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Public Safety Officers Law Blog

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Tag Archives: healthcare reform

NJ Senate Bill S-1858 Proposes to Implement a Permanent 2% Salary Cap on Police and Fire Interest Arbitration Awards

Posted in Interest Arbitration, Public Employment Labor Law
On Friday, February 9th, 2018, New Jersey State Senator Declan O’Scanlon introduced legislation that would reinstate New Jersey’s interest arbitration salary cap that limits two-percent (2%) annual salary increases that can be awarded when disputed police and fire contracts enter the process of binding arbitration. O’ Scanlon stated on his website that “One of the… 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, 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

Senator Sweeney Calls Christie’s Labor Negotiations Tactics into Question

Posted in Contract Negotiations, Interest Arbitration, Public Employment Labor Law, Retiree Benefits
As reported on the website, the New Jersey Politicker, Senator Sweeney recently questioned the labor negotiating tactics of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.  Sweeney went on the record stating “When you hear [Governor Chris Christie] focusing on pension reforms and benefit costs, it got the attention of a lot of people nationally. But the reality is… 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 Supreme Court Rules Judges Don’t Have to Contribute More For Health Care and Pensions

Posted in Uncategorized
  As reported by, a divided State Supreme Court said judges and justices don’t have to chip in more for their pension and health benefits like other state workers because New Jersey’s Constitution prevents them from having their pay cut. The 3-2 decision drew swift responses from the leaders of New Jersey’s two other branches… Continue Reading

NJ Senate Committee Approves Measure Allowing Voters To Decide Judges’ Health, Pension Benefits

Posted in Uncategorized
  As reported by, the Senate Judiciary Committee has approved a measure that would let voters decide if judges should pay more for health and pension benefits.  The committee had planned to delay acting on the measure until the state Supreme Court rules on the matter, which is expected soon. Instead, the full Senate will… Continue Reading

Pension Reform Lawsuit Dismissed

Posted in Uncategorized
  As reported by, a federal lawsuit brought by New Jersey public employee unions, in an attempt to overturn last year’s pension and benefit reforms, has been dismissed. U.S. District Judge Anne E. Thompson ruled Monday that the issue is not under federal jurisdiction because of the 11th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which courts… Continue Reading

NJ Wants To Keep Taking Increased Pension Contributions From Judges During Appeal

Posted in Uncategorized
  As reported by, the state wants to keep taking increasing pension and health benefits contributions from Superior Court judges and Supreme Court justices while it appeals a judge’s ruling that the hikes are unconstitutional.  The state Attorney General’s Office filed a motion to postpone implementation of Superior Court Assignment Judge Linda Feinberg’s ruling… Continue Reading

Christie’s Constitutional Amendment On Judges’ Pay Gets No Support From Leaders

Posted in Uncategorized
  As reported by, Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver have no plans to post a constitutional amendment ensuring judges are subject to increases in pension and benefit payments proposed by Governor Chris Christie. “I am not inclined to support pursuing a constitutional amendment,” Oliver said. “It sets a very unhealthy precedent.” Christie’s… Continue Reading

Health Care Rates To Rise By 9 Percent For NJ State Employees

Posted in Uncategorized
  As reported by, two state panels approved higher rates for health insurance plans today, raising premium rates for coverage of all state employees, municipal workers, and public school teachers and staff. These new, higher rates for health insurance plans, mean the state will pay more for benefits and so will approximately 850,000 workers who… Continue Reading

After Overhaul, More Health Plans Available To NJ Public Employees

Posted in Uncategorized
  As reported by, 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

Leaked Audio Reveals Christie Says He Helped Oliver Remain In Power For Her Help Passing Public Employee Benefits Overhaul

Posted in Uncategorized
  As reported by, leaked audio from Governor Chris Christie’s closed-door speech to conservative donors in Colorado gives new details on the heated final days in the battle to cut public employee benefits. In particular, Christie said Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver personally asked him for Republican support to stay in power if dissident Democrats tried… Continue Reading

NJ Unions, Public Workers Sue To Stop Pension, Benefits Overhaul

Posted in Uncategorized
  As reported by, dozens of unions and public workers filed suit against the newly enacted pension and health benefit overhaul in federal court yesterday. The 58-page, 17-count suit charges the state violated the state and federal constitutions by suspending cost of living adjustments for at least 30 years, failing to make full payments into… Continue Reading