The “Working Families Flexibility Act of 2013” also known as “comp time” legislation is pending a vote in the House of Representatives and we anticipate that a vote may occur as early as next week. The New Jersey State AFL-CIO is opposed to this bill and asks you, your friends, and family to take action in opposition.
This deceptively named legislation takes a significant step backwards for employees because it dilutes their ability to earn overtime pay while also undermining the 40-hour work week and establishing mandatory overtime.
If enacted, this legislation would provide employers with a financial incentive to establish a “comp time” system that shortchanges workers both financially and logistically in regard to work-week hours and scheduling. Under this bill, the benefit of flexibility would be granted only to employers – at the cost of employees. Employees would suffer dramatic financial and personal hardships if this bill is enacted.
As workers’ wages continue to stagnate, this bill not only does nothing to change that, but goes in the opposite direction by loosening rules that will result in a further erosion of workers’ wages.
Please take a moment to send a message to your Congressional Representative urging him or her to oppose this bill (H.R. 1406).
On April 10th, the Civil Service Commission will hold a public hearing on a rule proposal to eliminate civil service as we know it. The rule proposal bypasses the legislature and contract negotiations to "broad band" civil service titles, rewrite promotional rules, and eliminate or limit important protections like veteran preference, testing and ranking on lists, and layoff rights.
Take action to ensure this rule isn't rubber-stamped after a single hearing! Make sure thousands of public employees and hundreds of thousands of residents can weigh in to shape or stop this rule.
The “broad bands” of job titles would allow management at all levels of government (State, County, and Municipal) in the Civil Service System to group numerous job titles in large “bands.” Employers could hire, demote, or advance employees to jobs within the “band” based solely on management's assessment of your competency - without objective testing or lists.
Even worse is the manner in which the Commission is trying to do this. They are only allowing one hearing on these changes—at 3pm on a work day when most workers and residents cannot attend the hearing. Despite the fact that thousands of public employees would be harmed by the rule, the hearing room only holds 20 people.
The Christie Administration wants to silence public input and push this change through with a rubber stamp after one meeting. We need to mobilize to stop it.
We will be organizing public comment opposing the rule but the first step is to get the Commission to hold a real public hearing process.
The New Jersey State AFL-CIO and its community allies consider raising the minimum wage and including a cost of living adjustment (COLA) to be a top priority for our state. In order to provide economic stability to low-income workers, New Jersey needs a permanent fix for calculating its minimum wage, and that means establishing an annual COLA. Unfortunately, last week Governor Christie conditionally vetoed legislation seeking to increase the minimum wage and eliminated the COLA. For this reason, the only way to achieve passage in 2013 is by placing it on the ballot for voter approval.
A Constitutional Amendment (SCR-1) to achieve this has been posted for consideration by the State Senate for this Thursday, February 7, 2103. The resolution needs to pass both houses of the legislature two years in a row in order to appear on the ballot.
The same resolution passed both house of the legislature last year mostly along party lines by a vote of 23-16, with all Democrats present voting yes (except Sen. Jeff Van Drew, who voted no) and all Republicans voting no. New Jersey’s growing poverty statistics are startling and raising the minimum wage would be a strong first step toward addressing this problem.
The fiscal cliff was averted, but the deadline to address the debt ceiling was only pushed a few months down the road, and working families now face damaging across-the-board sequestration cuts unless Congress takes action. So why is it that our country is in this glut, moving from one fiscal debate to another? The answer is because it is a way for right wing leadership to keep Congressional focus on national debt and cutting government spending.
Constantly focusing on debt is a misguided strategy for several reasons: 1) to fix our economy we need to focus on creating jobs, not just cutting spending, 2) we cannot stabilize our national debt unless we fix our economy first, and 3) continued cuts to the middle class threaten to drive our economy backwards and inflate our debt as was seen in Europe.
To prevent our middle class and economy from moving backwards as a result of ongoing debt debates, Congress needs to hear from us. Send an e-mail to your members of Congress below urging them to:
Oppose benefit cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid
Cancel across-the-board sequestration cuts
Close tax loopholes for Wall Street, the richest 2%, and outsourcing jobs
This Thursday, May 24, 2012, the New Jersey State Assembly will be voting on A-2162 (Oliver / Greenwald / Green / Johnson / Prieto / Wisniewski), which seeks to increase the state’s minimum wage to $8.50 and make annual adjustments based upon the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The New Jersey State AFL-CIO strongly supports the legislation. Furthermore, please urge your friends and family to visit this page by going to www.njaflcio.org and clicking on the "Raise NJ's Minimum Wage" icon on the top left hand side of the webpage.
Corporate opposition to increasing the minimum wage in New Jersey will be significant. They continue to press the false argument that increasing the minimum wage translates into job loss, despite widespread academic research that illustrates otherwise.
Please take a moment right now to fill out the below form and send a message to your assembly representatives.
The New Jersey Supreme Court has been an exremely well respected and balanced court because every Governor for over six decades has appointed members in a bipartisan fashion, to maintain a four to three split between the two parties and to preserve the court's independence. If the Governor’s nominees –Phillip Kwon and Bruce Harris – are confirmed, this essential safeguard would be dismissed for the first time in our state’s history, setting a dangerous precedent for future governors to simply appoint members of their own party.