New Jersey employees pushing lawmakers to reconsider changes

The largest public employee union in New Jersey will meet this week with members of the state's legislature to discuss potential changes in the amount of money they pay into the state's benefits and pension plans. However, the union and its supporters are already cautioning
lawmakers to tread lightly when comes to an overhaul, the New Jersey Star-Ledger reports.

The union sent a letter, which was cosigned by 48 labor attorneys, stating that if Governor Christie and his supporters successfully enact a 30 percent increase in health costs, then the state will "eliminate" any future negotiations between the two parties concerning healthcare and pensions.

"We want decision makers in Trenton to understand that we have a well-established legal right to negotiate over health benefits," Bob Masters told the Star-Ledger. Master is the political director for the Communication Workers of America, which represents the majority of the state’s unionized employees.

According to The Associated Press, a public employee in New Jersey who retires at 55 years old and has a salary of $85,000 is eligible for a pension worth $46,000. If an employee retires five years later with a salary of $90,000, he or she is eligible for a $57,000 pension.  

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