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

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9/16/15 Presentation to EC FB Re. Resolution #5

I am David Weiner, President of CWA Local 1081 representing the nearly 700 non-supervisory employees of the Essex County Division of Welfare. Our Union’s office is located at 60 Park Place, Suite 501, Newark. I come before you tonight regarding resolution number five in which the Administration proposes the Board of Chosen Freeholders appoint Jeanette Page-Hawkins “Division Head-Office of Welfare. Our comments this evening are not intended at all as an aspersion upon Ms. Page-Hawkins’ experience or other qualifications:

1. Title: The title that for decades has been recognized by Civil Service for Ms. Page-Hawkins’ present position is “Director of Welfare”, as per the Job Specification #01650, not “Division Head-Office of Welfare”. In fact, the title “Division Head-Office of Welfare” does not exist within Civil Service.

2. Civil Service Requirement: The Director of the Essex County Division of Welfare is, and always has been, a Civil Service position as has been the Deputy Director which at this time has not been filled. By arbitrarily changing Ms. Page-Hawkins title to one not recognized by the New Jersey Civil Service Commission, the Director of our agency would not be covered by Civil Service and would serve “at will” which renders her at the whimsy of the Administration which would well color her decisions in a manner not in the best interests of our agency, its employees and its clients. The concocted title of “Division Head-Office of Welfare” also deprives the members of PESU their time-honored opportunity to be promoted to Deputy Director and Director and thus deprived members of CWA Local 1081 titular advancement opportunities as well.

3. Agency’s Title: Our agency is the “Essex County Division of Welfare”, not “Office of Welfare”.

4. Our “Resolution”: The resolution to this matter our Union insists upon consists of the County arranging for Civil Service to hold an open and competitive examination for the title of Director of Welfare for our agency, as well as an examination for Deputy Director.