Gov. Christie had the opportunity to put the people of New Jersey before his own political ambitions by signing a budget that protects working families, funds public pensions according to the law and raises taxes on the wealthiest.
Instead, he slashed pension funding, wrongly labeled benefits as ‘bloated’ and blamed ‘a broken system’ rather than his own refusal to fund it.
Despite the governor’s rhetoric, New Jersey pensioners are NOT getting something for nothing. The state’s average pension benefit is among the least generous in the country – PERS ranks 95th in generosity out of the country’s 100 largest pension systems, according to a joint analysis by Keystone Research and New Jersey Policy Perspective. A NJ Spotlight study shows government workers in New Jersey pay more for health insurance than anywhere else in the country.Read more
New Jersey State AFL-CIO leadership were joined by Senate President Stephen Sweeney, Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto and the leaders of the largest public-sector unions on Thursday, June 25, 2015, to urge Gov. Christie to obey his own law by fully funding pensions.
Everyone is abiding by the pension reform law – except the governor who signed it. Retirees forfeited their cost-of-living increases, active employees are paying more, local governments have never skipped a payment and the Legislature has again drafted a budget that includes the entire amount of required pension funding. And now, while the governor continues to break his own pension law by skipping contractually required pension payments, he is calling for additional concessions for public workers.Read more
NJ State AFL-CIO Vows to Continue Fight for Full Pension Funding, Economic Stability and Middle-Class Families
The New Jersey State AFL-CIO is outraged that the New Jersey State Supreme Court ruled against 800,000 current and retired members of the New Jersey public pension system by overturning a Superior Court decision that Gov. Christie violated his own law when he withheld state pension payments.
“This ruling is disheartening for current and retired employees who have gone to work, lived by the rules and faithfully paid into the system,” said Charles Wowkanech, president of the New Jersey State AFL-CIO, which filed the lawsuit with 16 public employee unions. “After dedicating their entire careers to public service, this ruling leaves them more worried than ever that their modest pensions won’t be there when they need them.”
“It is important to understand that this isn’t solely a setback for public employees,” added Wowkanech. “This is setback for the entire state and in particular, our economy. The failure of the governor to act responsibly has resulted in a record nine credit downgrades and has made New Jersey the poster child for fiscal irresponsibility.”Read more
The $1.5 billion in fees the state of New Jersey paid to Wall Street pension fund managers over the past five years was an unwise use of taxpayer money, concludes a nationally known investment expert who analyzed pension investment returns and fund management fees.
The independent report by finance and investment expert Jeff Hooke of Maryland was released Thursday at a Senate Legislative Oversight hearing examining New Jersey’s increased investment in hedge funds and equity funds and the 300 percent increase in management fees paid to Wall Street firms since 2010 to manage those investments.Read more
The New Jersey State AFL-CIO is proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with our affiliated public employee unions in the fight for state pension funding before the New Jersey Supreme Court.
The state federation and our affiliates were well represented before the court on Wednesday, May 6, 2015, when our lawyers argued convincingly that Gov. Christie is obligated to make the full yearly pension payment required by law.Read more
New Jersey’s legislative leaders, Senate President Stephen Sweeney and General Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, will sign on as amicus curiae to the New Jersey public employees’ pension lawsuit challenging the Christie Administration’s continuing failure to make statutorily required payments to the state pension system.Read more
Take an active role in securing your retirement by voting for union endorsed candidates for Trustees to the PERS (Public Employee Retirement System) Board
From April 1, 2015 – May 31, 2015, you can easily vote online or by phone by doing the following:Read more
Action Follows Gov. Christie’s Intent to Violate Chapter 78 Law Again
The 14 unions below collectively announced today that they have instructed their attorneys to prepare papers to go back into court to require the Governor to comply with his legal obligations under Chapter 78 to make the State's Annual Required Contribution to the pension system for FY 2016.Read more
In his budget address, Gov. Christie took yet another swipe at his favorite target – public-sector workers – while remaining silent on some of the most serious problems facing our state. Roads and bridges are crumbling and the state is out of money to fix them. Our state ranks 49th out of 50 in job growth and a quarter of casino workers have been laid off, yet the state lacks a comprehensive plan to create jobs. Atlantic City has been devastated by casino closings, soaring property taxes and home foreclosures, but there is no plan to save this vital economic engine. Many of our largest cities and poorest communities continue to struggle without any revitalization plan. College costs are unaffordable for many, yet the governor has not addressed this inequity. It costs taxpayers more when the state borrows money, but Gov. Christie has taken no concrete steps to stop the record number of credit downgrades that have occurred on his watch.Read more
Gov. Christie used the bragging rights from the 2011 pension reforms to raise his national profile and further his political career – while refusing to uphold his end of the deal.
The governor continued to skimp on the state’s required pension payments, knowing he was breaking his own law, showing callous disregard for the long-term solvency of the retirement system and daring someone to challenge him.
The New Jersey State AFLCIO and several public employee unions sued, and today won a hard-fought victory, with Gov. Christie being ordered by Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson to reinstate the $1.6 billion cut he made to the state’s pension payment.Read more