LOCAL 1040

Update on the Constitutional Amendment

 Brothers and Sisters,

As you know, we have waged a very long battle to protect the public worker pension system in New Jersey. We have fought in the courts, in the state legislature, and with our collective political power. Following a terrible New Jersey Supreme Court decision in June of last year, we have engaged in a campaign to get a Constitutional Amendment on the ballot to ensure the pension is funded.

On Monday, the State Assembly took its final vote to put the Constitutional Amendment on the ballot. That means the only thing left is for a majority of the State Senate to vote to put the Amendment on the ballot, and then it will be sent to the voters in the November election.

On Thursday, despite round-the-clock lobbying from CWA elected leaders and thousands of calls from CWA members to State Senators, there was no final vote on the Senate floor.

Part of the reason is that on Monday, Governor Christie came up with a plan to fund the state’s transportation network that included $17 billion in cuts to the state’s General Revenue Fund over the next ten years. If that plan is agreed upon, there will be no money for anything in New Jersey—higher education, property tax reduction, services, parks—or pensions. To make matters worse, members of the State Assembly voted to agree to Christie’s drastic cuts on Monday night.

To be clear: We are disappointed that the State Senate did not put the pension funding Constitutional Amendment up for a vote. And we are also disappointed that so many elected leaders have tied funding for our roads and bridges to draconian cuts in services. But we are not giving up.

There is at least one more voting session where the State Senate can take up the measure that would put the pension funding Constitutional Amendment on the ballot in November. That will be on August 1. This means that over the month of July, we will need EVERY CWA member to contact their legislators, and we will need to talk to every Democrat in the legislature to ask them to protect money to pay for services, and then put the Constitutional Amendment to protect our pension on the ballot in November.

Get ready to dig in and fight harder. We will be in touch with you about next steps soon. For now, please know that we admire the fight you have all led to protect this pension, and we are developing a plan to engage members in the final push to get the amendment on the ballot.

Until then, enjoy a well-deserved July 4 holiday, and please remember all of the members of CWA and other public servants who will be on call and not able to enjoy a long weekend. We will begin the final push after the holiday, and with grassroots support from the members of our union, we will be successful in moving the Amendment to a vote.

In Solidarity,
Hetty Rosenstein
CWA NJ Director

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