Your State Worker Bargaining Team successfully completed negotiations on a very important No Layoff Agreement with the Murphy Administration.


UPDATE: 6/30/20: 

Guidance for Furloughed NJ State Workers Represented by CWA

CWA Tips for furloughed state workers filing for unemployment insurance

Update 6/27/20:

The Job Security MOA was overwhelmingly ratified.
13595 yes
1318 no
14913 total

A Message to CWA Executive Branch State Workers From Your Bargaining Committee

Dear Sisters, Brothers, Union Family,

Last night, your State Worker Bargaining Team successfully completed negotiations on a very important No Layoff Agreement with the Murphy Administration.

This Agreement will protect our members job security during the worst economic upheaval since the Great Depression. It includes a deferral of the upcoming July 2020 raise and a rescheduling of the April 2022 raise. It includes some furlough days, but most of which will be eligible for unemployment.

We will provide the details of this Agreement to our members within the coming days and you will have an opportunity to vote on this No Layoff Agreement this week. 

We are proud of the agreement that we negotiated over the past several weeks. Deferring wage increases and having workers furloughed, even for a few days, is difficult. But in an environment such as this, we believe that we have accomplished something remarkable: Job protection for our members and their families. We hope that once you understand the details of this Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that you will agree and vote yes. 

You will soon receive detailed information. We will have a Townhall Call to go over the Agreement, and you will be emailed voting instructions as soon as they are completed.

In Solidarity,

John Rose, President Local 1031

Patrick Kavanagh, President Local 1032

Gaye Palmer, President Local 1033

Adam Liebtag, President Local 1036

Ken McNamara, President Local 1037

Shawn Ludwig, President Local 1038

Carolyn Wade, President Local 1040

Hetty Rosenstein, NJ Area Director

Dennis Trainor, CWA District 1 Vice President

8:46 – Stop Work Thursday, June 11, 12 Noon Black Lives Matter

8 Minutes, 46 Seconds—Stop Work.

Thursday, June 11, 12 Noon.

Black Lives Matter.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

As trade unionists and as Americans, we were all outraged by the vicious murder of George Floyd. We are heartened by the uprising of hundreds of thousands of Americans, Black, Brown and white, demanding an end to racism and declaring: “Black Lives Matter.”

Because of Covid-19, it has been difficult for many of us to show our solidarity with this movement.

But on Thursday, June 11, at 12 noon, we will take a stand against racism by doing what trade unionists do when they are protesting for what’s right and fair: Stopping Work.

We are asking all of our members to stop and reflect for 8 minutes and 46 seconds—to remember the length of time the Minneapolis police officer had his knee on George Floyd’s neck.

Obviously, all of our members work in different circumstances. Many are still working at home. Some must care for patients or engage with customers. We urge you to observe the 8:46 in whatever way works best for you:

  • Gather in a small group in your workplace, socially distanced, and hold signs in solidarity. Downloadable signs are available at
  • Pull your truck over, get out, and take a selfie
  • Stand up in your work location
  • Take a knee in your work location
  • Use your lunch break to hold a socially distanced picket line outside your work location
  • Take a selfie that can be posted in solidarity. Post this with your selfie: “8:46. Stop Work and Reflect. Black Lives Matter. #CWAforBlackLives #WalkoutForBlackLives”

Do not abandon patients and customers. Figure out a way to engage in the protest that works for you.

On Thursday morning, officers and shop stewards should reach out to local management to make them aware of the plans for protest and ask them to join the action. 

We strongly encourage you to take pictures! You can share them yourself and use the hashtags #WalkoutForBlackLives and #CWAForBlackLives and/or send them to us at to share on the District 1 Facebook page and Twitter.

This is not an action that we take lightly. Any time we stop work for any length of time, it’s serious business. But we are asking you to observe these moments of solidarity on Thursday, because the problems of racism and police violence are deadly serious.

Thank you in advance and Solidarity Forever!

CWA Update on NJ State budget $10B shortfall and negotiations to protect jobs

Dear State Worker Union Family,

We have heard from many members who are rightfully concerned about the State budget and how we will be impacted. If you have been a State Worker since 2009, you will remember that in response to the last economic “crash” we negotiated a Furlough/Wage Deferral/No Layoff Agreement with Governor Corzine. At that time, the State was facing a $2 billion shortfall. That Agreement included 10 days of furloughs, an 18-month deferral of the across the board raise, and enforceable job security for our members.

When Chris Christie was elected Governor, he was enraged about this Agreement because it made it impossible for him to layoff the 10,000 workers he said he would layoff during his campaign. That agreement was overwhelmingly ratified by members and, as it turns out, was indeed “Christie-proof” and protected members’ jobs.

The State is now facing a $10 billion shortfall – something much worse than the 2009 shortfall. In response, we have embarked upon negotiations with Governor Murphy to explore all available options to again protect as many jobs as possible. Layoffs would not only be disastrous for our membership and have additional drag on the state economy, but the public services provided by our membership are needed now more than ever. We know that a federal aid package and borrowing are both under discussion. The reality is furloughs and layoffs would not solve the budget shortfall – federal aid and careful borrowing are both needed.

We cannot, at this time, discuss these negotiations publicly or answer ANY questions about them. Like all negotiations, we will share information with members as much as possible, but we must be careful with our ongoing discussions. We know there are a lot of rumors and speculation because members are very concerned. What we can tell you is that our goal is to protect jobs at a time of great risk to public workers and public services and we will proceed as we always do, in a democratic way, with members ultimately deciding the course of action.
We are letting you know this now, so that you are not surprised if we ask you to support an Agreement that includes some things that are immediately a sacrifice, but that ultimately protect our jobs. We do not know if we will be successful in reaching such an agreement. The circumstances are much worse than after the 2008 economic crash. Today’s circumstances are more dire and present a greater threat to our members job security – but we are going to try to protect every one of our member’s jobs.
In Solidarity,

John Rose, President Local 1031
Ken McNamara, President Local 1037
Patrick Kavanagh, President Local 1032
Shawn Ludwig, President CWA Local 1038
Gaye Palmer, President Local 1033
Carolyn Wade, President Local 1040
Adam Liebtag, President CWA Local 1036


May 22, 2020

Dear Union Family,

Please read this update carefully.

You have probably read about the Steve Sweeney Job Share/Furlough bill that the Legislature passed. This bill is an update of 2013 Job Sharing legislation that permits partial furloughs, and the only change appears to be a clarification that employees make a full pension payment during the furlough and receive full credit. (Which was the practice, but was not in the law.) This bill requires that there is Union agreement.   Although Sweeney is touting the possibility of 100,000 furloughs of public workers, it is CWA’s intention to use this legislation or the current law only if it will avoid the worst prospect – layoffs. This bill does not cause mandatory furloughs. They must be negotiated and agreed to by the union.

You may have also read that the Governor has approved a change to a Civil Service Rule that previously only permitted 30-day VOLUNTARY furloughs but will permit longer Furloughs without loss of healthcare or pension benefits to prevent layoff.   Please note – these furloughs cannot be made unilaterally. Furloughs that apply to multiple workers represented by CWA have to be negotiated. Individual workers can make use of the Voluntary Furlough regulation where it applies to their circumstances.  

Our problem is not the legislation or the Rule. This legislation and Rule, while tools, would not do enough to stem the bleeding of revenues to the State and Local municipalities. With the current level of losses to revenues, the State is facing at least 10 BILLION (that’s a B!) in lost revenues. If these revenues are not made up through federal funding or bonding, there will be massive cuts to the State, to counties, and to municipalities.   This doomsday scenario requires responsible and strenuous action from our Congress and from the NJ Legislature in the form of support for the Governor’s plan to bond to make up for lost revenues.

Neither the Sweeney Furlough Bill nor the revised Civil Service put our members in harms’ way by their passage. We are deeply engaged and watching these developments and we will take responsible actions that protect our members. The genuine and immediate threat is the loss of $10 billion in revenues and the need for federal aid and for State borrowing.

CWA is preparing for all contingencies. We are talking with the Administration regularly, we are actively supporting Federal legislation, and we are speaking with our State and Federal officials about financing.

Our entire approach is the safety of our members, the protection of jobs and healthcare, and the maintenance of public services.

We are planning several Telephone Townhall calls to discuss our contingency planning and we will send you notices next week about how to join the call(s). There will be a call specific to State workers as well as a call that will cover the specific challenges that are facing some of our State colleges.

When we have those calls, we will call you at the number that you have provided to us.   If you have not been receiving the calls, please go here now, and give us your phone number.

We know that you have many questions and concerns about the future of your job and the important work that you do. We will have some answers when we have the call. For now, please be assured that our Union is very proactively engaged in protecting all our members.

In Solidarity,

John Rose, President, CWA Local 1031

Patrick Kavanagh, President, CWA Local 1032

Gaye Palmer, President, CWA Local 1033

Adam Liebtag, President, CWA Local 1036

Ken McNamara, President, CWA Local 1037

Shawn Ludwig, President, CWA Local 1038

Carolyn Wade, President, CWA Local 1040

Hetty Rosenstein, NJ Director

Dennis Trainor, Vice President District 1

Register Now to Vote by Mail in the NJ Primary Election

A New Jersey voter may vote by mail by completing the Application for Vote by Mail Ballot and return the application to their County Clerk.

To receive your ballot by mail, the application must be received by the County Clerk 7 days prior to the election.  June 30, 2020, is the deadline to apply for a Mail-In Ballot by mail for Primary Election.  Please note, the County Clerk cannot accept faxed or emailed copies of an Application for Vote by Mail Ballot, unless you are a Military or Overseas Voter, since an original signature is required.

Applications for Vote by Mail Ballot can be found here.

2020 Primary Election Timeline:

May 13: Deadline for Change of Party Affiliation Declaration

May 30: Commencement of Mailing Regular Mail-In Ballots for Primary Election

June 30: Voter Registration Deadline to Register to Vote in the Primary Election

July 7: Primary Election Day, Ballots must be postmarked by this date

Please contact the local if you have any questions.

CWA Local 1033 Political Action Committee


Action Alert: Send an email to your Member of Congress to protect Public Services!

You may have read Governor Murphy’s warning that without assistance from the Federal Government, New Jersey will suffer unheard of layoffs of state, county, municipal and education workers.

Although there are no plans in place for these types of layoffs, this was not an idle threat. Income tax, sales tax, fees, and other revenues have plummeted, while the demand for services and cost of addressing the virus, have skyrocketed. The State has already spent hundreds of millions of dollars on Personal Protective Equipment and testing, and as we know there still isn’t nearly enough equipment or testing.

That’s why we need you to take action right now by clicking here to ask the Federal government to assist us in NJ!

Why aren’t layoffs an answer?

1. Our public services were already extremely understaffed before this hit. State and county and municipal workplaces have been down more than 20% of staff since 2008. We can’t lose more workers. The Emergency has stopped a great deal of work and left all but emergency and direct care work backlogged. But this work cannot be delayed forever and how will it ever get done if there are tens of thousands of layoffs. Will we never have parks? Who will help people get food stamps? Are we going to reward the heroes of this pandemic by laying them off?

2. Layoffs are a blunt instrument. Many jobs are partially paid for by Federal Funds. If you cut those jobs, there is actually very little in savings generated. Many fully state-funded or county and municipally-funded jobs are filled by essential workers and are direct services for those most in need. 

3. Putting more people on unemployment will stress the economy, not relieve it. Loss of income and healthcare benefits will turn the workers who were serving the public and propping up the economy into families in need who are taxing limited public resources.

4. The greatest source of public money goes to public education. Are we going to layoff thousands of teachers? Close schools forever? Eliminate all education other than bare bones? Destroying the education for a generation of children cannot be the answer.

What’s to be done?

Write and call your Member of Congress:

Senator Menendez (D-NJ) and Senator Cassidy (R-LA) are sponsoring the State and Municipal Aid for Recovery and Transition (SMART) Fund, a bill for a $500 billion fund for state and local governments. STATES, COUNTIES AND MUNICIPALITIES need this bill! The bill is supported by both Republican and Democratic governors all over the country. Please send an email to your Member of Congress and tell them to sponsor and support this bill.  

Don’t delay!   Act now.

In Solidarity,

CWA New Jersey

CWA Members have several options to be tested for COVID-19

If you need a COVID-19 test, you have several options:


YOU ARE ELIGIBLE for First Responder testing. (example: our 24/7 healthcare workers, Child Protective Services workers, on the job Dept. of Health responders, EMTs, public-facing emergency social services.)

There are several FIRST RESPONDER testing locations throughout that have been set up, and CWA members can access them by going through the portal set up by our friends at the PBA. Here is the portal:

Please note: You have to fill out a screening form to be eligible for testing. The form will ask you what union you are a member of – where it says “other” put in CWA. It will also ask you what your “badge number” is. If you have a State ID, use that number, or put your Local union number in: example – 1033.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, the test will be free and covered entirely by insurance. If you do not meet all the symptom eligibility, you can get the test for $52.


There are numerous county sites throughout the State who are providing tests to symptomatic residents.

These are symptoms only sites. You will also have to fill out a screening questionnaire. DO NOT SHOW UP AT THESE SITES WITHOUT HAVING DONE SO. YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO GET TESTED WITHOUT BEING SCREENED FOR SYMPTOMS. You can find a list of the testing sites and a fill out the self-assessment:

Your physician can order a test for you and that prescription can be used at the county sites or at private labs.

Please call and make appropriate appointments. Do not just show up at testing sites. These sites can be overwhelmed quickly.


Waiving Rules to Speed Hospital Admissions

To ensure our members get the care they need, eliminate potential delays in admission and treatment, and help New Jersey hospitals deal with the increasing demand on staff resources, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (Horizon BCBSNJ) is waiving pre-authorization and pre-certification for inpatient admissions at in-network acute care h…
— Read on

CWA Human Rights – COVID-19 Resources

While the COVID-19 outbreak has a widespread impact, for some groups the situation furthers their vulnerabilities and limitations. On this page, you will find a list of resources, campaigns, and actions to help support your families and communities as we all work to respond to this moment.
— Read on

State Health Benefit Plan COVID19 Testing/Treatment – No Cost to Members

All New Jersey State Health Benefit plans including all PPOs (CWA Unity, NJ Direct, NJ Direct 10 & 15, etc.), HMO, Tiered network and high deductible plans will cover all testing and treatment for COVID19 without member payment of copays, deductible or any other out of pocket costs.

No Limits on Early Refill of Maintenance Drugs

OptumRx will drop all prohibition against the “early” refill of maintenance drugs for all SHBP prescription plans.  Controlled substances such as opioids will continue to have prohibitions against early refills.

Telemedicine and Telehealth Offered with No Member Copay for In-network Providers

State Health Benefits Plan has announced all in-network, and out-of-network providers may provide telemedicine (audio/visual through Skype, Google, etc.) and Telehealth (audio only)remote office visits during the COVID19 emergency and receive payment for an office visit.   Members who have Telemedicine/Telehealth visits during the COVID19 crisis with an in-network provider will not have a copay or any other cost.   Members who receive Telemedicine/Telehealth from an out-of-network provider will continue to pay a copay and deductible amounts.
Telemedicine/Telehealth behavioral health visits are included.

Governor Murphy Orders Free COVID19 Testing for Uninsured

Most part-time, intermittent, and seasonal employees are ineligible for coverage through State Health Benefits, and many may be completely uninsured.  To ensure that uninsured individuals have access to testing for COVID-19, the Murphy Administration requires hospitals and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) to waive patient fees for testing and related diagnostic services for those who lack health insurance.