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Press Statement: Jersey Renews Thanks Sen. Loretta Weinberg for Supporting Full Transit Funding & An End to Clean Energy Fund Raids

Sen. Loretta Weinberg issued the below statement in support of full funding for New Jersey Transit and an end to Clean Energy Fund raids. (The full statement can also be viewed here.) The full FY22 state budget must be finalized and approved by the end of this month. Senate Majority Leader’s Weinberg’s statement reads: “NJ Transit has been a perennial budget issue thanks to the degradation of service suffered during the Christie Administration. Adequate funding is necessary to maintain service and to make much-needed capital improvements. “I am concerned, though, that the Governor’s proposed budget includes a $273 million reduction in the state’s subsidy to NJ Transit, while leaving in place longstanding transfers from the Clean Energy Fund and NJ Transit’s capital budget. Read the full press release here.

By |2021-06-03T08:07:39-04:00June 2nd, 2021|Highlights, Press Releases, WEC in the News|Comments Off on Press Statement: Jersey Renews Thanks Sen. Loretta Weinberg for Supporting Full Transit Funding & An End to Clean Energy Fund Raids

Testimony Given to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration on Whistleblower Protections

Testimony Given by Debra Coyle McFadden to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration Whistleblower Stakeholder Meeting on May 19, 2021 Thank you for the opportunity to testify. My name is Debra Coyle McFadden, and I am the Executive Director of the NJ Work Environment Council. We are a coalition of 70 labor, community, and environmental organizations, as well as many individuals advocating for safe, secure jobs and a health sustainable environment. The NJ Work Environment Council is also an affiliate of the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health Network as well as the national coalition to Prevent Chemical Disasters. Let me be direct. If workers are not truly protected when participating in safety or health activities, or reporting workplace hazards to their employer, they won’t do it. The consequence of this will be that more workers will die in workplace fatalities or become sick or injured on the jobs. The impact of not reporting health and safety hazards may also go well beyond the workplace. For example, if a refinery or chemical worker doesn’t feel protected from retaliation, they might not report a serious health and safety hazard that if reported and corrected could prevent a toxic catastrophe. [...]

By |2021-05-31T08:00:37-04:00May 19th, 2021|Highlights, WEC in the News|Comments Off on Testimony Given to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration on Whistleblower Protections

It’s Time to Cancel Student Loan Debt for Millions of Americans

We know that student debt impacts our current members, our future members and our students.  We also know that student debt disproportionately affects people of color, adding it to the long list of social justice issues that must be addressed.  That’s why the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) is taking action. NJEA, with partners from the Work Environment Council (WEC), New Jersey Communities United (NJCU), New Jersey Citizen Action (NJCA), NJ Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA), and NJ Department of Education (NJDOE) have formed the “New Jersey Student Loan Debt Alliance” which seeks to tackle the issue of student debt and college affordability. Read the whole opinion article here.

By |2021-06-03T08:11:37-04:00May 17th, 2021|Highlights, Opinion Pieces, WEC in the News|Comments Off on It’s Time to Cancel Student Loan Debt for Millions of Americans

WEC Year In Review 2020

We are proud to share the impact of WEC’s work in 2020. We did this work together with our members which includes, labor, community organizations, environmental organizations, and individuals. Faced with a public health crisis, WEC went to work to educate and advocate for COVID protections for workers and our communities. The COVID crisis made it clear that worker health is public health. Even amid a pandemic, together with you, we made significant progress in our other areas of work from labor friendly climate policy to public need and healthy schools.

By |2021-04-13T10:26:21-04:00April 13th, 2021|Highlights, WEC Reports|Comments Off on WEC Year In Review 2020

A Public Bank for New Jersey!

This month we kicked off WEC’s demand for Public Banking for New Jersey in a webinar that centered the voices of organizers, activists, workers and experts. We heard from Trina Scordo, executive director at New Jersey Communities United, Beverly Brown Ruggia, Financial Justice organizer at New Jersey Communities United, and Julie Plotkin, Associate Director of Education and Evaluation Research at the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) on why a democratically operated, publicly owned bank committed to investing in the public good is critical for their members’ success. We also heard directly from workers on the ground, including:  Nikki Baker, an educational professional in the Paterson public school district, who spoke to unacceptable conditions in the district’s school buildings, and the need for serious capital investment to fix these issues, including severe mold problems, and HVAC and air circulation which makes the building particularly dangerous during the COVID pandemic.  Ivan Wei, who spoke to his family's struggles as small business owners of color in New Jersey, including consistent neglect or exploitation from big banks, making it near impossible to open an account or gain access to a non-predatory line of credit. Ivan highlighted that community banks and credit unions, the kind a [...]

By |2021-03-24T11:31:30-04:00March 24th, 2021|Act Now, Events, Highlights|Comments Off on A Public Bank for New Jersey!

Offshore wind seen as energy and jobs opportunity for New Jersey

Offshore wind has the potential to produce about 90% of the electricity the United States is projected to need in 2050 even if fossil fuels were fully phased out, with New Jersey in position to be among the leading states, according to a new report issued Thursday. Not all of that technical potential for offshore wind energy will be developed – nor should it, says the report from the Frontier Group and Environment America Research & Policy Center. Read More: Offshore wind an energy and jobs opportunity for New Jersey | https://nj1015.com/offshore-wind-seen-as-energy-and-jobs-opportunity-for-new-jersey/?utm_source=tsmclip&utm_medium=referral

By |2021-03-23T14:44:53-04:00March 21st, 2021|Highlights, WEC in the News|Comments Off on Offshore wind seen as energy and jobs opportunity for New Jersey

WEC Factsheet: Chemical Facilities Must Hold Public Meetings

Across the nation, more than 150 chemical incidents occur annually that endanger workers and communities. By law, effective March 15, 2021, 78 facilities in New Jersey that use extremely hazardous substances are required to hold a public meeting within 90 days of any incident that results in offsite deaths, injuries, evacuations, sheltering in place, property damage, or environmental damage.  This national U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule covers facilities that use specified extremely hazardous substances in certain quantities, including many chemical plants, oil refineries, food processing operations, etc. This provision is part of the Risk Management Program (RMP) revised rule issued by EPA in 2017.  President Trump withdrew most of the rule in 2019, but retained much of the public meeting requirement. The rule states: § 68.210 Availability of information to the public. (b) Public meetings. The owner or operator of a stationary source shall hold a public meeting to provide information required under § 68.42(b), no later than 90 days after any RMP reportable accident at the stationary source with any known offsite impact specified in § 68.42(a). Read WEC's factsheet on the EPA RMP rule and learn how community members can take action.

By |2021-03-18T10:20:16-04:00March 15th, 2021|Highlights|Comments Off on WEC Factsheet: Chemical Facilities Must Hold Public Meetings

Chemical Facilities Must Hold Public Meetings

Press Release For Immediate Release: March 15, 2021 Contact: Debra Coyle McFadden Cell: 609/707-1320 Email: dcoyle@njwec.org As of Today, Chemical Facilities Must Hold Public Meetings WEC applauds this new public meeting requirement and again urges the State to follow EPCRA public access requirements   By law, effective March 15, 2021, many chemical facilities are required to hold a public meeting within 90 days of any incident that results in offsite deaths, injuries, evacuations, sheltering in place, property damage, or environmental damage. This U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule covers about 12,000 facilities across the nation that use specified extremely hazardous substances in certain quantities, including many oil refineries, chemical plants, paper mills, food processing operations, and water and sewage treatment plants, ect. This provision is part of the Risk Management Program (RMP) revised rule issued by EPA in 2017.  President Trump withdrew most of the rule in 2019, but retained much of the public meeting requirement. “This is an opportunity for community members to ask facility managers about safety measures they are taking to safeguard the community after an offsite incident has occurred.” said Debra Coyle McFadden, Executive Director of NJ Work Environment Council. “For example, is management looking at safer chemical substitutions? Are they considering reducing storage quantities [...]

By |2021-03-15T14:32:15-04:00March 15th, 2021|Highlights, Press Releases|Comments Off on Chemical Facilities Must Hold Public Meetings

Job Opening at WEC: Occupational Health & Safety Trainer

The New Jersey Work Environment Council (WEC) is a coalition of 70 labor, community, and environmental organizations advocating for safe, secure jobs and a healthy, sustainable environment. WEC is an affiliate of the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health. WEC works in multiple issue areas that are at the intersection of the labor and environmental movement. WEC is the nation’s longest standing state labor/environmental coalition and is an affiliate of the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health. Description WEC seeks a full-time bi-lingual occupational health & safety (level 1) trainer to conduct health and safety trainings, with an emphasis on COVID prevention and awareness for workers. Audience includes workers, hard to reach workers, unions, employers, and community organizations. This position will help WEC provide worker-oriented training, building the regional health and safety movement and developing working relationships with labor, environmental and community organizations. In addition, this position will also help WEC advocate for stronger workplace protections. The breakdown between training and advocacy is approximately 70% training and 30% advocacy. This is a 12-month term position. The position will start as virtual and when deemed appropriate, it will move to in-person. The WEC office is located in Trenton. The [...]

By |2021-04-15T15:26:25-04:00February 26th, 2021|Highlights, Job Postings|Comments Off on Job Opening at WEC: Occupational Health & Safety Trainer

Governor Murphy Announces Members of the New Jersey Council on the Green Economy

Statement from Debra Coyle McFadden on being appointed to NJ Council on the Green Economy I am honored to be selected to serve on the Green Economy Council and want to thank Governor Murphy for this opportunity. I look forward to working with the other members of the Council to ensure NJ's green economy works for workers.  As we look for opportunities to maximize clean energy jobs, we need to make sure these are family-sustaining, union jobs with strong worker protections -- and that they are accessible to marginalized workers who have traditionally been left behind. This is a once in a generation opportunity and I am ready to get to work. Read Governor Murphy's announcement here.

By |2021-02-24T16:43:11-05:00February 24th, 2021|Highlights, Press Releases, WEC in the News|Comments Off on Governor Murphy Announces Members of the New Jersey Council on the Green Economy
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