By Kim Glovas

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — The New Jersey Senate has approved changes to the state’s pension and benefits system for public workers. That vote is being hailed by Governor Chris Christie as a “watershed moment” of bipartisan cooperation. But unions do not agree.

The final vote in the democratically controlled senate: 24-to 15 in favor of the changes. Steve Baker is spokesman for the New Jersey Education Association.

“It really is an attack on working class families and middle class families in New Jersey. It’s legislation that will take thousands of dollars out of the pockets of working class New Jersey families every year and it does nothing to control health care costs, it simply shifts those costs to struggling families.”

The bill suspends unionized public employees’ right to use collective bargaining for health care. In a written statement, the governor praised the Senate action saying “the stakes are too high and the consequences too real to stand by and do nothing.”

Jim Osman reports…

Democratic leaders in the house and senate were unavailable for comment.

Reported by Kim Glovas, KYW Newsradio

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