Gov. Chris Christie Signs NJ Public Employees Benefits Bill

TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP)New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has signed landmark employee benefits legislation requiring a half-million public workers to pay more for pension and health benefits.

Christie says the move is necessary to shore up the state’s badly underfunded retirement systems. He predicts New Jersey’s fix will be emulated nationally by other states facing similar shortfalls.

The Republican governor said the bill he signed on Tuesday got through the Legislature because of bipartisan support.

WCBS 880’s Levon Putney Hears From Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney In Trenton

Democrats who lead the Legislature supported it. But most rank-and-file lawmakers sided with public-sector unions in opposing it.

The bill puts benefits for teachers, police and other public workers more in line with the private-sector.

More than 8,000 demonstrated at the Capitol last week in the last of three union-sponsored protests.

Sound off in our comments section below…

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  • traffictravisseo

    Your website is pretty awesome. Are you able to do a link exchange?

  • d bonadies

    Dear Mrs. Desperate, If we were not forced to make pension payments we could then contribute to an ira of our own choosing. And really a DR? Your part of the problem when it costs over $200.00 to walk into a dr office. I saw u were also on the article looking at homes over 25 million. I think it’s now time for you to sign off and go look for love somewhere else.

  • Vocalgal4hire

    Just out of curiosity, I’d love to know how many of the folks who have posted here are actually from New Jersey. I’d also like to see what people from other states think of what’s happened.

  • Bobby

    Keep subsidizing the thugs that live in public housing and just pop out kids and collect a check…keep giving free $$$ to illegal aliens and providing them with free education..and charging them in-state tuition rates for college while you “middle class” keep busting your rear ends for nothing and voting democratic…..

  • tony balboni

    In ten years you will no longer have a professional civil service structure in NJ.

    No more real policeman, just square badge security guards. Glad I dont live there

  • Vocalgal4hire

    Just out of curiosity, I wonder how many of the folks who’ve responded to this article are actually from NJ. It would be great to see what people from OTHER states have to say about this.

  • Skipper

    Many people out of their decent paying jobs that went overseas and are now working 3-4 part time jobs or receiving unemployment would love to have a public sector job with benefits they no longer receive. People should consider themselves lucky to even have a job. Didn’t Obama say we all have to sacrifice?

    • JOSE




    • d bonadies

      When we can’t afford our homes anymore who is gonna pay for your unemployement? And we did sacrifice for the past 3 yrs we have been making less every year and already contributing more. And I guess u agree with Christie to those who make over a milion don’t need to contribute!

  • Wall Street Worker

    It’s always the little people bickering……I made 5 figures within my first hour this morning…..I’ll drink to that.

  • proacman

    As long as our politician’s ‘answer’ to the health care crisis is to pass the cost onto employees, the insurers will continue to raise rates at an unbelievable rate. Only when the costs are NOT passed down to anyone, and our leaders recognize the winners and losers in the health care game and stop punishing the losers, will our health care costs become affordable. As long as someone is paying the costs then the costs will continue to rise. Just common sense

    • d bonadidm

      very true proacman!

  • joe

    The bill violates a 1997 ruling that after 5 yrs in the state contract your benefits are quaranted.Theunions will appeal this to the supreme court who will rule it is against state and federal law. the gov. makes these rules and bullies them on people and then loses.The tunnel money and theabbot case are just two are just two examples.We pay 1 million dollars a month in interest for the tunnel.The fed. gov. will take the money from state aid and if he takes the attitude kiss my a.. he can finish his term in MCGUIRE federal prison.

    • Die hard

      Now thats what I am talkin about!! This guy should of been fired when he took the helicopter to his kids game!! sure it wasn’t first time he did it either!! or abused state equipment. These moron non state people think there jobs are easy and live on a silver platter!! live there job for one day and u will see people!!

      • JOSE



  • 2ndgreatestliarafterchristocriterichardnixon

    Remember Governor Christocrites campaign promise when he was running for election. Well here it is during the campaign:

    An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ

    I am the proud product of our state’s public education system. In fact, my late mother was a dues-paying member of the NJEA. I know firsthand that one of the main reasons many of our schools rank among the best in America is because of our dedicated teachers and educational professionals who work hard every day to give our children the learning experience they deserve.

    Like you, I am fully committed to supporting New Jersey’s kids, teachers and parents to make sure our children receive a first-class education so they can pursue limitless opportunities once they graduate. Our state’s teachers are charged with one of the greatest responsibilities one can have, and they deliver each and every day for our kids.

    But lately, there has been some misinformation circulated falsely, by supporters of Governor Corzine, suggesting I would attempt to diminish or take away teachers’ pensions and benefits. Let me be clear – nothing could be further from the truth. The claim that any harm would come to your pension should I be elected Governor is absolutely untrue. It is a 100% lie. Your pension will be protected when I am elected Governor.

    Right now, the Trenton-based leaders of the teachers’ union are literally spending millions of dollars of your union dues to falsely attack me on television and through slick mailers. This is nothing but an attempt to poison me in your eyes so that you will vote for four more years of Jon Corzine and his failed policies. Just so I am clear, what they are saying about my intentions to hurt pensions or lay off teachers is absolutely, 100% untrue.

    Here are the facts:

    I will be a strong ally for teachers in the classroom. When elected, I will make education funding a top priority and I believe we must ensure those dollars reach our children and the classroom, not the educational bureaucracy. In these tough economic times, we must ensure that the proper resources get to you, the teachers in the classroom. Despite what is said by my opponents, I would accept federal education stimulus dollars to help fund our children’s educations. Education is a priority and this money is critical to ensuring we are able to continue giving our children the education they deserve. We must also make sure that education dollars are always a priority and come from stable sources. Too often these grants or stimulus dollars are accepted for programs with no plan on how to pay for them after the money runs dry. It is time for a new era of responsibility in Trenton, and I will work to secure a steady source of funding for all education programs.
    I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. In fact, in order to ensure your retirement savings are safe, I believe we must prioritize the protection of pension fund dollars and investigate the cause of Jon Corzine’s large investment losses to our pension system. Currently there is a $34 billion deficit in the State’s pension fund, which threatens the retirement and lifeline of so many teachers. We must do better for our teachers, future teachers and retirees. As Governor, I will work to close unfunded liabilities and make sure our state lives up to its promises, unlike Jon Corzine. I will not raid your pension fund to cover budgetary shortfalls like previous governors of both parties have done. One of the changes I will bring to Trenton is responsible management, investment, and oversight of state pension dollars.
    I will not end collective bargaining and will safeguard protections for ALL public employees, including teachers. Collective bargaining is an important safeguard for public employees and is a part of a long American tradition of self government. We must make sure that the voice of every worker is represented in contract negotiations. I will demand open, honest, and fair deliberations.
    It’s true that times are tough. But the truth is that Jon Corzine has handed the NJEA and every student a ticking time bomb in this year’s budget. He has funded the new school aid formula with $1 billion in one-shot revenue that will disappear next year. Every school budget and academic, athletic, and extra-curricular program for our kids is at risk because of the Governor’s reckless, short-sighted policy. Governor Corzine has refused to make the tough decisions required to make sure we make education funding a priority for recurring revenue and to avoid the ticking time bomb.

    We may disagree on some issues, but I know we agree on what’s most important – delivering the best education we can for our kids. Giving New Jersey’s children a quality education is critical to their future and I know we wouldn’t be able to do that without the dedication and tireless commitment of teachers like you. I appreciate you allowing me to clear up some of the misinformation being circulated about my plans to support our state’s teachers.

    Thank you for your service, and best wishes on a great school year.

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  • LazyUnionWorker

    Waaaaaaahhhhhh!!!! I want a six ,figure, annual pension……Waaaaaaaahhhh!!! I want to retire at 50…Waaaaaaaaaahhhhhh!!!! And I want YOU to pay for it. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!!




      • Nathan Rosenthal

        You sound just like the day laborer I hired to do yard work.

  • Algernon Moncrief

    THE BILL IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL. It’s like no one in NJ can read. Attorneys from both the Legislature and the AGs office have opinions out stating that taking the fully vested, accrued, earned, contracted retiree COLA is illegal. Sixty percent of the savings in the bill is supposed to come from this provision. If you do not like the terms of a contract, don’t enter the contract. However, once you are a party to a contract you are obligated to perform under its terms. How is it that so many in NJ do not know this? It is not news. There are legal, prospective pension reforms available. Look at the pension reform in Utah last year, or see the pension reforms listed on the NCSL website. To read about Colorado’s attempted COLA theft visit

  • WZB

    The state skipped their payments for years because free healthcare and free retirement for public employees was bankrupting the state. The taxpayers backs are officially broken. Time for public employees to pay for their health care and retirement like the rest of the world has been doing for decades.

    • NES

      You should do research before you comment… police and fire contribute 8.5% into their pension… that is the highest in the state…. it is the NJ politicians who took money from the state for decades and the only solution was to hit the people who rightfully deserve and contributed non-stop…

      • nes

        AND.. he will also veto the bill TODAY to pay higher taxes for people who earn 1,000,000 a year… does this makes sense??? NO… take from the low and middle class but protect the rich…..

      • Bob

        Wow a hole 8.5%? That’s nothing compared to the private sector, where we don’t even have pensions. Just 401(k) where you contribute 67%-100%

      • FedUp

        A whole 8.5% huh? Wow, that’s a lot….NOT! Private sector employees with a 401k plan typically contribute 10-15% of their pay into their retirement. Guess who picks up the tab for the rest of these sweetheart UNION pensions? You guessed it, taxpayers! Unions served a very real and important function at one point in time but they should have gone the way of the dinosaur long ago. Instead, now they’re what is wrong with this country. Everybody wants something for nothing!

  • umdnj employee

    i am a state govt worker and no one realizes that I have not received a raise for 4 years due to umdnj not negotiating with my union. meantime they started deducting 1.5% from my pay for health benefits. I am making less than i did 4years ago. i can not afford another hit in my pay.

    • richard Allen


      There are thousands on a waiting list for your JOB……ive within your means we all have to …

      OH YEAH……I WISH I COULD PAY INTO MY HEALTH CARE….BUT I HAVE MEDICAiD…..because of my low income…

      • FUpublicWorkers

        Hey d bonadies – Give me a break, PLEASE!!!! You’re whinny about your husband’s job conditions when he chose that career. If he doesn’t like hat he doesn’t let him change his career. How much you want to bet he won’t because where else can he lazy and unaccountable…. ONLY IN A GOVERNMENT/PUBLIC job. !!! I moved out of NJ after 40+ years because I was tired of the corruption at every level.

      • d bonadies

        Hey richard why don’t u come and do my husband job? You can have people spit and bleed on you, you can get your hiv and hep tests, you can hold the hans of little kids in car accidents waitin for the helicopter to hurry up and get there! Hey better yet u can show up to an accident and try and figure out how it happened while disregarding the body pieces!! As for anyone who beleives police don’t do anything……………..I hope they take their time if you or ur family ever need help!!! Tired of this BS!!!!

      • Arom

        I’m not a public worker, but if I was I would have Mario’s attitude. most public workers don’t get paid a lot to begin with and now they should take a pay cut? The fact that you (Richard) are poor, bitter and unemployed does not mean that everyone else should be

      • FUpublicWorkers

        Hey Mario – You’re a government/public worker who has been sucking off my NJ tax dollars for years. Welcome to private sector a$$hole!!!!

        BTW – The NJ police don’t do sh!t so F~<k You!!

      • Rick

        and who passys for your medicare? DUH?

      • Ken

        Boo hoo Richard it’s bums like you who milk they system dry with Medicaid.I feel bad for you and your family that you are a slacker with a low income job. Come over to Newark and I’ll give you two dimes to shine my shoes,then maybe you buy a clue. Jerk

      • Mario

        Hey rich you are a loser. People who work for the city or state work hard for there money. After 16 years as a cop why should I have to take less money? And I don’t make that much cash to begin with so you and the thousands waiting for my job can go f¥<k yourselves

    • Beamish

      The state is broke. Why can’t you understand that?

      • Mike

        Tell that to the people of Mendham, Westfield, Glen Ridge, Mountain Lakes, and a WHOLE lotta other places.

        When you’re done eviscerating the middle class, who will patronize the businesses owned by the wealthy?

    • Beamish

      It beats not having a job.

    • guest

      Me, too. That’s why I left and am now looking for a job. The new teachers, well, let’s just say that learning wasn’t one of their concerns when going to school to teach.

  • SFM

    The Unions has milked NJ & NY dry.

  • nathan

    He has no problem discussing his kids when they are used as an excuse for his helicopter rides, but if you ask about their school, it’s “non eof your business”. When he isn’t using both sides of that mouth to shove food into, he talks out of them at the same time.

    • diehard

      Yea plus if it was an employee usin state vehicle to goto their kids game they would of been fired!!

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