CWA's Hetty Rosenstein on New Jersey Civil Service "Broadbanding"
Council #10 is now on Twitter
Council #10 is now reaching out to members through Twitter. We look forward to using social media to improve service. Follow us at @Council_10. See you on Twitter!
Public Service Recognition Week
May 6, 2013
Dear Council #10 Member:
Public Service Recognition Week, celebrated the first Monday through Sunday in May since 1985, is a time set aside to better inform Americans about the broad variety of services provided by government.
The week is also an opportunity to show appreciation to public employees at the federal, state, county, and local levels who ensure that our government is the best in the world. Public Service Recognition Week provides governments around the nation the vehicle with which to celebrate, recognize and identify the important contributions that public employees offer to this country. It is a perfect time to emphasize the common bond among federal, state, county, and local levels that ensure that our government is the best in the world.
This year Public Service Recognition Week takes place from May 6 to May 10, 2013. We at Camden County Council #10 appreciate the hard work and dedication of not just our own members but all those who serve the American public.
In 1961, President John F. Kennedy said, “Let the public service be a proud and lively career. And let every man and woman who works in any area of our national government, in any branch, at any level, be able to say with pride and with honor in future years: 'I served the United States Government in that hour of our nation's need.’”
Camden County Council #10 considers it a privilege to represent those that serve the American public.
Thank you for your service!
Karl R. Walko
Council #10 President
would like to thank
for recognizingPublic Service during
Public ServiceRecognition Week
Union places PSRW ad in "Retrospect" newspaper
(Friday, May 3rd edition)
Stand Up for Civil Service-Stop Broadbanding
The Civil Service Commission held a public hearing on April 10 on its proposal to replace current civil service rules with a new “job banding” system that would affect all classified employees in State, County, and Local Government. There was NO decision by the CSC at the hearing since it was only the first step in the public hearing process. Public comments are due by May 17th. Sometime after the public comment period, the rule will be re-published. The full Commission will need to vote on adoption of the final rule.
The rule proposal would eliminate veteran’s preference, objective exams, lists and rankings, and the rule of three. The proposal would also base future promotional advancement solely on interviews of candidates that management deems “competent,” and anyone deemed not “competent” could potentially be demoted. In other words, the proposal is a giveaway to management patronage and will certainly lead to discrimination, favoritism, and other workplace problems.
Yesterday was the first step in the process where the Commission is required under law to hold a public hearing. Unfortunately, despite repeated requests in advance and at the hearing to move the meeting to a larger room, the hearing room held less than 50 people. Over 100 members from many unions and many CWA locals picketed outside for the duration of the hearing. All testimony over the course of two hours was strongly against the rule proposal. There was not a single person who testified in support.
Legislators testified against the rule: Senator Linda Greenstein, Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo, Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson-Coleman, and Assemblyman Dan Benson spoke about their personal experience with civil service and their strong opposition to the rule since it bypasses statute and collective bargaining. Community allies from Garden State Equality, Latino Action Network, Next Step, a disability rights group, and others spoke against the rule because it will eliminate protections for minorities, women, the disabled, and others who are more likely to suffer from discrimination and favoritism.
Labor testimony came from CWA, IFPTE, AFSCME, and others. CWA NJ Director Hetty Rosenstein cited how the CSC has not held one Labor Advisory Committee meeting of labor representatives during Gov. Christie’s term. Over 2,300 letters petitioning the CSC for additional public hearings were delivered by CWA Local 1036 President Adam Liebtag, Local 1032 President Patrick Kavanagh, and Local 1039 President Lionel Leach. In addition to the 2,300 CWA and community letters, the NJ AFL-CIO delivered another 700 letters collected from its membership, so there are now over 3,000 individual requests for additional public hearings.
CWA 1036 President Liebtag testified against the rule, tearing down the comparisons between the CSC rule and the Judiciary’s current broad banding system as well as criticizing the proposals.
The Henry J. Dunn III scholarship program awarded $10,000 in scholarships at the Council #10 General Membership Meeting on March 26. Twenty recipients each received a $500 scholarship. The program once again awarded a $500 scholarship to each eligible applicant. Two special scholarships were awarded. Christine Pape received the Freeholder Scholarship which is presented annually in recognition of the Camden County Freeholder Board's donation of $10,000 in memory of former Council #10 President Henry "Dinny" Dunn. The John West scholarship, established in memory of former shop steward John West, who died in the line of duty in 2002, was awarded to Brian Carson. (Photos of event)
Winslow Unit Reaches Contract Agreement with Township
The Winslow Township Bargaining Unit reached a tentative agreement with the Township on a contract covering 2012-2016 with increases totaling 10% over the 5-year period. The tentative agreement was ratified by members on March 21 by a vote of 51-8. The agreement must be approved by the Township committee before becoming official. Approval by the Township Committee is anticipated. The bargaining unit includes approximately 70 members working in clerical, professional and blue collar titles.
Need Documents Notarized?
A Notary Public is available in the Council #10 Office. Council #10 members needing documents notarized may come to the Union Office to use this service free of charge (some limitations apply). If you have any questions, please contact Caroline Taylor at the Union Office at (856) 541-4191 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Auction Date Delayed for Camden County Health Services Center, Talks Continue
County officials have delayed the auction date for the Camden County Health Services Center for technical reasons. The new date, anticipated in April, has not been set. The County is reserving the right to review and accept or reject bids in the auction.
The center, serving county residents since 1816, houses both a 300-bed long-term care unit and a 150-bed behavioral health in-patient psychiatric unit.
Following up on a February 15 meeting with employees at the facility in which union leadership received authorization to offer significant concessions in order to maintain employee jobs, Council #10 and AFSCME Council 71 met with County and CCHSC officials on March 8 and March 15 to offer contract savings meant to keep the entire facility government owned and operated. An additional meeting with County and CCHSC officials is scheduled for the week of March 25. The discussions have been quarantined by agreement of all parties involved.
Approximately 125 Council #10 represented employees work at the facility out of a workforce of over 400.
Camden City Crossing Guards Sign New Contract
On February 21, 2013, President Walko and Council #10 representatives, Kevin Eubanks and Carolyn Ware signed their new five-year agreement with the City which sees Guards receiving $0.45 per hour increases in 2011, 2012 and 2013. In addition to the hourly pay increase, Guards receive an increase in uniform allowance from $350 to $475 per year and most will receive a $275 one-time payment in lieu of retroactive payment for 2009 and 2010.
Approximately 65 Guards are covered by the contract. Most work 2½ hours per day during the school year. The City has approximately 130 corners designated as needing a Crossing Guards leaving more than 60 designated corners uncovered.
(l. to r. - President Karl R. Walko, Carolyn Ware, Mayor Dana Redd, Shop Steward Kevin Eubanks)
New Trustees Sworn in at Feb. 5 Board Meeting
Three new Trustees were sworn in at the Council #10 Board of Trustees meeting on February 5.
Ken Rice was sworn in to a position he previously held, replacing County “Large” Unit Trustee Barbara Kidawa who retired on January 1.
Jennifer Grady was sworn in to replace Renee Taylor representing the Gloucester Township Administrative Staff Unit.
And George Fuchs, in the CCHSC Regular Unit, was sworn in to replace the Bunny Cowgill, who retired on December 1.
The new trustees were selected by the union’s Vacancy Committee and will fill the positions until the union’s annual election in October.
Council #10 Announces Partnership with an Employee Assistance Program Provider
On February 5, the Council #10 Board of Trustees approved a partnership with HCAMS (Health Assistance with Membership Support), an employee assistance provider, assisting employees with stress-related conditions; behavioral health issues and drug and alcohol dependencies at no cost. Union representatives will offer the assistance to members before or at the early stages of discipline in order to head off more significant problems.
HCAMS has provided assistance to public employees in New Jersey for over 20 years as a Certified Employee Assistance Professional (CEAP). The currently partner with the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) and a number of CWA New Jersey locals.
Members can contact HCAMS directly at 1-888-828-7826.
County Library Negotiations Stretch into Fifth Year without Settlement
Negotiations between Council #10 and the County Library Commission have now stretched into a fifth year without a settlement. The last contracts between the parties expired on December 31, 2008. Council #10 represents “support staff” workers and their supervisors at the library system’s eight branches. AFSCME Council 71-represented Librarians have also been without a contract since 2008.
While Council #10 has continued to push for a settlement, the negotiations have stalled a number of times as the result of significant changes in management’s proposals, changes in State laws related to public employee benefits, the retirement of management’s chief negotiator and death of his replacement and the inability of the management representatives at the table to have any flexibility. The management team has been headed by representatives of the Board of Freeholders and not the Commission and has followed the direction of the Camden County administration.
Over the past years, the Council #10 Negotiations Committees believed they were close to breakthroughs on several occasions before facing additional obstacles as the result of changes in management’s positions. Especially frustrating were the several substantial changes in management’s proposal on health benefits. At this point, the health benefit issue has been somewhat simplified by the 2011 state law which required considerable health benefit premium contribution by all public employees throughout the state and by the County’s (and Library’s) enrollment in the State Health Benefit Program defining the plan options available to eligible employees.
Compounding the Union’s frustration is the realization that the difference between the parties in real cost to the Library was relatively small. The members of the Support Staff are overwhelmingly part-time and relatively low paid. The average hourly rate is $12.72. A 2% increase for unit members would cost the Library $33,685 per year.
Members of both Council #10 and AFSCME rallied at a Commission meeting in March 2012 asking for Commission members to push the negotiations to a conclusion. Despite a thrust by the Union as well as efforts by management representatives to move forward, discussions stalled again over health benefits language. That issue remains unresolved although it appears that resolution could come fairly quickly. The remaining issues can be addressed within several meetings if both sides push for an agreement.
The Negotiations Committees are next scheduled to meet with management on February 13 and February 22.
NJ Division of Pensions & Benefits Provides Calculator for Determining Required Health Benefit Contribution for Those Covered by the State Health Benefit Plan
The New Jersey Division of Pensions & Benefits provides an on-line calculator for employees wishing to determine the health benefit contribution they are required to pay as a result of the pension and benefit law passed in June 2011 (P.L. 2011, c.78). Employees will need to know the plan they elected and their year of phase in (1, 2, 3 or 4) in order to use the chart. Questions concerning the phase year should be directed to the union representative in your area or by contacting the Council #10 office (856) 541-4191.
County Negotiations Committee Issues Report on Initial Proposals by Union and Management
The Camden County Multi-Unit (Large, Blue Collar, Crafts, Mosquito and Supervisory Units) Negotiations Committee authorized the release of a report outlining the initial proposals by both Camden County and Council #10 in the ongoing negotiations for successor contracts. The current collective agreements expired on December 31.
After agreeing to sign an agreement in the last negotiations which offered significant concessions to management, Council #10 has once again received a proposal in which Camden County is extremely aggressive in seeking additional concessions. All the same, Council #10 and your negotiations team remain focused on reaching a fair and equitable collective bargaining agreement regardless of the County’s proposal.
Unit members can anticipate progress reports throughout the negotiations. (1/5/13)
2012 Council #10 Member of the Year
Each year at this time, Council #10 selects one of its members as its "Member of the Year." The Member of the Year award was created to recognize members that made an exceptional effort to improve their work place or to support fellow members. Our intent is to spotlight their service as an example for others. The selection is made by the Council #10 Officers from nominations received.
The 2012 Council #10 Member of the Year is Bunny Cowgill. Bunny has worked for the Camden County Health Services Center since June 1994, starting as an Account Clerk Typist and working her way up to Principal Account Clerk Typing. But that was the easiest part of her duties at work. Bunny was an outstanding representative for CCHSC employees since she took over the Council #10 Trustee position in 2001 after serving as Shop Steward since 1996. While Bunny could have been selected in any of the past few years, she had to be selected this year because it was our last chance. Bunny retired as of December 1. In Bunny, Council #10 members had someone that handled problems on her own. Sometimes I wasn't told until after the problem was resolved. That was fine since Bunny knows the employees at the Center much better than I ever will and retained the basic common sense that is often missing in dealing with employee-management problems. So the problems were handled properly-and with understanding for the employee; and finally, with the willingness to face up to management and get them to do the right thing. As a result, she was respected by management as well as by her coworkers. They are her members. In the only occasion I can remember in my over 20 years with Council #10, a member (Laura Bezich) came to a Trustee's meeting and addressed those attending by telling them how members at the Center recognized that Bunny really cared for them and how deeply she will be missed.
Bunny was nominated by acclimation recognizing this was the last chance to recognize her exceptional service. President Karl Walko said, "A lot of the basic issues in life could be avoided if people were nicer to each other. It's all about respect and treating people right. Bunny gets that and has always expected respect and fair treatment for Council #10 members at the Health Services Center. While someone will take her place, no one can replace her and I will miss her tremendously." (12/14/12)
Council #10 President Walko Addresses County Freeholders on Layoffs, Cutbacks in Benefits and Upcoming Negotiations -
Council #10 President Karl Walko addressed the Board of Freeholders at their July 2012 meeting in Collingswood. The full text of the address is as follows:
Council #10 does not expect the County to hire employees just to improve the economy but we want to point out what has happened in this recession and how it is so different than the past.
During past recessions, local and state government increased employment; however, during this recession, the public sector nationwide shrunk by 706,000 jobs. Government job losses are now the single biggest drag on the economy. Undoubtedly, it has had an impact on Camden County’s economy.
Beyond the numbers, it is important that the Board keep in mind how government differs from the private sector.
In the private sector, businesses start, grow, shrink and go out of business. Others come in their place. Businesses gain and lose customers. While constant comparisons are made, government is different. The service provided by public workers is critical to the community and for obvious reasons there are normally no alternatives for customers. As a result, stability in services is much more important in the public sector. And in order to provide the stability in services, stability in the work force is critical.
Over the past few years, Camden County has lost a vast number of employees—many of those employees had substantial organizational knowledge. Now, at some work sites, it’s like they are starting over from scratch. Services are suffering and will suffer more with further losses. When the current Council #10 contracts end at the end of this year, many additional long-term employees will be leaving. This only adds to the problem.
Council #10 saw cutbacks coming. We believed the County should invest in its employees so that fewer employees could maintain or even increase services. We believed that through training, technology and better equipment, this could be done. And through attrition, the overall number of jobs could be reduced. Unfortunately, that’s not what happened. Nevertheless, we are still prepared to be partners in improving the productivity of employees and improving services from their current level.
While not much can be done to retain retiring employees, Camden County needs to consider its remaining employees and the services they provide. With a smaller workforce, it becomes even more important that the County hires and retains fully qualified employees.
Council #10 members in trouble have often been described to me as “your problem member”. Just as often, I responded that if Council #10 did the hiring, a lot of problem employees would never have been hired. We ask that you focus on hiring reliable employees.
But more important, we ask that you focus on what you offer qualified employees. The advantages of public employment have continually shrunk over the past years and especially in the past few years.
Now and over the next few years:
Employees will be contributing a much larger portion of the cost of their health insurance coverage. Some will lose over $5,000 per year in pay. Now there will be little advantage over private sector jobs especially with the coming implementation of the Affordable Health Care Act.
Pensions are currently reduced, and for new employees, greatly reduced. In fact, it’s not clear what will happen with the entire pension system. A government pension no longer has its previous attraction.
Salaries in more skilled positions lag behind the private sector.
Most importantly, public workers are being demonized in the media by irresponsible officials. Existing workers are demoralized by the attacks. Many are retiring, counting the days until they can retire or are regretting the day they took a government job. Candidates for employment will think twice about taking a position so subject to abuse.
We have negotiations coming up this fall. We believe it is in the interest of everyone to reach a FAIR agreement as quickly as possible. But we believe in collective bargaining and the importance of the collective agreement to County employees. The current agreement was negotiated over the past forty plus years. While we recognize that negotiations mean changes in the contract, it doesn’t mean that what the County now wants it should have. We expect the Board to have respect for the process. We believe that issuing proposals through the media in advance of negotiations was extremely destructive. We believe addressing employees directly and not through their elected bargaining unit representatives was extremely destructive. We believe that making proposals for the sake of public posturing is extremely destructive.
Current workers are generally confused about what to expect in the future, beaten down by attacks through the media and discouraged by the reductions in their pay and benefits. If they ever looked at the Board as a good employer, they no longer have that view.
Council #10 believes that resolution of successor collective agreements without unnecessary conflict is essential for the future in order for Camden County to attract and retain qualified employees as well as for improving the productivity of the current workforce.
We ask that you consider all of this in preparing for the upcoming negotiations.
Lower Premiums Results in Switch to State Health Benefits by County and City
Employees working for Camden County, County agencies and the City of Camden will be switching from "self-insured" employer health plans to the New Jersey State Health Benefits Program (SHBP).
The City's decision follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding by the City last winter as part of its applicationn for State Transitional Aid. The MOU required the City to consider a "best practices" policy for obtaining health benefits which included a cost comparison of State health benefits against the existing plan. The Citizens Campaign, a non-partisan public interest organization also pushed adoption of policy. Their report indicated that switching to SHBP could save the City 3-24% for each employee's coverage depending on the type of coverage the employee received (single, parent/child, husband/wife, family).
Both the County and the City received recommendations to switch to SHBP from their broker Connor Strong Buckelew because of the anticipated savings.
The lower premiums will also result in savings to employees. With the implementation of the Chapter 78 law enacted by the State last summer, all state and local government employees in New Jersey will pay an increasingly greater portion of the actual cost of their health benefit coverage over the next several years. The four-year phase in requires employees to pay 25%, 50%, 75% and then the "full" contribution in successive years. In year four, employees will be paying up to 30% of the cost depending on salary and type of coverage they receive. The start of the phase in begins either on the date of the legislation's enactment (6/28/11) or at the end of contracts that were in effect on that date.
SHBP offers 16 plan options including both PPO's and HMO's varying in cost.
Council #10 has pushed both City and County officials for years to enroll in SHBP because of the quality of the coverage and the reduced cost.
The County enrollment takes effect on September 1. The City plans enrollment on January 1, 2013.
Unions Decline and Rising Inequality
This About Sums It Up
From the Star-Ledger
ongoing for the Camden County Units, County Library Support Staff and Supervisory Units, the Camden County Prosecutor's Office Clerical Staff Unit, the Health Services Center Regular and Crafts Units, and the Pine Hill Unit.
THE CAMPAIGN OF
SENATOR BARBARA BUONO
by Karl R. Walko
Council #10 President
Dear Union Brothers and Sisters:
Senator Barbara Buono received the support of many New Jersey progressive groups in her campaign for Governor almost immediately after she announced she was running. Public employee unions throughout the state saw her as a friend. Of particular interest to Council #10 and its members are her views on collective bargaining and the demonization of public workers. Unlike Gov. Christie, his Republican colleagues and a group of Democratic legislators who joined them in the June 2011 vote on legislation changing New Jersey public employee pensions and benefits, Sen. Buono believed that changes must come through collective bargaining. She also speaks out on the importance of public workers as the “backbone of the middle class”.
The following, taken from news articles and her campaign’s website is intended to provide Council #10 members with some background on the candidate and her campaign.
Why She Chose to Run
Announcing her candidacy in December, State Senator Barbara Buono, age 59, became the almost certain gubernatorial candidate of the New Jersey Democratic Party after other potential candidates declined to enter the race. Asked “why do you want to be governor and why would you be a good one?”, Buono responded, “New Jersey is hurting. We have the highest unemployment rate in over three decades. We’re losing good jobs to other states. We’re at the bottom of the barrel in economic growth: 47th out of 50th during this governor’s first two years in office. We need to have a plan that will create good-paying jobs with livable wages. I grew up in New Jersey and want to create the same opportunity I had. My father was an Italian immigrant. We were on the lower end of the middle class. I lived in Nutley in a second-floor walkup with my parents and two sisters. My parents slept on a hideaway bed in the living room. My girlfriend and I had to share new roller skates. She would wear one, and I would wear one. I just want to create the same opportunity I had. I don’t see that this governor has a plan to do that. Too many people are being left out of the equation. We had a lot of rebuilding that needed to be done before Sandy. We can’t shy away from those issues.”
Barbara Buono was born in Newark, the youngest of three sisters. She grew up in Nutley, where her father, born in Italy, worked as a butcher and her mother worked in an office and as a substitute teacher. In 1975, Buono graduated with a B.A. in political science from nearby Montclair State College. She then worked three jobs – in the Montclair Public Library, as a per diem reporter for the Star-Ledger and in the Essex County Probation Department. She attended Rutgers Law School, receiving her J.D. in 1979. As posted on her website, having grown up in working class North Jersey, Barbara Buono understands the important role of self-reliance. But, just as importantly, she appreciates the role government can play for those trying to make a better life for their families. After graduation from law school, Buono served as a judicial law clerk and as a public defender for the New Jersey State Department of the Public Advocate. Following her time there, she entered private practice.
In 2010, Buono’s Democratic colleagues made her the first woman majority leader of the state Senate. But her tenure was short-lived. Buono refused to go along with Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver’s support for Christie’s plan to reform public employees’ pension and health insurance benefits. Buono supports pension reform, but was opposed to lumping together pensions and health care. She is adamant that health care benefits should be hammered out only through collective bargaining. In response to her vote, the Democratic leadership stripped Buono of her Senate title, replacing her with Senator Loretta Weinberg of Teaneck. “It wasn’t a hard call,” Buono says of her stance. “I’d do it again.”
Support of Women’s Issues
Buono is a strong advocate for women in politics, and her advocacy appears to have started long before she entered public life. In her Nutley High School yearbook, the note under her portrait says: “Barbara, who would like to practice law, fears the continued repression of the female.” It was 1971. Today, she sponsors a Young Women’s Leadership Program—for high school seniors and juniors.
The State Fraternal Order of Police made the decision to back Buono bypassing the 16,000-member union’s traditional route of more detailed candidate screenings, including face-to-face meetings. “In 2008, then-candidate Chris Christie sat across the table from me and promised he would not touch our pensions,” said union president Ed Brannigan. “And, then right out the gate, it was one of the first things he did. He lied. He reduced our pensions and benefits, including eliminating our cost of living wages.” Brannigan said the union skipped the typical endorsement process because “my members were crystal clear.” “They feel that Governor Christie has continued a demoralizing attack on public employees over the last three-and-a half years,” he said.
New Jersey's largest teachers union endorsed Buono saying it's time the state had "new leadership" and "new priorities," the union cited Buono's longtime support for public education as a key component of its decision. “Unfortunately, over the past three years, teachers and school employees have seen their budgets slashed, their colleagues laid off, their class sizes increased, and their programs cut," NJEA President Barbara Keshishian added. "Barbara Buono will be a governor who will believe in public education and the men and women who work in our public schools."
Buono told members of a union representing firefighters and emergency workers Gov. Chris Christie has “demonized” and “scapegoated” public workers during his three years in office — one of many reasons he favors the rich over the middle class. “His policies have helped the wealthiest one percent and hurt the middle class.” Buono, who described firefighters and union members as “the backbone of the middle class,” painted the governor as an enemy to collective bargaining. Buono’s campaign said that over the last three years, we have lost thousands of public workers who were laid off as a result of Gov. Christie’s policies — in the name of shared sacrifice — while demanding nothing of millionaires,” Buono said. “The opportunities we once had growing up in New Jersey — they’re slipping away,” she said. “His attack on collective bargaining has worsened things.”
The Communication Workers of America, which represents 35,000 state employees, New Jersey's largest state workers union, officially endorsed Buono. "With one in 10 residents out of a job, now more than ever New Jersey needs leaders who will look out for working families and the middle class," Hetty Rosenstein, the union's state director, said in a statement. "Our Locals overwhelmingly voted to support Barbara Buono for governor because she understands and is on the side of middle-class families. Barbara Buono grew up in a working family and knows what it's like for families to struggle to makes ends meet," Rosenstein added. "She'll fight for all of New Jersey's families, not just the 1 percent." Buono responded to the endorsement saying, “The CWA is made up of hard-working New Jerseyans, and I am honored to receive their support. They have long defended the all-American notion that if you work hard, you should be able to take care of your family. As governor, I will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them to ensure that is a reality in New Jersey."
Her Chances of Winning
Emily’s List, an organization that seeks to elect more women to public office, said about Gov. Christie, “When Christie needed to make cuts in the budget; he decided to target programs that helped the people of his state in their moments of greatest need. He put the chance for children from low-income families to go to college in jeopardy by cutting nearly $50 million from Tuition Aid Grants. And he didn’t stop there; he also cut more than half a million dollars in funding for programs for abused children.
Both his budget priorities and his “colorful commentary” make it obvious he doesn’t understand the needs of working families. Maybe he’s forgotten that not all parents have access to the state helicopter to travel to their kid’s sports games and activities, and are just trying to earn a decent wage.
His economic agenda has included vetoing legislation to increase the minimum wage and restore the earned income tax credit for low-income workers and supporting a bill that could have destroyed collective bargaining. It also included giving a record $1.57 billion in tax cuts to corporations. It’s clear he’s been busy pushing his conservative social agenda and, no matter what he says, improving the state’s economy clearly has not been at the top of his to-do list. Perhaps that’s why under his leadership New Jersey has dropped to 48th in statewide employment rates.
New Jersey voters have noticed. Only 45 percent of New Jersey voters approve of his handling of the economy, an issue that the plurality of voters say is the most important problem facing their state. And, given his policies, it should not be surprising that he gets only a 40 percent approval rating on taxes.
Incredibly, Christie’s pseudo-straight-talk has somehow managed to give him cover for an extremely conservative agenda and a brazen search for the limelight. Sound bites and laugh lines only curry so much favor. He likes the perks of public office, but has not taken on the attitude of public service.
It is a long campaign season and Sen. Buono still has to introduce herself to many New Jersey voters. I believe the more they see of her the more they will like her.
ACTIVITIES COMMITTEE SCHEDULES BALTIMORE INNER HARBOR, NIGHT AT THE PHILLIES EVENTS
The Council #10 Activities Committee has scheduled two events in June. The first, on June 15, is a bus trip to Baltimore Inner Harbor, which includes a speed boat tour of the harbor. The second event, on Friday, June 21, is the union's annual Philllies night at Citizen Bank Park in Philadelphia. This year the Phillies face their arch-rival, the New York Mets in a 7:05 PM start.
Tickets are limited for both events, so order your tickets early. For tickets and information, contact the Council #10 office by phone (856) 541-4191 or e-mail.
TEMPLE OWLS VS. LASALLE EXPLORERS
On February 21, 2013, Council #10 members saw the Temple Owls defeat the LaSalle Explorers 82 to 74 at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia. Temple's Forward Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson led the Owls with 23 points. What an exciting night for Temple Owls fans.
HOLIDAY HAPPINESS AT RADIO CITY
A bus load of Council #10 members and friends rolled into Radio City at Rockefeller Center in Central Manhattan on Sunday, November 25 for the Annual Christmas Spectacular with extra time for holiday shopping and eating.
The bus trip has become an annual event based on the repeated requests from participants.
2012 HENRY J. DUNN, III SCHOLARSHIP TOURNAMENT RAISES OVER $8,700
Thanks to those that participated in this year’s Henry J. Dunn, III Scholarship Golf Tourney, over $8,700 was raised to fund scholarships for the sons and daughters of Council #10 members. The 17th annual tournament was held on September 20 at the Valleybrook Golf Club in Blackwood.
A total of $157,300 in scholarships has been awarded since the fund was initiated. In March 2012, all 20 applicants were awarded $500 scholarships. In fact, the fund has been able to award a $500 scholarship to every applicant for over ten years.
Next year’s event is scheduled for Thursday, September 19.
THANKS TO OUR 2012 HENRY J. DUNN, III SCHOLARSHIP GOLF TOURNAMENT SPONSORS!!
Dr. John Kernan
Spear Wilderman, PC
Captain Mike's Marina
The Walko Family
Inglesby & Sons Funeral Home
Newfield National Bank
Council #10 Supervisor's Unit
The Goree Family
Council #10 Officers
Iris Financial Services
Frank's Time Out
Council #10 at the Phillies Game, June 21
Despite unseasonably warm weather, Council #10 members and guests showed up for June 21 Philadelphia Phillies v. Colorado Rockies MLB game at Citizens Bank Park in South Philadelphia. Despite a home run by Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins to start the game, the Phillies lost to the Rockies 4-1.
Council #10 County Retiree Luncheon a Big Hit with Retirees, June 1
Repeated thanks and rave reviews were received from attendees at the Council #10 Activities Committee sponsored County Retiree Luncheon on June 1 at the Riverwinds Restaurant in West Deptford. The event honored those County, CCHSC and County Library employees who retired in 2010 and 2011.