CWA Local 1081
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Newark, NJ, 07102
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Newark Teachers Union

New Jersey Citizen Action Oil Group

August 12, 2008

Bruce Nigro, Director

Essex County Division of Welfare

18 Rector Street, Floor 9

Newark, NJ, 07102

Re: Step II Class Action Grievance

Revealing Recycled Copy Paper

Article I. Purpose

Article XXV. Non-Discrimination

Article XLIX. Safety of Staff

Dear Mr. Nigro:

CWA Local 1081 submits this Step II Class Action Contractual Grievance to protest ASFS Palmieri’s described directive that the reverse side of confidential client documents is to be used as copy paper by our members assigned to the Office of Medicaid Services. The attached page 1375 of the Medicaid Eligibility System document, with a run date of 5/30/08 replete with the names, home addresses and other personal information of sixteen clients of our agency, is an example of a confidential client document provided our members as a “reuse” copy paper.

While his apparent penchant to be penurious with the County’s resources is admirable, CWA Local 1081 believes Mr. Palmieri’s above cited practice to be violative of the affected clients’ confidentiality and possibly exposes our members, and/or the County, to litigation or other perilous predicaments were the compromised clients to become aware of the practice and/or were they to suffer any unfortunate consequences as a result.

Mr. Palmieri’s attached Step I Class Action Contractual Grievance refutation of August 8, 2008 is ridiculously rife with illogical and impertinent excuses, and presumptive pompousness, intended to present preposterous prestidigitation in a vain and vainglorious attempt to misdirect the reader’s attention from what actually occurred and from his degree of culpability as the manager of that office.

1. As for Mr. Palmieri’s referenced, and attached, memorandum of July 8, 2008 entitle “Reusing Paper”, it is fraught with myopic decrees of questionable quality at best:

a) Mr. Palmieri cites his aforementioned memorandum within his grievance response when he quotes, “Only reuse paper for material that is being filed in the case record or will not be seen outside of the office”. The problem is, however, were some subsequent manner of a litigious matter to come to the fore requiring such reuse copied documents as evidence to be obtained, for example, by our Union through discovery in defense of a member of CWA Local 1081, the County would be legally bound to produce for the edification of us and others the actual un-redacted documents and thus compromise the confidentiality of the clients’ information existing on the “back” of the document.

b) While Mr. Palmieri unflatteringly asserts that “Apparently, someone in their (commendable) effort to be frugal and ‘Green’ with the paper put the wrong paper in the reusable paper box”, the information received by our Union’s sources purport it was he, Mr. Palmieri, who actually placed boxes in and around the copy machines filled with reuse paper.

c) By asserting within his grievance response that “Again it appears that whoever brought this matter to your attention did not give you all of the information or you chose to ignore it”, Mr. Palmieri reveals his unfortunate affinity for personalizing issues our Union brings to his attention, we motivated by only the best of intentions and he apparently bedeviled with a compulsion to revert to unnecessary, unwarranted and unflattering unfriendliness. Our Union notes that Mr. Palmieri made no attempt to contact CWA Local 1081, once he’d received our grievance, to meet to discuss the matter in a spirit of common courtesy and camaraderie.

d) While Mr. Palmieri’s grievance response asserts, “Also, for your edification, my instruction was given not to be miserly or stingy (your use of the word ‘penurious’) with the county’s resources”, it might well have behooved the ASFS to have taken the time and effort to have delved just a tad more deeply into what ever dictionary our Union presumes he utilized to obtain his acerbically avowed definition of “penurious”. Had he done so, Mr. Palmieri would have readily discovered these other definitions of the word which were our intent as the word penurious was ascribed by CWA Local 1081 to Mr. Palmieri within our Step I Class Action Grievance written in this regard:

· Not having enough money to pay for necessities.

· Destitute of money; suffering extreme want.

Therefore, our Union was actually paying Mr. Palmieri a rather rare compliment by so describing his laudable efforts “to be resourceful and not wasteful and to ensure staff (your members) had paper available to them when needed.” It was most unfortunate he was unable to discern our good intent but chose instead to interpret it as personal insult.

The resolution CWA Local 1081 respectfully reiterates to this grievance is for you to direct Mr. Palmieri to cease the practice of compelling our members to utilize client documents in the abovementioned faulty fashion.

Sincerely,

David H. Weiner

President, CWA Local 1081