2023-2027 New Jersey Executive Branch Bargaining Report
Summary of Tentative Agreement
CWA & NJ State Executive Branch
July 1, 2023 - June 30, 2027
After months of hard bargaining and incredible unity between thousands of CWA members at seven different locals, we have reached a groundbreaking tentative agreement for 35,000 state workers in the executive branch.
This historic agreement is the result of membership solidarity, patience, and strength. When we fight, we win. Together, we fought for a pattern-breaking contract and this tentative agreement has significant gains for members in every part of CWA’s membership.
Term of Agreement
The new proposed contract is a 4-year term, beginning on July 1, 2023, and ending on June 30, 2027.
Salary and Wages
1. Across the Board Increases (ATBs)
- 3.5% effective the first full pay period on or after July 1, 2023 (retro pay will be issued)
- 3.5% effective the first full pay period on or after July 1, 2024
- 3.5% effective the first full pay period on or after July 1, 2025
- 3.5% effective the first full pay period on or after July 1, 2026
- All ATBs are applied to all steps of the guide in each year and total 14.75% when compounded
- 10-month employees receive ATBs in September of each year
- Emergency Code Rates increase by the ATBs each year
- Normal increments will be paid on anniversary dates and shall continue to be paid after expiration of the contract
- New 11th Step: Effective the first full pay period on or after July 1, 2025, employees who have been at the 10th step for 24 months or longer will move to a newly negotiated 11th step.
3. New Minimum CWA Salary
- Effective the first full pay period on or after July 1, 2024, employees in Ranges 1 - 8 will move to Range 9, Step 2 or higher. The ATB for 2024 will be applied after migration to Range 9.
- Employees hired on or after July 1, 2024, will not be hired below Range 9, Step 2, which becomes the new minimum salary for all CWA-represented employees.
4. Clothing Maintenance Allowance (“CMA”)
- Maintains current CMA of $550 per year for the life of the contract, retroactive for 2023
1. Plan Design and CWA Member Contributions: No changes to plan benefits or negotiated CWA member contributions, which remain a percentage based on salary. The contract secures that any change must be negotiated.
- On an annual basis, if renewal premiums rise by more than our across-the-board raise received that prior July, plus 1%, then the parties will negotiate to reduce the premium increase or adjust contributions.
- The State and CWA will jointly seek approval from the Plan Design Committee or State Health Benefits Commission to implement any negotiated future changes.
2. Eye Care Reimbursements: Prescription lens/contacts increased to $80. Bifocals/complex prescriptions doubled to $90. Eye exam reimbursement increased to $45. Employees are eligible for these reimbursements every two years.
3. SHBP Healthcare Ombudsperson Program Continued: Designated liaisons for CWA members to intervene and advise on health benefits plans, appeals, and other concerns with health/Rx benefits
4. Direct Primary Care Medical Home Program Continued: Free office visits, wellness-focused, small office primary care program exclusive to NJSHBP members
1. Civil Service Commission Telework Pilot extended through June 30, 2024. Allows time for additional discussion and negotiations to address all aspects of a telework program.
2. Continued Negotiations before Civil Service Rulemaking. Discussions between CSC, CWA, and other interested unions will start by October 15, 2023, and end by March 15, 2024, over the terms of a formal rule to codify Telework into Civil Service regulations.
3. Dispute Process Over Telework Exclusion. Exclusion from Telework can be grieved through the Step Two Departmental process, then appealed to the Civil Service Commission. Parties agree to a specific process in the departments of Children and Families and Law and Public Safety to address exclusions by October 20, 2023.
1. Use of Temps and Agency Temps: During the first year of the contract, the State and CWA shall collaborate on how to reduce the use of agency temps, intermittents, hourlies, per diems, TES, and other part-time positions. Parties will discuss conversion to full-time positions on an ongoing basis; the contract increases reporting transparency on agency temps so the Union can seek conversions or reductions.
2. Job Security: Updates language to recognize new, legally negotiable aspects of privatization, and the arbitrability of contractual grievances related to privatization.
3. Layoffs: Update language for classified and unclassified employees.
4. Union Rights: Improves union access to new employee orientations and requires separate time for contract benefit orientation for new hires.
5. VWXY Position/Title Conversions
- Improved transparency and reporting when Departments seek to hire into a VWXY titles outside our bargaining units
- New dispute process for CWA to challenge such hiring; contract includes CSC decision to require Departments to submit plans to convert VWXY positions into CWA unit titles and place in ranges and steps.
6. Bereavement Leave: Beginning July 1, 2024, an annual 1 day of bereavement bank will be established. Each year thereafter, the 1 bereavement day will be available on January 1. Bereavement will be used before an employee’s sick time. Days do not accumulate and expire each year.
7. Health & Safety: Requires improved reporting by the State of health/safety incidents, regular reporting of HVAC filtration information twice per year.
8. Holidays: Add Juneteenth as a contractual holiday.
9. Special Response Unit “SPRU”: Hourly rates increased by $1.00 per hour effective July 1, 2025.
10. Rowan SOM: Agreement to continue negotiations for placement in ranges/steps.
11. Discipline Procedure: Creates new independent hearing officers for departmental hearings; enhances disclosure of investigation reports to the Union for certain types of disciplines where management had previously withheld.
12. Mileage Rate: Contractually secures $0.47 per mile for business use of a personal vehicle, unless the amount is increased by the annual appropriations act.
Memoranda of Agreement on Civil Service Rules
1. Supervisory Duties: Within 60 days following ratification, CWA and CSC will discuss the inclusion of supervisory duties in job descriptions for Primary and Higher Level Supervisory titles; PARs for subordinates are not always a requirement for Primary Level Supervisory titles.
2. Out of Title Work: Within 60 days following ratification, CWA and CSC will discuss out-of-title work issues including pay based on interim or temporary appointments, length of time an employee can perform out-of-title work, and use of provisional appointments to trigger promotional announcements where the employee is performing out-of-title work.