Chiera Testifies Against Cut In Retirement Benefits

Legislation that would further limit collectively bargained retirement benefits advanced Wednesday in Trenton, despite testimony from Donna M. Chiera on behalf of AFTNJ and representatives from CWANJ, AFSCME, NJEA, FOP and PBA.

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AFTNJ President Donna Chiera

The Assembly bill, A-1851 , is sponsored by Education chair Pam Lampitt and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin. The Senate companion, S-2578, is sponsored by Senate President Steve Sweeney and Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg.

The legislation limits payments for unused sick leave earned after effective date by public workers represented by unions; for all public employees, limits vacation leave carry-forward and requires suspension and forfeiture of certain supplemental compensation.

The legislation, in its current form, does not address well-publicized six-figure sick leave payouts to high-level public managers, only union members, for most of whom retirement payouts were capped by previous legislation at $15,000. The current legislation would cap those payouts to $7,500, but only to be used to pay for retiree medical benefits.