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Camden Residents Weigh Governor Chris Christie’s Sick Pay Reform

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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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