NJ Assembly Passes Legislation Requiring Public Workers To Pay More For Benefits

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — The New Jersey Assembly has passed landmark employee benefits legislation requiring more than 500,000 public workers to pay sharply more for pension and health benefits.

The divisive bill did not have the backing of most Democrats. It passed with support from the GOP caucus and a smattering of Democrats.

The Senate approved the bill Monday. And Gov. Chris Christie is expected to sign it soon.

Republican Assemblyman Jay Webber said the bill is fair to workers and taxpayers and will begin reinvigorating the state’s debt-ridden pension and benefits funds.

Democrat Patrick Diegnan called the legislation “124 pages of union busting activities” and says collective bargaining over health care should not be suspended.

Watch the video…

More than 8,000 public workers and union protesters have taken to the street in front of the New Jersey Statehouse in a last-ditch attempt to stop pension and benefits legislation.

Unionized workers staged a New Orleans-style funeral procession, marching with drums loud enough to be heard inside the Statehouse. Protesters also chanted “kill the bill.”

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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  • dlaboss

    Waaaay overdue!
    Now if we could only get Christie into Washington too (after he finishes cleaning up our mess here in NJ)

  • Moewolf

    Mission accomplished! People w/ no power arguing over crumbs…Let’s just fight it out gladiator style for any potential employment opportunities. Last man standing gets the job. Let’s get this nation back where it belongs pre FDR..We get what we vote for in America. New Jersey voted for Gov. Christie so deal with it. I’m quite sure some of the people that complain about his methods never even bothered to vote one way or another.

  • diana

    it has notihing to with jealousy!!!! i actually feel sorry for the bunch of you that are so greedy!! how much more do you want greedy? the state didn’t blow it up you did it youselves by being unsatisfied and greedy.the state should now go a step further and cut the state jobs and put them into the private sector.

    • grumpy

      A.) I’ve never worked on any state pay roll.
      B.) I’m retired from the private sector.
      C.) I’m concerned that the ever widening gap between the CEO’s and the working class is going to lead to the kind of riots that we recently witnessed in the Middle East. And don’t think that it is impossible to happen here. We are close…very close!

    • anne shirley

      if the state cut jobs and put them in the private sector – you’d be out of a job – oh that’s right – you’re probably a senior citizen on a “fixed income”, funded by my social security tax dollars, going down the shore every week spending that “fixed income” at the slot machines.

      If you are not a senior what are you doing posting at 10:18 in the morning? Perhaps stealing your employer’s money by cheating on the time you should be at work?

  • RSR

    love how people demand that others have worse benefits instead of demanding better benefits for themselves…can’t see the forest for the trees

    also, the bigger issue with the vote was not the benefits change themselves, but the scuttling of collective bargaining. The workers had an agreement and the state blew it up. Nice to know that contracts are no longer worth the paper they’re written on in NJ…

    Maybe CBS should explain that in the lede.

  • grumpy

    I’ve never seen so much jealousy among the working class in all of my life.
    Divide and conquer is working well in America! Which group will be next?

  • diana

    hey anne you maybe paying taxes too but your getting back from the benifits package you recieve. just in medical alone you have gotten your tax money back. i have to pay for my medical bills along with the perscriptions. whats your co-pay free or $2.00. now your getting a taste what some of the seniors are going thru along with the unemployed. stop your crying abd come down to earth and budget like the rest of us!!!

    • anne shirley

      hey diana – don’t be bitter because you never paid attention in school and work at a dead end job,. When I worked in the private industry, my health benefits were fully funded and I’m entitled to a pension when I’m 65, and I never even contributed to it.

      That’s the difference between a hard working and educated person and you.

      So maybe you should stop your crying cause you don’t have what I have worked hard for. Now go spend your meager salary on cigarettes, gambling at the casino and booze and expect me to pay my taxes to fund you in your older years.

      It sounds like your a senior? Well I can just bet that the money you have paid into SS has already been spent by you and basically you are living off of my contributions, which I may never see. I think you need to come down to earth – if we were able to pick and choose what our tax dollars go for, I certainly would ask that my ss taxes be put into a fund for ME, not you.


    Why isn’t it breaking news when non-government workers have to pay more for benefits? We’ve all been experiencing it for years. Don’t feel sorry for them one bit.

    • dlaboss

      ding-ding-ding, we have a winner!
      You tell ’em!

  • Hater

    “Kill the unions”, “Kill the unions” . This is way overdue.

  • Diana Whitehead

    I am hoping Penna does the same! And all the other states.

  • CAPS

    YAHOO ! Now you will see what its like to pay. I have been paying for 20+ years . Your free ride is over off my tax dollars !

    • Anne Shirley

      Hey CAPS, public workers are taxpayers too!! I just wanted to clear that up and since I pay taxes I also contribute to my own salary and benefits, so to speak and therefore am not getting a “free ride”. As a non-union employee of a local municipality, I haven’t gotten a raise in 3+ years, make my MANDATORY pension payment and don’t get any heath benefits once I retire from my employer. I am a college graduate, have over 33 years of experience in my field (18 years in the private sector, 15 years in the public sector) and make under $50K a year.

  • grumpy

    So what do these Legislators and this Governor pay for their benefits??????

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