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Public Safety Officers Law Blog

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Tag Archives: health care

New Jersey Does Not Need the Republicans Legislating the 2% Salary Cap Out of Fear of November’s Impending Gubernatorial Election Results

Posted in Uncategorized
Over the past several days, the minority leaders of the New Jersey State Legislature have become increasingly vocal in their demands to renew what is commonly called the Interest Arbitration Salary Cap.  The Interest Arbitration Salary Cap limits Interest Arbitrator’s economic awards that govern pay raises for first responders in the State of New Jersey.… Continue Reading

NJ Republican Seeks to Reduce Government Health Care Costs in Exchange for Constitutional Amendment “Obligating” State Pension Payment

Posted in Uncategorized
While Chapter 78 increased the average healthcare contributions required of public employees based upon a sliding percentage of the cost of coverage, if Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon’s proposal is implemented, public workers can expect to pay higher out-of-pocket costs toward coverage provided under a lower-level plan. In exchange, the Assemblyman’s plan provides for a constitutional amendment obligating the… Continue Reading

The Costs of Chapter 78, P.L., 2011 on New Jersey Retirees’ Healthcare Contributions

Posted in Public Employment Labor Law, Retiree Benefits, Uncategorized
Chapter 78, P.L., 2011 (hereinafter referred to as “Chapter 78”) went into effect on June 28, 2011, and has increased the average healthcare contributions required of public employees substantially. However, not all employees and retirees are equally effected. This article will briefly outline the effect Chapter 78 will have on newly and prospective retirees. Chapter… Continue Reading

Two Obamacare Taxes Likely to Be Delayed for Two Years

Posted in Contract Negotiations, Retiree Benefits
As reported by Morningconsult.com, with Congress just hours away from unveiling a new budget deal, it is increasingly likely that two prominent Obamacare taxes that help pay for the law — on medical devices and high-cost health plans (or “Cadillac Plans”) — will be delayed for two years. Congressional negotiations have been overlapping on an omnibus spending bill and a bill to renew… Continue Reading

Senator Sweeney is Correct–Christie Should Concentrate on Growing the State’s Economy as NJ’s Tax Revenue Recovery is One of The Poorest in The Nation

Posted in Contract Negotiations, Interest Arbitration, Public Employment Labor Law
On March 11, 2015, we posted a blog wherein Senator Sweeney stated that Governor Christie needed to change his tactics at the bargaining table regarding pension reform and if he instead concentrated on “growing” New Jersey’s economy, additional tax revenue would be created that would result in more money to fund the Public Employees’ Pension System. … Continue Reading

Memphis’s Pension Crisis is Now a Public Safety Crisis–Will New Jersey Repeat the River City’s Mistakes?

Posted in Public Employment Labor Law, Public Employment Pension Crisis, Retiree Benefits
Yesterday, I received an email from one of our readers, Ed Mecka, from Hoboken, New Jersey, who turned me on to an article regarding the pension crisis that is taking place in Memphis, Tennessee.  The crisis in Memphis has caught the national media’s attention, and an article was printed in the Wall Street Journal a… Continue Reading

Moody’s Downgrades New Jersey’s Credit Rating as a Result of Christie’s Illegal Pension Blunder

Posted in Contract Negotiations, Interest Arbitration, Public Employment Labor Law, Retiree Benefits
As reported in NJ.Com, Judge Jacobson’s ruling this week that public worker pension contributions are contractually protected will constrict the state’s ability to balance its budget in the future, Moody’s, a Wall Street rating agency, said today.  The flexibility of the state’s pension payment has been “a tool essential” to balancing the budget, Moody’s Investors Service… Continue Reading

Did Governor Christie Ever Have Any Intention of Keeping His Promise to Fully Fund the Pension System?

Posted in Contract Interpretation, Public Employment Labor Law
As reported on NJ.Com, The State of New Jersey argued before a State Superior Court Judge today that Governor Chris Christie cannot be forced to make full pension payments because the 2011 law committing him to fully fund the state system in exchange for union concessions was unconstitutional. Interrupting the assistant attorney general, Superior Court Judge Mary… Continue Reading

Will New Jersey’s Pension Fund Run Dry in Four Years?

Posted in Retiree Benefits
As reported in NJ.COM, New Jersey’s unfunded public employee pension liabilities have soared to $83 billion, more than double previous estimates, as the state comes into compliance with new accounting rules, according to a report released today by Moody’s Investors Services,  a Wall Street ratings agency. Governor Chris Christie’s administration acknowledged the change in a… Continue Reading

NJ.Com Editorial Calls for Renewal of the 2% Salary Cap–In Our Opinion, It Has To Go

Posted in Contract Interpretation, Contract Negotiations, Interest Arbitration, Pay and Overtime, Public Employment Labor Law
 A recent editorial published on NJ.Com calls for Assembly Speaker, Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson County) to renew the two percent (2%) salary cap on interest arbitration awards for law enforcement officers and firefighters that is set to expire on April 1, 2014.   The editorial stated that the 2% cap had to be put in place… Continue Reading

After Overhaul, More Health Plans Available To NJ Public Employees

Posted in Uncategorized
  As reported by nj.com, public employees, from state workers to local school teachers, may now choose from a wider range of health plans that include low-cost options and some with narrower coverage as they start paying more for their benefits. The signature benefit reform enacted by Governor Chris Christie calls for cheaper plans while demanding… Continue Reading

NJ Senate Committee Approves Health, Pension Benefit Reform Despite Union Protests

Posted in Uncategorized
  As reported by nj.com, irate public employees converged on the Statehouse by the thousands Thursday touting horns, carrying signs, and disrupting a Senate hearing, but the show of force failed to break a legislative agreement overhauling their state health and pension benefits. Union members gathered at the Statehouse steps and clogged a Senate hearing room… Continue Reading

Some Democrats Tell Protesters They Will Not Vote For Public Worker Pension, Benefit Overhaul

Posted in Uncategorized
  As reported by nj.com, rank-and-file Democrats are lining up to take the microphone at a steadily growing union rally outside the Statehouse today, vowing to cast no votes on a bill that would overhaul pension and benefits for teachers, cops, firefighters, and others. Assemblymen Wayne DeAngelo, Daniel Benson, Patrick Diegnan, Reed Gusciora, Vincent Prieto,… Continue Reading

Public Employees With 20 Years of Service Would Lock In Benefits Under Change to Proposed Plan

Posted in Uncategorized
  As reported by nj.com, employees with at least 20 years of service would lock in their retirement benefits under a last-minute change to the health and pension overhaul bill, according to Senate Democrats. Under the current bill, only those employees with at least 25 years of service would have had their retirement benefits locked… Continue Reading

Overhaul To Pension System Pushed Forward By Sweeney

Posted in Uncategorized
  As reported by nj.com, despite a rising chorus of opposition from fellow Democrats, the Senate President and Assembly Speaker pressed forward Tuesday to overhaul health and pension benefits for the state’s 500,000 public employees. After trying for a week to line up Democratic support for the measure with little success, Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver announced… Continue Reading

As State Democrats Prepare To Introduce Healthcare Reform, Christie’s Stance Remains Unclear

Posted in Uncategorized
  As reported by nj.com, the state’s top lawmakers said Monday they cleared a significant hurdle in efforts to overhaul public employee benefits after agreeing to a plan that shifts more medical costs onto workers while protecting future collective bargaining rights. The spotlight now turns to Governor Chris Christie, who has been uncharacteristically quiet as… Continue Reading

CWA Head Says Sweeney’s Health Benefit Proposal Is Misleading

Posted in Uncategorized
  As reported by nj.com, the state’s largest public employee union said State Senate President Stephen Sweeney has released misleading information about how his health benefit overhaul will affect the pocketbooks of workers. Sweeney wants to shift more of the costs of health benefits onto public workers. All state and local public employees would pay a… Continue Reading

Sweeney Says He Is Drafting Bill To Change Pension, Benefits System for Public Workers

Posted in Uncategorized
  As reported by nj.com, Senate President Stephen Sweeney said today he plans to introduce legislation to increase health and pension benefits payments for public workers and that the Budget and Appropriation Committee will hold a hearing on it next week. Sweeney and Governor Chris Christie have reached an agreement on the measure, but Assembly… Continue Reading

CWA Files Unfair Practice Charge Against Christie

Posted in Contract Negotiations
  As reported by app.com, New Jersey’s largest state worker union filed an unfair practice charge against Governor Chris Christie’s administration, saying the administration has so far refused to negotiate health care costs.  The Communication Workers of America filed the charge with the state Public Employment Relations Commission (“PERC”) on May 12, 2011. Union leader Hetty… Continue Reading

Christie Slams Alternative Proposal by CWA on Health Care Benefits

Posted in Uncategorized
  As reported by nj.com, Governor Chris Christie panned an alternative proposal by the State’s largest public employee union to overhaul health care benefits. “Their offer stinks,” Christie said at a press conference in Trenton. “It doesn’t save any money.” Christie wants all state employees to pay for 30 percent of the cost of health insurance… Continue Reading
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