By Max Pizarro

Fourteen unions under the auspices of the New Jersey AFL-CIO announced today that they want to take Governor Chris Christie to court to compel him to make New Jersey Annual Required Contribution to the pension system for FY 2016.

The suit presses Christie to follow the 2011 pension law he signed, specifically the requirements of Chapter 78.

“This governor’s continuing disregard for his own pension funding law leaves us no choice but to go back to court to resume this fight in court on behalf of hundreds of thousands of public-sector workers who make their full pension contributions and depend on the modest income they earn in retirement,” said New Jersey State AFL-CIO President Charles Wowkanech, in the aftermath of the governor’s budget address last week. “This governor’s illegal underfunding has brought the pension system to the brink of crisis and resulted in more credit downgrades than any previous governor in history. It’s a shame that this governor has decided to spend all his time courting Iowa caucus-goers, not addressing the serious problems plaguing his home state.”

Leaders of three large unions that will be part of the lawsuit shared their reactions:

American Federation of Teachers New Jersey (AFTNJ) President Donna M. Chiera: “The governor needs to meet his obligation so future generations of teachers, nurses and public safety workers can care for themselves after long productive careers of caring for others. New Jersey’s working families and the court plainly see that the Governor’s manufactured budget shortfall is a result of his refusal to hold millionaires and large corporations accountable to contribute their fair share to the State’s Treasury.”


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