Communications Workers of America
Below is information from the State regarding payment for the shutdown from July 1 through July 3:
Pay for the shutdown furlough will be issued in a supplemental payroll on payroll date R, which is September 1. Taxes will be deducted as normal, but other deductions were already charged in the prior 9-day pay covering the shutdown period.
Overtime will be recalculated for the period of the shutdown for eligible employees.
Non-essential employees who were placed in no-pay status during the shutdown, will be paid for the furlough time. This will be paid by the state, not charged to benefit time.
Employees who would have been on FMLA, State Family Leave and/or unpaid leave of absence even if the State had not shut down, including unpaid voluntary furloughs, will have time sheet adjusted accordingly to reflect that leave.
Dear State Worker,
Today, the Supreme Court unanimously upheld the Appellate Court's judgment in the Atlantic and Bridgewater cases. The Court ruled that the New Jersey Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC), Atlantic County, and Bridgewater overstepped in unilaterally denying workers in Atlantic and Bridgewater their salary increments after Contract expiration.
The Christie Administration used the Atlantic and Bridgewater cases to deny State Workers their increments, despite the more than 40 years of precedent, past practice and custom of continuing increments.
We hope that the Administration and all New Jersey public employers will now restore the increments and follow a law that has existed since 1975. However, if they do not, (and we expect that the Christie Administration will not immediately pay the increments) today’s decision makes clear we have the legal tools to restore the increments, including a grievance that we filed and that has been held pending this decision.
Below you will find a more detailed analysis of the Supreme Court decision and notice of a Town Hall Call that will take place on Monday, August 7, 2017 at 7 p.m. We will provide a full legal analysis and explanation of next steps on that call.
CWA NJ Director
P.S. As you know, the Governor signed the back pay legislation and we will be paid. We are awaiting a date for payment from Centralized Payroll. We will get that information to you as soon as we have it.
Today, the Supreme Court issued its decision on the “increments” cases in Atlantic County and Bridgewater. In these cases, the employers denied increments after expiration. The State of New Jersey, Judiciary and other employers have relied upon PERC’s decisions to deny payments of our increments. The Appellate Court overturned PERC, and the employers appealed to the Supreme Court. PERC, Atlantic County, Bridgewater and the Christie Administration LOST.
The Supreme Court UNANIMOUSLY AFFIRMED the Appellate Court’s judgment in Atlantic and Bridgewater. The Court ruled that the denial of increments is grievable and can be arbitrated. This is very good. It is not perfect, however, because the Court felt it didn't need to rule on every issue and we may find that the Christie Administration will still try to withhold increments. If that happens, we will have to use this decision and the Appellate Division decision to further challenge the withholding of increments.
Please carefully read the explanation below.
The Appellate Court overturned PERC's decision eliminating increments post expiration in Atlantic and Bridgewater. (The State of New Jersey relied upon PERC's decision to not pay our increments.)
The Court said that increments are a mandatory subject of negotiations and parties can agree to have them continue, or sunset, after contract expiration.
If the employer denies salary increments- it is grievable and arbitrable. CWA filed grievances on this when increments were first denied. The grievances were held in abeyance waiting the Supreme Court decision.
The Appellate Division held that increments must continue as part of the “dynamic status quo” even where the contract does not specifically address whether they are paid after expiration. The Supreme Court affirms that increments must be paid if the contract explicitly states this or if it states that all terms and conditions of employment continue. The Court chose to not specifically address what happens if the contract language is not specific, but did not overturn the analysis of the Appellate Division. The Supreme Court’s decision not to reach that question just means that it reserves the right to consider the issue in another case. In the meantime, the highest court decision addressing a public employer’s obligation to pay automatic increments, says that the increments must be paid.
We have a very clear history that our increments are automatic. We have refused language last Contract that would have required that increments "sunset." We have also rejected the language accepted by other unions that increments are "frozen" after expiration. The language that we have was found to meet the conditions of an automatic increment system that must be continued under the dynamic status quo doctrine. In other words, we have good language and both the "past practices” and “custom" that the Supreme Court said would guide any future decisions.
What does this mean? It means that the Supreme Court overturned the PERC decision that the State relied upon to deny us increments and to block arbitration our grievance. With this Administration, we have learned to expect the worst and they may continue to delay or refuse to pay us our negotiated increments. We may not be paid immediately based on this decision because of the issues left unaddressed. However, the decision gives us a good foundation for our contractual challenge and we are exploring other options as well.
We will hold a Town Hall Call with all of our members on
MONDAY, AUGUST 7 at 7:00PM.
TEXT the word STEPS to the phone number 69866
using your cell phone to be added to the call.
On Monday, CWA will call you directly as the Town Hall starts— just pick up the phone to listen in.You can also join the call on Monday by dialing 855-269-4484 by 6:55pm.
In addition, the Bargaining Committee and the Mobilization Committee are meeting this week to discuss next steps with Contract negotiations and mobilization.
The Local 1036 Education Committee announced and awarded the 2017 CWA Local 1036 HS Graduate, Continuing Education and 1036R Retirees Memorial Scholarships at the general membership meeting on Wednesday, June 14th.
The recipient of the 2017 CWA Local 1036 High School Graduate Scholarship is Rachel Aragona. Rachel is the daughter of Judiciary Shop Steward, Robert Aragona, and will be attending George Washington University and majoring in Civil Engineering.
The recipient of the 2017 CWA Local 1036 Continuing Education AND 1036R Retiree Chapter Memorial Scholarships is Allison Brocco. Allison is the daughter of Susan Brocco, who works at the State Department of Health. Allison is pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Tampa.
Rachel Aragona received a check for $1,000.00 and Allison Brocco received a check for $1,500.00 from the Local to help defray the cost of tuition. Congratulations to both Rachel and Allison (& their parents) and best wishes to the other applicants with their academic endeavors!!
On Friday, June 30th at midnight, the NJ State Legislature found itself unable to settle on a budget for the fiscal year to start July 1st. CWA Locals, other public sector unions and political allies worked at the State House non-stop from June 26 through the end of the shutdown on July 4th fighting on behalf of our members and the important public services and facilities that New Jersey residents and visitors need.
The shutdown happened because Governor Christie threatened to veto over 70 budget amendments added by Democrats if they did not agree to reforms at Horizon allowing the State to have greater control over its finances. Democrats did not want their budget priorities vetoed, but some opposed letting the budget be held hostage to Christie’s call for Horizon reform. They argued the budget had a deadline of June 30th and the Horizon reform would benefit from more open debate and analysis, not tied to the budget negotiations.
After three days of government shutdown caused by this deadlock, Assembly Speaker Prieto crafted consensus to increase oversight of Horizon and get support for passing the budget. The shutdown ended in the early morning hours of July 4th.
Local General Membership Meetings are open to all full members in good standing from any bargaining unit. We conduct Local business like financial and committee reports, with full updates and discussion of hot-button issues like contract negotiations, legislative and political campaigns.
These meetings are in addition to the monthly unit meetings for large groups like Burlington and Hunterdon counties, or State worksite meetings.
See our Events page for a listing of other Local unit meetings and events.
All General Membership Meetings begin at 5:30 p.m.
100 Barrack Street, Trenton NJ
5 Pioneer Blvd, Westampton NJ
100 Barrack Street, Trenton NJ
100 Barrack Street, Trenton NJ
Today, CWA 1036 filed a group grievance on behalf of all affected employees who were entitled to a progression increase (step payment) on January 1, 2017 but did not receive it.
In the grievance, the Union asserts that all employees eligible to receive progression increases should receive the increases that were due under the applicable Contract, effective January 1st of each year. Further, the Union demands that progression increases of 4% be added to base salary to all employees eligible for progression increases as of January 1, 2017. Employees at “maximum 1” who are eligible for advancement to “maximum 2” should also receive that increase.
The basis for this grievance is a letter of agreement signed by the Union and Judiciary in May of 2015, in which the parties agreed that for purposes of progression increases upon expiration of the Contract, the language to be applied is Article 7 of the 2008-2012 Contract, the contract prior to this one. The side letter recognizes that the Judiciary and CWA bargained changes to progression during the 2012-2016 contract, but if there is a dispute over whether progression must be paid after the contract expires, the controlling language is the prior agreement which was in effect from 2008-2012. In other words, under this letter of agreement signed by both parties, CWA argues that progressions of 4% per year are due effective January 1st of each year under our expired contract and while we negotiate a new one.
By failing to pay progressions, the Judiciary has violated our Contract. Additionally, as we have raised previously, the Judiciary’s actions are contrary to over forty years of legal precedent and a unanimous Appellate Court ruling, holding that annual progression increases negotiated in a contract are paid to employees when a contract has expired and a new one is being negotiated. This Appellate Division decision is in effect at this time.
CWA 1036 is committed to fighting for the rights of our members at the bargaining table, in the courts, at the statehouse, and in the streets. We are not backing down from this fight, and we will continue to fight and negotiate for a fair contract for all our members.