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

August 7, 2013

Lucia Guarini, Acting Director
Essex County Department of Citizen Services
18 Rector Street, Floor 9
Newark, NJ, 07102

Re: Step III Class Action Contractual Grievance
Dangerously Maintained Case Files' Banker Boxes in OMS
Article I. Purpose
Article VII. Discipline
Article XXV. Non-Discrimination
Article XLIX. Safety of Staff

Dear Ms. Guarini:

CWA Local 1081 submits this Step III Class Action Contractual Grievance on behalf of all of our Union's members assigned to the Office of Medicaid Services (OMS) to protest the still dangerously maintained case files' banker boxes within that office.

ASFS Frank Palmieri's attached Step I Class Action Contractual Grievance reply of July 24, 2013 is heartening to our Union, and to our adversely affected members, as he cites his support for our position regarding the dangerously maintained case files' banker boxes within his office. However, as he so aptly yet regrettably states within his response, he hasn't the authority to rectify the matter.

While Director Yvonne Davis' attached Step II Class Action Contractual Grievance of July 29, 2013 ostensibly upholds our grievance by asserting "Your grievance is affirmed and we are currently working with the Administrative Supervisor Frank Palmieri to clear space for eighteen (18) file cabinets for the Office of Medicaid Services", the following problems still exist despite Ms. Davis' prompt and well-intended efforts to assuage our Union's concerns:

It has been reported to CWA Local 1081 that seventeen (17), not eighteen (18), file cabinets have been actually transferred from The Riverview Office to the Office of Medicaid Services, as indicated within the attached photograph #1 taken today and emailed our Union.
As per the attached photograph number #2 of the OMS's file room also taken today, the file cabinets that were transferred to the OMS were used to contain merely some of the case files' banker boxes that had been on the floor within the OMS's record room as one may clearly see that numerous residual case files' banker boxes remain upon the floor of the office's record room.
As per the attached photographs taken today of the employees' working area where clients are interviewed, photographs #3 through #8 expose the fact that none of the case files' banker boxes from that area where clients (including children) and employees must walk and work have been moved to the already full file cabinets transferred to the OMS from The Riverview Office.

As per the attached three photographs taken on July 25, 2013 within the OMS which accompanied our Step II Class Action Contractual Grievance of that date, marked #9, #10 and #11, the offending case files' banker boxes that had on that date been strewn about throughout the interviewing area of the office remain so. Additionally, the attached photograph #11 reveals how few case files' banker boxes were actually removed from the floor of the record room. The office thus continues to suffer a series of possible dangers for our members and their clients and their clients' children:

Inasmuch as the case files' banker boxes maintained within the aisles of the office such as those depicted within photos #9 and #10 are stacked perilously toweringly, in many cases four boxes high, the containers represent both a tripping hazard as well as the possible peril of falling upon a person as they work with them or even pass by them.
The lengthier case files' banker boxes, as depicted within photo the attached photograph #11 sans tops which are stored within the office's record room area, in several places still allow too little space between which employees may maneuver thus representing a tripping hazard.

The resolution CWA Local 1081 respectfully re-reiterates to this grievance consists of the County expeditiously arranging for the hazardous case files' banker boxes to be safely stored by either purchasing a sufficient number of additional file cabinets or by obtaining them by some other means.

While CWA Local 1081 fervently desires to continue to work cooperatively with the County in resolving this matter of utter import, our Union continues to remain prepared to file a formal complaint with the New Jersey Public Employees Occupational Safety and Health program (PEOSH) were this grievance not hurriedly heeded by virtue of your sanctioning same.

We seek a hearing in this regard.


David H. Weiner, President
CWA Local 1081