at risk, including the Contract that we ratified today.

 

Right now, solidarity and unity are more important than ever. We have no time to mourn, grumble, or pout. 

 

Janus does one thing for certain – there are no more sidelines.  There are members of the Union, fighting to protect one another and what we have gained by building power for workplace justice, and then there are people outside the Union, who are not a part of it. Our members are our strength and will continue to be. 

 

In the last month alone, CWA 1036 has been working hard for members: 

 

  • Settled the PNCR Contract, with an overwhelming majority in support;
  • Successfully defended our right to progression payments;
  • Fought to preserve and defend our pension system;
  • Protected members and non-members from the malfeasance of certain managers;
  • Signed up almost 100 new members;
  • Held dozens of worksite meetings across the state, keeping members informed about everything from workplace to international issues important to workers and their families;
  • Are CURRENTLY fighting to stop a state shutdown and make sure that any budget that passes does not endanger our healthcare or pensions

 

This is the work that our MEMBERS do. These are the victories that our MEMBERS win.   None of it is guaranteed unless we keep fighting for it.

 

We are still CWA STRONG!

 

SOLIDARITY FOREVER.

  

PS - For more information on this decision, please visit:  

https://www.cwa-union.org/cwa-strong-janus-decision-materials

 

 

 

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

http://www.texasaflcio.org/donate

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 houstoniamag.com - 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 Amazon.com 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

 

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.