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

February 3, 2016

Jeanette Page-Hawkins, Director

Essex County Division of Welfare

18 Rector Street, Floor 9

Newark, NJ, 07102

Re: Step II Class Action Contractual Grievance

Unwarranted & Inequitable Coddling of Essex Ed

Article I. Purpose

Article VII. Discipline

Article XXV. Non-Discrimination

Article XXXIII. New Employees

Dear Ms. Page-Hawkins:

CWA Local 1081 submits this Step II Class Action Contractual Grievance on behalf of all of our Union’s members to protest the minions operating the Essex County Turtleback Zoo for coddling its one groundhog, Essex Ed, by allowing the critter to have slept through Groundhog Day, Feb. 2, 2016. Per the attached article published within the Bergen Record, “According to county officials, Ed went into ‘deep hibernation’ because of the unusually warm December. In his stead, Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo produced another denizen of the zoo to stand in for Ed: Otis the hedgehog.

1. CWA Local 1081 has had, on very rare occasion, to represent members of our Union within disciplinary hearings for their having purportedly been sleeping on the job.

2. CWA Local 1081 has had, on numerous occasions, to represent members of our Union within grievance hearings to remonstrate the County having substituted inappropriately-designated titular employees to perform tasks not included within their respective Civil Service job specifications.

3. Our Union realizes that Essex Ed is an orphan who was laudably rescued in 2001 and nursed back to health by the zoo’s keepers, and we are appreciative of the fact that as of 2010 Ed had by then accurately forecasted the prospective winter weather within seven of the eight preceding years. However, Ed is in reality an employee of the County of Essex for whom his services are compensated with food and lodging.

4. Groundhogs (Marmota monax), which are also called woodchucks, are furry rodents similar to marmots and other ground squirrels. They are found in Canada and the eastern United States. Hedgehogs, on the other hand, are a family of small insectivores (related to shrews) native to Europe, Asia, and Africa.

The resolution CWA Local 1081 respectfully demands to this grievance consists of the following:

1. Essex Ed shall be disciplined for his having been caught, red handed, sleeping on the job upon the auspicious Groundhog Day this year, the one day within each year his unique services are so direly needed especially following the recent blizzard having blanketed Essex County with approximately twenty-eight inches of snow. Our Union proposes “Unenergetic” Ed is denied some of his preferred favorite morsels for a short time, including the delicacies of clover, alfalfa, dandelion, and coltsfoot, when he awakens from his slothful slumber.

2. Otis the Hedgehog, unlike Ed, the former of the sub-family Erinaceinae in the order Eulipotyphla, is not an indigenous resident of Essex County or of even the North American continent. The Ted Cruz of spiny mammals should be required to take up permanent residency within the County within the requisite five years as must newly-hired County employees. Additionally, considering his species’ possible continents of origin, the County shall enlist United States Department of Homeland Security to fully vet the insectivore so as to ensure he is not an Islamic terrorist.

3. Our Union completely concurs with Joe D’s BFF Gov. Chris Christie’s having publicly asserted that Donald Trump's call for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States" in the wake of the San Bernardino terror attack is "ridiculous," deriding it as "the kind of thing that people say when they have no experience and don't know what they're talking about." However, CWA Local 1081 disagrees with Mr. Christie’s politically-expedient positions that we need to secure our nation’s borders from hedgehogs through the use electronics, drones, the FBI, DEA, and ATF. The governor’s s stance that we use E-Verify as well is also a tad over the top of the proverbial wall.

We seek a hearing, in this regard.


David H. Weiner, President, CWA Local 1081