The following letter has been sent to members of the New Jersey General Assembly:
Demonizing unions, dismantling collective bargaining rights, stripping away the voice of local elected officials and disenfranchising voters is no “solution” to Atlantic City’s fiscal crisis. But, that’s just what the Atlantic City takeover legislation aims to do.
The bill being touted as the answer to Atlantic City’s prayers would hand Gov. Christie an unprecedented and frightening amount of power over not just Atlantic City’s finances, but over numerous other cities to which the bill could be applied.
The legislation in its current form would give Gov. Christie carte blanche to dismantle previously negotiated contracts, eliminate civil service, end the right to organize and grant the state immunity against unfair labor practices. Are you prepared to hand the governor that kind of power?
Atlantic City faces difficult financial challenges, yet Governor Christie's current proposal – which seeks to limit collective bargaining – is unacceptable. S-1711 is a Chris Christie power grab aimed at Atlantic City that strips workers of hard earned rights. On the other hand, Assembly Speaker Prieto's bill protects New Jersey's communities from Christie and his Wall Street friends.
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Employees whose work schedules are constantly changing, those who work shift work and those who are required to be on call can have a difficult time arranging child or elder care or otherwise juggling their work and personal responsibilities. Legislation sponsored by Assemblywomen Sheila Oliver and Pam Lampitt would make it easier for employees to achieve a work-life balance.
The “Schedules that Work Act” (A-1117/S-1397) allows employees to request work schedule changes without fear of retaliation and requires businesses (with 15 or more workers) to consider those requests seriously. The bill permits employees to request changes in their hours, times they are required to be on call, their work site and the amount of notice the employee receives for schedules and assignments.
The New Jersey State AFL-CIO’s Labor Candidates Program has reached its 869th election victory with the selection of union sister Dahlia Vertreese of IUOE 68 to the Hillside Board of Education.
Vertreese is a graduate of the 2015 Labor Candidates School who attended the program to learn more about holding elected office.
She is the fourth New Jersey State AFL-CIO Labor Candidate to take the oath of office in the past few weeks and is one of more than 140 union members currently serving on governing bodies from U.S. Congress to local Fire Commission.
Joint statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and New Jersey AFL-CIO President Charles Wowkanech on the proposal to take over Atlantic City:
“Attempts to undermine collective bargaining under the pretext of solving financial challenges are nothing new. We’ve seen it in states and cities across the country. We know that the best way to solve problems is to collaborate with workers who are on the front lines, like firefighters, police, teachers and city employees. Governor Christie’s current proposal – which seeks to limit collective bargaining – is unacceptable. The state Senate and the General Assembly should work together to find the right compromise that supports the principle of collective bargaining and protects the rights of working people.”
The registration deadline to vote in New Jersey’s Primary Election is Tuesday, May 17, 2016. The Primary Election itself will take place on Tuesday, June 7, 2016.
There has been a great deal of news coverage on the presidential election, but no matter what we hear from the media, we in the labor movement understand that the outcome of any election depends on voters.
The New Jersey State AFL-CIO joins the entire labor movement in celebrating a big win for working families, with a divided U.S. Supreme Court leaving intact a pro-union ruling that threatened our collective future.
The case known as Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association was a bold attempt by right-wing extremists to weaken all unions by reversing a decision allowing those in the public sector to collect fees from non-union members whose compensation is set through labor negotiations. The wealthy conservatives throwing money at this case used the highest court in the nation to try to undercut working families, collective bargaining and the rights of workers on the job. But they failed!
There is no shortage of union goods and services in New Jersey, and now you can add podiatrist to your shop union list. Podiatrists provide the vast majority of foot health care services in the United States, and we are proud to welcome the NJ Podiatric Medical Society to our union family as recent affiliates of OPEIU Guild 45.