Bill Concerning Early Retirement in Atlantic City Advances
Thanks to the solidarity of the New Jersey State AFL-CIO and affiliate unions, A-18/S-3422, a bill that would provide back pay to state workers, who were locked out of their jobs during the state shutdown, was passed today by the state Assembly. Having previously cleared the Senate earlier this month, the Governor had said that he intends to sign the bill into law.
The bill passed the Assembly by a vote of 68 to 0. CLICK HERE for a full breakdown.
The New Jersey State AFL-CIO thanks Speaker Prieto for bringing the legislation up for a vote and applauds the work of primary sponsors Giblin, Muoio, Mazzeo, Gusciora, and Benson in the Assembly. We further thank Senate President Sweeney for his work to champion this legislation on the Senate side with primary sponsors Greenstein, Bateman, Cruz-Perez, and Turner.
In addition to this vote, the Assembly voted on A-4840/S-3311, which would require an early retirement incentive offer to police and fire fighters in Atlantic City prior to department layoffs. The bill passed 47 to 19 and is now on the Governor’s desk. The full vote can be seen HERE.
Although the New Jersey State AFL-CIO supports this bill, it will most likely be vetoed by Governor Christie. The bill seeks to correct one small piece of the disastrous AC “takeover” law enacted last year which strips away all collective bargaining rights from workers. Christie has sought to decimate public safety personnel in Atlantic City, forcing a 30% increase in hours as well as a 20% reduction in pay for firefighters. Under Christie’s plan, the fire department would see their ranks cut in half, and it would reduce the police force to its lowest level since 1971. Keep in mind, Atlantic City was just ranked the third most violent city in New Jersey in 2016 and reducing the police by such a drastic number is irresponsible and will negatively impact public safety.
While these are no doubt challenging times, we are proud to be able to advance this type of legislation that lifts up workers voices and represents a step forward in our march towards economic justice and stronger communities.