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N.J. Shop Stewards Gear Up for Pension Amendment Campaign

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More than 500 CWA N.J. shop stewards and activists met for a day of mobilization training on the campaign to win a ballot question for a constitutional amendment to require the State of New Jersey to make full payments into the pension system.

This is an unprecedented, statewide member education campaign, aimed at mobilizing some 800,000 active employees and retirees to drive support for the constitutional amendment.

Governor Christie had signed a 2011 law requiring the state to do its part in restoring proper funding for the pension system, after forcing pension cuts for workers. But he reneged on the deal, grabbing billions of dollars from the pension system to reduce his budget shortfall.

Last fall, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that Gov. Chris Christie didn't have to make scheduled pension payments into the public pension system.

CWA and other unions filed a petition for review with the U.S. Supreme Court. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case, meaning the lower court decision stands. "It just means what we already knew, which is that we have to protect the funding for these pensions by giving these pensions the same protections they would have in the private sector," said CWA New Jersey Director Hetty Rosenstein.

CWA stewards and activists are ready to go out and build support for the constitutional amendment to safeguard public worker pensions. CWA is leading the way on the campaign.