|AFSCME Council 52|
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Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto Stands Up For Collective Bargaining Rights
New Jersey State Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto is standing up to protect collective bargaining rights for public employees. Governor Chris Christie and Senate President Steve Sweeney support a bill that would enable the State to takeover Atlantic City and give the director of the state Local Finance Board the authority to restructure Atlantic City's debt, break union contracts, sell off city assets, and more for five years.
But Speaker Prieto is fighting against the bill because he believes in protecting collective bargaining rights. To read more, click here.
Supreme Court Rules In Friedrichs Case
A message from AFSCME President Lee Saunders:
Dear Sisters and Brothers:
This morning, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Friedrichs. The court voted 4-4 and, therefore, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision is upheld.
This means that fair share dues collection as it now exist under Abood remains intact. This also upholds the current requirement that fee payers must opt-out from paying for political and other costs that are not chargeable to fee payers, which is our current system.
Because this is a tie vote, the Court is free to take other cases in the future attacking Abood and opt out and, as we have said in the past, over a dozen similar cases are already in the judicial pipeline.
But for the moment, we should enjoy this victory and all the great work we have done in preparing for it.
Lee A. Saunders
Assembly Speaker Vince Prieto Speaks The Truth About New Jersey's Pension Crisis
New Jersey Assembly Speaker Vince Prieto is calling on the State to meet their pension obligations. About public employees in New Jersey, Prieto said "You're asking these employees to put in the money, and they are and we're not.....We are supposed to meet our obligations." To read more of Speaker Prieto's comments, click here.
Another Pension Battle For NJ Retirees Looms at NJ Supreme Court
The New Jersey State Supreme Court will hear arguments on March 14 to address whether the State of New Jersey must restore cost-of-living adjustments to retired public employees. To read more, click here.
Jersey City Adopts $15 Minimum Wage
Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop signed an Executive Order this week to raise the minimum wage for Jersey City employees to $15 per hour. Nice job, Mayor Fulop!
To read more, click here.
New Jersey AFL-CIO Blasts Excessive Fees Charged To Public Employee Pension Fund
New Jersey AFL-CIO President Charles Wowkanech blasted Wall Street for charging the excessive fees to the New Jersey Public Employee pension fund. To read more, click here.
AFSCME Members in Paterson Go Back To Work....For Now
On March 1st, City employees in Paterson packed the City Council chambers this week to demand that the Council pass a budget. Several days earlier, the Mayor and City Council failed to agree on a budget and the City told all "non-essential" employees not to report to work beginning March 1.
AFSCME members, along with other City employees, jammed the City Council chambers to make sure their voices were heard. To read more, click here. While this temporary approriation puts our members back to work for now, we will continue to fight until the Mayor and City Council pass a fully funded budget that protects the services that our member provide for the people of Paterson.
We want to thank all of the AFSCME members who sent e-mail's, made phone calls, and attended the City Council meeting to support their sisters and brothers and urge the Mayor and Council to pass a budget.
OP ED - Christie Must Stop Lying About Our Pensions
New Jersey AFL-CIO President Charlie Wowkanech and CWA State Director Hettie Rosenstein make a persuasive argument in a Star Ledger op-ed piece that Governor Christie continues to lie about public employee pensions. To read more, click here.
Council 52 Members Are AFSCME Strong!
Council 52 members are AFSCME Strong! In recent months, we have held several regional AFSCME Strong trainings to educate and mobilize our members to fight back against the attacks on union members. To read more, click here.
A Message From AFSCME President Lee Saunders On The Impact Of Justice Scalia's Death On The Friedrichs Case
As you no doubt have heard by now, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has passed away.
While we don't yet know the impact that Justice Scalia's death will have on cases currently before the Court, here is what is known:
- If the final vote on Friedrichs is 4-4, the 9th Circuit Court's ruling will stand, which means that Abood remains the law of the land, or
- The Court may re-hear the case in the coming term, once a new justice has been confirmed.
Remember that even if Abood is upheld in the short term, a number of cases that affect fair share and other issues of top concern to us remain in the pipleline. Further, our enemies continue to press their attacks at the state and local level, as evidenced by West Virginia yesterday becoming the 26th state to go right-to-work.
All of this means one thing: we can never quit the work we began two years ago to strengthen our union. With the next president set to nominate justices to the Supreme Court, now is the time to double down on our organizing efforts with a sharper focus on the upcoming election.
Lee A. Saunders
On Thursday, February 11, AFSCME members in Paterson packed the City Council chambers at a emergency meeting to demand the Council pass a budget. Earlier in the week, after the City Council failed to pass a budget, employees of the City of Paterson were told that they would not receive their paychecks on February 12th. At the emergency Council meeting, AFSCME members from Locals 430, 2272, 2903, 3474, and 3724 sprung in to action and made sure their voices were heard at the Council meeting. The City Council voted 6-0 to pass a temporary budget for February that ensured that our members will receive their paychecks.
To read more, click here.
Local 2273 and 2522 at Preakness Hospital attended an Anti-Privatization training led by AFSCME International Union staff.
Thank you to all AFSCME members who are helping communities, schools, campuses, and health care facilities throughout New Jersey clean up from the Blizzard of 2016!
Click here to see AFSCME Council 52 members hard at work helping New Jersey dig out from the Blizzard of 2016!
New Jersey Legislators Vote To Put Pension Funding Question On Ballot
The New Jersey State Legislature wrapped up their session earlier this week by approving a ballot question to require the State to make full pension payments for public employees. The measure would require that the State meet its obligation in quarterly installments, which would generate untold millions in additional investment returns, rather than paying in a lump sum on the last day of the fiscal year.
This vote fulfills the first in a two-part plan to place a referendum on the November 2016 ballot asking voters to approve the amendment. Democrats didn't have enough votes to deliver a victory in one year. Instead, they have to approve the proposed amendment by simple majorities in back-to-back legislative years. The new session began Tuesday, January 12th.
Local 2306 Members Protest Time Clock Policy
The members of Local 2306 fought to overturn an unfair time clock policy that the Hudson County Welfare Board members had implemented. The officers and executive board members led a march on the bosses office on December 1 and then spoke out at the County Freeholders meeting on December 10. To read more and watch the video, click here.
Two AFSCME members from Bayonne honored for heroism.
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