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Camden Residents Weigh Governor Chris Christie’s Sick Pay Reform

By Robin Rieger

CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) — New Jersey governor Chris Christie is looking to end payments for unused sick time for public workers. As legislative sessions wind down, the governor says it is an issue he will not compromise on.

The city of Camden has about 700 employees from City Hall to the police department and fire department. Layoffs have been an issue across the board as the city deals with budget short falls.

New jersey governor Chris Christie was in New Brunswick Wednesday to promote his plan which he says will help cities and taxpayers by eliminating a budget item he says is straining many municipalities budgets, including Camden’s.

“ You shouldn’t get paid for not being sick, especially in these times when we are struggling for every dollar.,” said Christie.

Governor Christie met with Frank and Joan Diner, retirees and registered democrats who like his proposal to eliminate payments to retiring municipal and state workers for accrued unused sick time.

“You’re doing a lot of the things that we agree with and like,” said Joan, speaking directly to the governor.

Christie is urging state lawmakers to pass a reform before the current legislative session ends.

“They have to just now step up to the plate in the next five days to get this done.”

According to the governor’s office, the sick leave liability in Camden is just over $23 million, costing the average homeowner about $770 a year in property taxes.

Opinions are mixed.

“If we have to pay out of our money to pay you if you are not going to use them that is not fair,” said Camden resident Cyke Lindsey.

“If they are not taking the sick time and they are putting their time in, why not let them have it,” said another Camden resident.

Camden’s FOP President John Williamson says the governor’s proposal could create more problems.

“You will have people using a lot of sick time, potentially when they are not sick,” said Williamson.

To see what unused sick time by municipal employees costs you as a home owner, visit Governor Chris Christie’s Facebook page: CLICK HERE

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  • facts are facts Christie said he's overweight

    Why use weight? Why not? That big bully had a state copter fly him to his son’s game, had the game stopped while he waddled to a state car only to have it to the game when he could have walked. Then he had the game stopped so he could reverse his lazy actions, then had the nerve to not want to pay for the copter until the taxpayers got angry. He also cut funding for staff in the NJ congress only to reverse that when his republican buddies complained about losing their money. He also upgraded his hotels when there was a clear policy on how much that government workers including him could spend. He goes after public union workers, but not after his high priced government buddies. He is a hypocrite.

  • Camden Boy

    As a longtime NJ State Civil Servant, our contract has always included an “option” to sell back any unused Sick Time at half value, up to a $15, 000 maximum lump sum payout at retirement. It is NOT a guarantee for every single State employee; but only those who have saved and not used their Sick days. State civil servants cannot get more than the $15,000 unlike County, City, Municipal, Police & Fireman who sell back unlimited Sick, Vacation & Comp Time. It is those public servants who get six figure payouts, NOT State workers. And I don’t begrudge them what their Unions have bargained for them … but … it is unfair, disingenuous and wrong for the Governor to try to move the finish line on longtime State employees who have dedicated their lives to making NJ the Great State it is, especially as we come down the stretch to the finish line. I have made many sacrifices along my State career, for the benefit of the State (in conjunction with my Union) and am willing to do so again. However, I will not allow the Governor to just rip it from my hands as a bully would. And to pit so called taxpayers against public servants is indecorous. Our Governor sets a very poor example of how to conduct ones self when he doesn’t get his way. He comes off like a big baby when compared to neighboring Governors like Tom Corbett, Jack Markell & Andrew Cuomo. I hope he can change his ways for the betterment of our State. Please lead by example, Governor – good example.

  • Mary

    Take that benefit away and you’ll see a lot of people using their sick time. Understand I am grateful for a job, but I do not get paid nearly what I did in the private sector and I pay hefty into my retirement (when I worked in private sector my job paid 100 percent into my retirement). Also we are forced to pay union dues. So despite what peoples opinion on state workers all aren’t living high on the hog. The benefit of being partially paid for unused sick time is not unreasonable benefit. I am glad I am covered under my spouses benefits or I would be making close to minimum wage.

  • Johan

    If Christie gets away with it , the law of unintended consequences will apply. When they are felling bad they will just start taking more sick time off and in many cases someone will have to replace them usually at time and a half. In the long and short run it will cost them more money and punish the good employees who tough out an illness.

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