Weingarten, Chiera speak at Murphy-LD 16 rally

AFT President Randi Weingarten and AFTNJ President Donna M. Chiera were among the speakers Oct. 16 at the Legislative District 16 Canvass Kickoff in Princeton, attended by Gov. Phil Murphy, Senate candidate Andrew Zwicker, and Assembly candidates Roy Freiman and Sadaf Jaffer.

Weingarten, the closing speaker, spent a few minutes addressing recent comments former Gov. Chris Christie made when asked on TV about threats of violence against educators and school boards.…

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State unions: Change desperately needed in managing N.J. public pension funds

By Charles Wowkanech

Union pension trustees almost fell out of their chairs at last week’s State Investment Council meeting, when Chairman Tom Byrne boldly declared that “the pension funds are healthy until 2025.”

Perhaps he missed the record high 11 credit downgrades the state has suffered during Gov. Chris Christie’s term – the most of any governor in our state’s history.…

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Funding the Pension Long Game

Over the past year, AFT New Jersey leaders and activists have been working intensely on building support for an amendment to the state constitution to mandate quarterly pension payments. Our members distributed educational literature about the benefits of the measure, knocked on doors to talk to other union members and made phone calls to raise awareness of the importance of funding public worker pensions.…

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Guaranteed Funding For State Pensions Probably Won’t Make Ballot

John Reitmeyer

Sweeney continues to tie the amendment to getting a veto-proof majority for his plan to renew the Transportation Trust Fund

Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester) was supported by advocates for seniors and the disabled as well as union and construction representatives.

With the deadline for final legislative approval of a proposed constitutional amendment to boost public-employee pension funding now just days away, it appears more likely than ever that it will not be put before voters this fall.…

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New Jersey slashes hedge fund allocation amid poor returns

By Svea Herbst-Bayliss

New Jersey’s state pension fund plans to slash its hedge fund investments by half, becoming the latest large investor to protest high fees and poor returns after New York and California made similar moves.

The New Jersey Investment Council on Wednesday unanimously voted to reduce its exposure to hedge funds to 6 percent from 12.5 percent, the state and a union official said.…

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N.J. to slash pension investments in hedge funds that were criticized by unions

Samantha Marcus, NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

TRENTON — The State Investment Council on Wednesday agreed to slash New Jersey’s investments of public-sector pension dollars in hedge funds by more than half, responding to labor union concerns that the alternative investments aren’t paying off.

At the council’s last meeting in May, union representatives called for drastic reduction in the pension system’s hedge fund stake, from 12.5 percent to 4 percent, but the move failed on a tie vote.…

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AFT Applauds NJ Public Pension Hedge Fund Divestment

WASHINGTON— American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten and AFT New Jersey state federation President Donna M. Chiera on the unanimous decision of the New Jersey State Investment Council to drop its hedge fund allocation from 12 percent to 6 percent and cut its hedge fund fee structure:
AFT President Randi Weingarten said: “Workers and the public they serve deserve to know that the trustees responsible for investing their pensions have their best interests front and center.
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As deadline looms, what to know about N.J.’s epic pension amendment fight

By Samantha Marcus, NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

TRENTON — The New Jersey Senate has until Monday to vote to submit a proposed constitutional amendment to the fall ballot for voter approval.

Until this summer, the question was whether that ballot measure would succeed or fail. But now it’s uncertain whether it will make it to the ballot at all, as one complicated and fraught matter — public worker pensions — gets pulled into another — transportation funding.…

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NJ Senate May Delay Votes On Gas-Tax Hike, Pension Amendment

John Reitmeyer

Democratic leaders still scrambling to get enough support to override expected vetoes by Gov. Christie

Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee Chairman Paul Sarlo (D-Bergen)
The New Jersey Senate is holding its first voting session in over a month this afternoon, but legislation seeking to renew the state Transportation Trust Fund with a gas-tax hike may not make the final agenda.…

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NJ beleaguered pension system could get a boost under this new pitch

By Samantha Marcus, NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

PHILADELPHIA — Just a few miles from the Democratic National Convention, party leaders — including Senate President Stephen Sweeney and one of the campaign’s early presidential candidates — put the big New Jersey problem of public employee pensions center stage.

And Sweeney offered a new path, saying New Jersey’s beleaguered pension system should consider investing in infrastructure projects for more reliable returns.…

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Ballot Question On Pension Payments Gets Dragged Into TTF Wrangle

By John Reitmeyer

Deadline nears for putting new pension payments on November ballot, but impasse between Christie and Sweeney on transportation funding gets in the way

A statewide ballot question that would require increasing payments into New Jersey’s grossly underfunded public-employee pension system has now been dragged into the debate over renewing the state Transportation Trust Fund.…

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N.J. public worker pension referendum moves closer to ballot

By Samantha Marcus, NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

TRENTON — The state Assembly took its final step Monday toward placing a referendum on the fall ballot asking voters to commit to spending billions of dollars to repair the public worker pension system.

With the governor cut out of the ballot question process, it is now up to the Democratic-controlled Senate to see the referendum onto this fall’s general election ballot.…

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