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New Jersey's Top Court Rules Christie Can Skip Pension Payments

By Kate Zernike/NY Times/June 9, 2015

New Jersey's highest court ruled on Tuesday that Gov. Chris Christie could skip the pension payments he promised to make in the signature law of his tenure, averting a huge fiscal crisis just weeks before the state closes its books for the year.

While the 5-to-2 decision by the Supreme Court of New Jersey handed Mr. Christie a victory, it also underscored how much his fortunes have changed as he takes steps to run for president.

Mr. Christie rose to stardom in the national Republican Party largely on the overhaul of public employee pensions that he signed in 2011. He used the law as evidence that he could reach across the aisle to take on tough problems - not to mention powerful unions. He boasted in his keynote speech to the Republican National Convention in 2012 that he had "fixed" the problem of underfunded pensions, one shared by many states.

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4 Reasons New Jersey's Pension Ruling Isn't a Win for the State or Its Employees


By Liz Farmer/Governing/June 11, 2015

New Jersey's top court this week overturned a lower court's ruling that Gov. Chris Christie had violated a 2011 pension law. The decision means the state doesn't have to pay its pension fund the $1.6 billion Christie had promised to pay when employees agreed to contribute more to their retirement accounts.

Tuesday's ruling is largely hailed as a political victory for the governor, who will announce whether he's running for president later this month. It's also a temporary financial victory for New Jersey. But there are many more reasons why the win is fleeting and will ultimately place more pressure on a financially beleaguered state that can ill afford it. Here's why:

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PSMA Retirees' Network Update


The Retiree Network is establishing a Coordinating Committee to develop bylaws and increase membership recruitment. If you are interested in serving on the Coordinating Committee please send an email to Barry Chalofsky at bchalofs@gmail.com.

A number of Retirees attended the PSMA Annual Meeting on June 10, 2015. Three of them won door prizes! We had a great time and good food. Look for our next Breakfast in September.

The Retiree Network will be scheduling a Breakfast Meeting in September - look for the email!

PSMA Retirees' Network membership continues to grow and is now almost 40 members! We need each member to get at least one new member to join. Don't think that because you are retired you are not affected by what's going on in Trenton. Our pensions and health benefits are on the line, and we need support from PSMA and IBEW Local 30 to fight for our rights. The Retiree Network is the only organization that can bring you that support - so help us grow our membership!

As many of you are aware a number of long-time PSMA members have retired from the State. While this has been a loss to PSMA we all understand that this is part of life - especially for State workers. We strongly encourage these recent retirees to join the PSMA Retirees' Network. If you know of a retired manager (or non-manager), please have him or her go to http://www.psmanj.org/extras/RetiredManagers.pdf for more information.





Contribute to PSMA PAC


In order for an organization to be effective it has to have a well-funded Political Action Committee (PAC). PSMA is not allowed to use dues to given donations to candidates and political parties. All monies used for that purpose come from a separate PSMA PAC which gets its funding directly from contributions by members. This past year the PSMA PAC made some very critical donations to legislators who ended up supporting us in our quest for union legislation.

This effort requires a small contribution from everyone. Please consider donating $2.00 or more per paycheck to the PSMA PAC. You can get a special PAC dues deduction card by e-mailing
info@psmanj.org, or directly from your payroll clerk. You can also send a donation to:

PSMA PAC
212 West State Street
Trenton, NJ 08608
 
Welcome to the Public Sector Managers' Association

The Public Sector Managers' Association, Inc. (PSMA) has been recognized by the State of New Jersey as the Constitutional Representative of all non- aligned/non-union managers in New Jersey government as of November 13, 1993 pursuant to Article 1, Paragraph 19 of the New Jersey State Constitution. PSMA's responsibility under that provision is to serve as a vehicle for two-way communication between the State as an employer and its managerial employees. The representation, however, is limited to managers who are PSMA dues-paying members of the State government. PSMA is a partner with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 30 which represents certain managers in State government. PSMA works closely with IBEW Local 30 on issues related to managers who are represented by IBEW Local 30 and those that are not eligible for representation.

PSMA's mission is to serve managers in New Jersey government by achieving and maintaining superior and ethical management service; promoting a high regard for our managers by those outside and within the government; and restoring equity to the human resource policies and practices of New Jersey government as they relate to managers.




PSMA Holds Annual Meeting


On June 10, 2015 PSMA held its 23rd Annual Meeting at Villa Mannino in Bordentown. The meeting was well attended and we had presentations by our President, Stan Cach, our lobbyist, Tim Martin of MBI-Gluck Shaw, as well as updates on PSMA activities for the year from Barry Chalofsky. Biff Lowry and Al Laubsch laid out the conceptual plans for the future of PSMA. Scholarships were awarded to four students (see below) and a number of door prizes were also won by attendees. We had great food and drinks as well as flowers and other goodies for all attendees. For those who couldn't make it we strongly recommend coming next year.

Biff and Al, speaking on behalf of IBEW Local 30, discussed the formation of a Labor Council which would include IBEW Local 30, IBEW Local 33, PSMA and the PSMA Retiree Network. The Labor Council would provide support to all of the associated entities. A very small allocation of IBEW dues would fund the Council, and these monies would be used to pay for a substantial portion of membership and lobbying costs for all four entities. The primary mission of the Council would be to enable additional public employees to have collective bargaining rights in the future. We will provide more details as the Council plan is formulated.





Message From PSMA Board of Directors


To All PSMA Members,
As a result of the formation of IBEW Local 30 the membership of PSMA has changed significantly. Most of the PSMA members were eligible to join IBEW Local 30 and have done so. As a result, the membership of PSMA has been reduced. However, PSMA, in partnership with IBEW Local 30, is continuing its mission of representing managers in State government who are not eligible to be represented by a union at this time. To that end we are redoubling our efforts to modify the laws of the State to ultimately provide representation for these managers, and are actively seeking new members. We are also looking for non-IBEW eligible managers to join the PSMA Board of Directors.

In addition, our Retiree Network continues to grow and we are committed to support their efforts as well.

We will continue to update you in the future about our plans to strengthen our growing partnership with IBEW Local 30.

____________________________________________________

We need every PSMA member to bring in at least one new member. There are a significant number of managers who don't have the protections of IBEW Local 30 - they need PSMA to provide them with representation and the opportunity to fight for eventual union representation. We need each member to speak to their peers and convince them to join PSMA!



Christie signs $32.5 Billion Budget, Axes Several Tax Hikes Floated by Democrats



By Salvador Rizzo/The Star-Ledger/july 01, 2014 at 4:37 PM

TRENTON - Gov. Chris Christie signed a $32.5 billion state budget today that all but abandons a first-term plan to repair New Jersey's derelict pension system, slicing $1.57 billion from a payment required by law for public workers' retirement funds.

With his new budget - which makes modest funding increases to schools and hospitals and is 1.2 percent smaller than the one he signed last year - Christie held firm on a promise to block major tax increases in New Jersey. He vetoed a pair of Democratic bills that would have hiked rates on millionaires and businesses and reaped an extra $1.1 billion for the pension funds.

Democrats in the Legislature don't have enough votes to override Christie's vetoes.

Conservatives and business groups welcomed those vetoes, saying higher taxes would have stunted New Jersey's already anemic economic growth. Democrats and liberal advocacy groups accused Christie of balancing the budget at the expense of the middle class while neglecting to address New Jersey's long-term fiscal woes.

Christie's move to short the pension system - a reversal for a governor who once pledged to rescue it from collapse - could spark downgrades of New Jersey's credit rating and a difficult court battle against public-sector unions. With unfunded liabilities of nearly $50 billion for state and local workers' plans, the growing pension mess could hurt Christie's chances if he decides to run for president.

The governor said the Garden State simply cannot solve its worsening financial problems with "vindictive" tax increases. Christie vetoed a bill to raise the income tax for any earnings above $1 million during three years, and another bill that would have imposed a 15 percent corporate-tax surcharge for a year.

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IBEW Seeks to Organize Y, V and W Managers


Managers in Y, V, and W titles interested in learning how to organize with IBEW, please contact Joe Mastrogiovanni, Jr., IBEW Lead Organizer, at Joey_Mastrogiovanni@IBEW.org. (If you cut and paste the email address please note that there is an underscore between Joey and Mastrogiovanni.)


NJ Democrats Boost Pension Payment in $35.3B Budget



By Michael Symons/Mycentraljersey.com/June 22, 2015

TRENTON - Democratic lawmakers say they'll pass a $35.3 billion state budget this week that contributes an extra $1.8 billion toward the pension funds, paid for in part through higher taxes on the rich and corporations.

The income-tax surcharge would last four years and apply at income of $1 million or more, said Sen. Paul Sarlo, D-Bergen. Unions had sought higher taxes starting at $350,000. There would also be a one-time, 15 percent surcharge on business taxes. Both of those ideas were vetoed by Gov. Chris Christie a year ago and are all-but-certain to meet the same fate again this month.

"Nobody wants to take these measures, but at the end of the day we have an obligation to make this pension payment," Sarlo said. "... Until we're able to sit down and extend those payments, we have an obligation to do so."

Sarlo, the Senate budget committee chairman, said the Legislature will also rely on the forecasts of the nonpartisan Office of Legislative Services, which projects $700 million more in tax revenue in the current 2015 and upcoming 2016 budgets than Christie's Department of the Treasury does. Christie certifies the revenue, however, not the Legislature, and will almost certainly stick with Treasury's estimate.

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