CWA activists in New Jersey are mobilizing as part of an extensive statewide member education campaign to build support among our 800,000 members and retirees for a constitutional amendment that will require the government to fully fund public workers' pensions.
CWAers have completed more than 1,000 volunteer shifts of knocking on doors and calling public sector union members to talk to them about the November ballot initiative.
The campaign is using the latest smartphone and app technology so that activists can talk with the maximum number of voters and track the results. Volunteers have also been phone banking to contact members about the November vote to amend the constitution to hold politicians accountable and save our pension.
In 2011, Governor Christie signed a law requiring the state to do its part in restoring proper funding for the pension system, after forcing pension cuts for workers. The governor then reneged on the deal, grabbing billions of dollars from the pension system to help his own budget when state revenues fell short of expectations.
Christie said the state couldn't afford to make the pension contributions, but had no problems protecting billions in tax relief for profitable corporations and people making more than $400,000 per year.
Last fall, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that Christie could break both his word and the law by skipping these scheduled pension payments. Undeterred, CWA and other unions filed a petition for review with the U.S. Supreme Court, but the justices declined to hear the case. That means the lower court ruling currently holds up. That's when CWA and other public worker unions moved forward on the referendum campaign. Expected to gain final approval from the legislature, the question would appear on the November ballot.