Despite the governor’s line-item veto of the Ch. 78-mandated five-sevenths pension payment, NJEA and other New Jersey public employee unions continue to fight for full pension funding and are working with legislators who share that goal.
Public sector unions will meet to discuss Speaker Prieto’s pension proposals
In July, Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, D-Hudson, called public-sector unions together to discuss his ideas for putting the pension system on stronger fiscal footing through increased levels of funding and regular payments. NJEA Executive Director Ed Richardson and NJEA Government Relations Director Ginger Gold Schnitzer represented NJEA at the meeting. Other participants included representatives from AFL-CIO, AFT, CWA, AFSCME, as well as the police and fire unions. The Speaker favors setting a new schedule for making pension payments, requiring quarterly payments, and dedicating the lion’s share of any unexpected revenues toward supplementing scheduled pension payments. NJEA and the other public employee unions were encouraged that the Speaker had called the meeting to discuss pension funding. Following the presentation, questions were raised about process and enforceability. The public sector unions will be meeting to discuss reactions to the Speaker’s proposals and to plan next steps. NJEA’s objective remains unchanged: full funding of the current pension system.
SHPB approves pilot project on voluntary use of Direct Primary Care Medical Homes
The plan design committee of the State Health Benefits Program (SHBP) has approved a project to pilot a voluntary Direct Primary Care Medical Homes (DPCMH) initiative. The design committee of the School Employee Health Benefits Program (SEHBP)—through which retirees and school employees in 306 districts receive their medical benefits—has not yet approved the pilot. Should the pilot program be approved, it is important to note that it will not include people on Medicare and that participation in the pilot is voluntary.
NJ justices will review the suspension of retirees’ COLAs
The New Jersey Supreme Court has agreed to hear a challenge to a 2011 law that suspended retirees’ cost-of-living adjustments, a part of Chapter 78 that overhauled the pension system for public workers.
Become a Pension Activist!
NJREA/NJEA needs your voice and participation in our efforts to fully fund the pension and establish a guaranteed method to secure its future. The pension crisis will not go away soon. Help save your pension and benefits by becoming a Pension Activist. Go to http://fundnjpension.org/become-a-pension-activist/