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Christie Pension Commission Recommends Plan for Huge Savings, Fewer Benefits

TRENTON - Gov. Chris Christie's high-powered pension commission has proposed a sweeping plan that would save the state billions in retirement and health care costs while reducing benefits for hundreds of thousands of public workers.

The commission says New Jersey needs to drastically change its pension and health plans. Christie's budget address will launch the complex proposal, which he'll hold up as the answer to a $37 billion unfunded pension liability - which balloons to $83 billion under new accounting rules - and $53 billion in unfunded health care liability.

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PSMA Board of Directors Endorses Eric Pierre for PERS Board of Trustees

The PSMA Board of Directors voted on February 3, 2015 to endorse Eric Pierre for the State Representative on the PERS Board of Trustees.

Eric is a manager in the NJ Department of Labor & Workforce Development where he has worked for 25 years. Eric is also a full member of IBEW Local 30. The PERS Board of Trustees is responsible for overseeing the PERS pension system. It is vitally important that we help elect Eric to the Board to represent the interests of managers and other State employees.

The PSMA Board of Directors urges you, and all yor colleagues, to vote for Eric Pierre.

Local 30 Membership Recruitment

With the creation of IBEW Local 30, for the first time in the history of State government, we now have a contract that begins to right those wrongs.

But there is still work to be done!

In order to guarantee that we have equity and fairness going forward -

We Need You to join IBEW Local 30 as a full member.

Membership development and communication will also be an important issue for us over the next few months as we strive to get "on line", develop a complete membership roster and be able to reach all of our members in an informative and timely manner.

If you haven't joined IBEW Local 30 - You Need to Take Action Now! Download the IBEW application and dues deduction card.

Stand up and be counted!

To sign up, please download and fill out the IBEW Membership Application and Dues Deduction Card. Then send them to:

IBEW Local 30
212 West State Street
Trenton, NJ 08608

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, or directly from your payroll clerk. You can also send a donation to:

212 West State Street
Trenton, NJ 08608

Opinion: Can Gov. Christie 'Be There' for New Jersey and Run for Higher Office?

According to Father Theodore Hesburgh, former president of Notre Dame University, "The very essence of leadership is that you have to have vision. It's got to be a vision you articulate clearly and forcefully on every occasion. You can't blow an uncertain trumpet."

The people of New Jersey twice elected Gov. Chris Christie to lead the state. In that role, he was expected to provide a vision of how New Jersey could grow and prosper. In addition, he is the chief executive of the state's 45,000 employees. Unfortunately, in his first four years in office, Gov. Christie spent more time blaming his predecessors than developing and implementing a vision. For the last year, his vision seems to be limited to his own personal vision of his future -- one that is looking less likely every day to include a vision for New Jersey.

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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.

Message From PSMA Board of Directors

As you may be aware the Governor has released the Pension Commission's Final Report regarding recommended changes to our pensions and health benefits (see article below). This "Roadmap" is just a report and is not being implemented at this time. Regardless of any tentative agreements which may have been discussed there are no firm plans or legislative proposals. The "Roadmap" discusses a number of recommendations, particularly with regard to reducing health benefits and changing the pension system. PSMA, along with IBEW Local 30, are going to work very closely with our legislators to protect our critical benefits. We will keep you informed as to any developments.

Message From IBEW Local 30 Executive Board - February 2015

IBEW Local 30 is pleased to announce the launch of its new website which can be found at:

IBEW Local 30 members will find critical Union updates, news, meeting minutes, contract information, salary charts, eligibility, and other related information by visiting our new website. There are also discounts for our members and links to other sites. Please visit us today!

We want to thank those of you who have joined to become full members of IBEW Local 30. Please know that we appreciate your support. To those of you who have not yet joined we encourage you to do so now!

IBEW Local 30 is aware of recent news regarding the pension and health benefits, but we were not party to these discussions. We will make sure that managers are represented at the table as these discussions continue. As indicated last month, we are establishing the next Contract Negotiations Team for IBEW Local 30. We anticipate being called into session in the early spring and will keep everyone updated as we get closer.

Finally, we have not forgotten those managers and members of PSMA who are not eligible to be members of IBEW at this time. We are working to form a more effective partnership with IBEW Local 30 going forward to allow all of our brothers and sisters to participate.

We look forward to sharing the journey ahead with all of you.

Judge Rules Christie Must Make $1.5B Pension Payment in N.J. Budget

Brent Johnson/ 23, 2015

TRENTON - In a blow to Gov. Chris Christie a day before he introduces his latest state budget proposal, a state judge ruled today that the governor must reverse a $1.57 billion cut in pension payments to the current state spending plan.

State Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson sided with a group of public worker unions who sued to stop the Republican governor from slashing the payment to New Jersey's retirement fund for hundreds of thousands of government workers after his administration's revenue projections fell far short and left a gaping hole in the current state budget.That means the state must scramble to find a way to make the payment by June 30, when the current fiscal year ends.

The unions - which represent teachers, police officers, state troopers, firefighters, and office workers - argued that Christie's cuts violated a 2011 law he signed to put the pension system back on sound financial ground. The state promised to make increased annual payments to the fund after years of governors shortchanging it, and jun exchange workers agreed to pay more for the pension and health benefits. Christie touted the law - which he worked on with Democratic lawmakers - as a bipartisan achievement and brought him national attention.

Jacobson ruled today that Christie has violated that law by making these cuts.

"The court is unwilling to rely on what has now become a succession of empty promises," she wrote in the 130-page decision.

It's possible Christie will appeal the decision, which could hurt his potential campaign for the 2016 Republican nomination for president.

"Once again, liberal judicial activism rears its head with the court trying to replace its own judgment for the judgment of the people who were elected to make these decisions," Michael Drewniak, a spokesman for Christie's office, said in a statement today. "This budget was passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor with a pension payment. The governor will continue to work on a practical solution to New Jersey's pension and health benefits problems while he appeals this decision to a higher court where we are confident the judgment of New Jersey's elected officials will be vindicated."

The unions' lawsuits dealt with two years of pension payments that Christie cut to balance the budget. Last June, days before the previous fiscal year was set to end, Jacobson ruled that Christie could cut that year's payment from $1.58 billion to $696 million because the revenue shortfall was a fiscal emergency.

She said barring another emergency, the workers were contractually entitled to full $1.57 billion payment this year under the 2011 law.

In January, attorneys for the state argued that Christie could not make full payments because the 2011 law was violated a debt limitation clause and an appropriations clause in the state constitution.

But in today's ruling, Jacobson said Christie "now takes the unusual position in this court of claiming that this legislative contractual guarantee, which embodied significant reforms for which he took substantial credit with great national fanfare, violates the New Jersey Constitution."

Jacobson also ruled that the state must reimburse the unions for legal costs.

New Jersey's pension system faces $83 billion in unfunded liabilities, and it's estimated the two-year, $2.4 billion cut will cost the state twice as much over the next five years.

Christie has repeatedly said that the 2011 reforms didn't go far enough and another overhaul is needed. He formed a special commission to suggest ways to fix the problem, but it has yet to issue a final report.

How Christie will tackle the issue is one of the top questions heading into his budget address.

IBEW Seeks to Organize X, Y, V and W Managers

Managers in X, Y, V, and W titles interested in learning how to organize with IBEW, please contact Joe Mastrogiovanni, Jr., IBEW Lead Organizer, at
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