CWA Local 1081
60 Park Place, Suite 501
Newark, NJ, 07102
Office (973) 623-1081
Fax: (732) 988-1081

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Newark Teachers Union

New Jersey Citizen Action Oil Group

May 30, 2013

Robert DeMarino, ASFS
Food Stamp Citizen Services Center
50 South Clinton Street, Floor
East Orange, NJ, 07102

Re: Step I Class Action Contractual Grievance
Raw Sewage Seepage Within the Lower Level
Article I. Purpose
Article VII. Discipline
Article XX11. Health and Safety
Article XXV. Non-Discrimination
Article XLIX. Safety of Staff

Dear Mr. DeMarino:

CWA Local 1081 submits this Step I Class Action Contractual Grievance on behalf of all of our Union's adversely affected clerical members assigned to Food Stamp Citizen Services Center to protest their being managerially directed to continue to file within an area that today experienced a backup and spillage of raw sewage within the filing room area that was formerly the site of the kitchen.

Our Union has instructed our applicable members to refuse any directive they toil within the area wherein the raw sewage spill lies. Legally, an employee cannot be considered insubordinate for failing to comply with a request related to unsafe or illegal acts.

If the smell of raw sewage or sewer gas is present, it's possibly a sign of a health hazard:

1. Sewer gas is a term for hydrogen sulfide gas, which is detected as a smell similar to rotten eggs. Sewer gas is colorless, but has a strong odor. It is a natural byproduct of the breakdown of waste material. Its presence signals a malfunctioning sewer venting system. Sewer drains by dry taps sometimes allow sewer gas to enter a home or other enclosed space. Smelling sewer gas at low concentrations is not deadly, but it does cause eye and throat irritation, coughing and trouble breathing. Long-term effects of inhaling low concentrations of hydrogen sulfide gas include fatigue, loss of appetite and headache. Extremely high concentrations of the gas are toxic and sometimes fatal.

2. In open areas where raw sewage is present, the unpleasant smell is likely the worst effect, assuming there is no long-term exposure. Particles of raw sewage are able to become airborne, however, and inhalation of these particles causes adverse health effects such as gastrointestinal discomfort, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.

The resolution to this grievance CWA Local 1081 demands consists of the County immediately ceasing to require any of our Union's members to work within the above cited contaminated area.

We seek a hearing in this regard.


David H. Weiner, President,
CWA Local 1081