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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

Methylene Chloride Deaths Highlight Need for EPA Action

A peer-reviewed study published in JAMA Internal Medicine finds that 85 people have been killed by the dangerous solvent methylene chloride in the last 4 decades. The study notes that even these numbers don’t capture the full scope of harm, because many deaths likely are unreported, and deaths likely to have occurred due to exposure may not have identified methylene chloride as the cause of death. The study assessed verified deaths from acute exposures but does not capture the harms, including cancer, caused by chronic exposure. Read more: https://www.nrdc.org/experts/daniel-rosenberg/methylene-chloride-deaths-highlight-need-epa-action

By |2021-04-29T17:02:01-04:00April 20th, 2021|WEC in the News|Comments Off on Methylene Chloride Deaths Highlight Need for EPA Action

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

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

Murphy urged to end NJ Transit, clean energy fund diversions

In advance of Gov. Phil Murphy’s budget plan being proposed Tuesday, groups have begun publicly pressing for him to end longstanding budget practices that shortchange priorities. Among the issues on that lengthy list are NJ Transit, which uses money from its capital program to pay operating costs, and the Board of Public Utilities clean-energy funds that are perennially diverted from their intended purpose to offset costs at NJT and elsewhere in state government. A coalition of groups under the banner Jersey Renews said in a letter to Murphy that the clean energy funds collected from ratepayers on electric bills are supposed to pay for energy conservation and other green-energy initiatives. They say it’s time for a dedicated funding source to support NJ Transit instead. Read entire article here.  

By |2021-03-23T14:25:34-04:00February 23rd, 2021|Highlights, Press Releases, WEC in the News|Comments Off on Murphy urged to end NJ Transit, clean energy fund diversions

N.J. steelworkers and windmills — perfect together | Opinion

Victor Teran and his colleagues at Banker Steel in South Plainfield go to work every day proud that their skill and dedication keep some of New York City’s biggest buildings sturdy and safe. Skyscraper developers buy steel fabricated by Teran and about 200 other members of United Steelworkers Local 8288-67 because they understand their need for top-quality material meticulously produced by highly trained workers nearby. Read the entire opinion piece here.

By |2021-03-10T15:07:46-05:00January 21st, 2021|Opinion Pieces, WEC in the News|Comments Off on N.J. steelworkers and windmills — perfect together | Opinion

Workers, Community Groups, Advocacy Organizations, and Labor Unions Hail Gov. Murphy’s Workplace Protection Executive Order as “Key First Step” to Ensure Worker Safety During the Pandemic

October 28, 2020 – Trenton, NJ: After a six month campaign to urge Governor Murphy to use his emergency powers to take executive action to protect NJ workers during the pandemic, the Protect NJ Workers Coalition celebrates Governor Murphy’s signing of a Worker Protection Executive Order. The Coalition is led by BIPOC activists and essential workers, with members from a wide-range of community groups, advocacy and labor organizations. Read the full press release here.

By |2021-03-10T14:32:21-05:00October 28th, 2020|Press Releases, WEC in the News|Comments Off on Workers, Community Groups, Advocacy Organizations, and Labor Unions Hail Gov. Murphy’s Workplace Protection Executive Order as “Key First Step” to Ensure Worker Safety During the Pandemic

No ventilation, poor air quality pushed many districts to go remote

“Your average school building that you’re going to walk into today is not a commercial facility where you go to do your grocery shopping, or retail shopping, or even a lot of the office spaces that folks are used to going into every day. And even if you want to, it’s really difficult and expensive to retrofit these buildings with the controls needed,” he said. Barkkume discovered guidance for clean air even from the CDC has fallen short. “From the beginning and up until today, the CDC does not recognize full aerosol transmission of the virus and this trickles down to the state level and it informs the requirements the Department of Education places on school districts and it changes the way they do their planning,” he said. He is now working with teachers unions to raise a red flag about air quality in schools. He believes aerosol droplets can escape even when a person’s wearing a mask. And Barkkume says the state has no measurements to prove a school’s met the required clean air standards. There’s been a big focus on filters lately, with some districts investing in MERV filters. But Barkkume says that’s less important than ventilation. And it [...]

By |2020-09-14T11:19:01-04:00September 14th, 2020|Covid-19, Highlights, WEC in the News|Comments Off on No ventilation, poor air quality pushed many districts to go remote
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