At today’s budget address, Gov. Christie showed that after a year away, he still has no new ideas for solving the pension crisis he helped create.
NJEA called him out for his pension funding failures in a hard-hitting response that was sent to all New Jersey media shortly after his speech ended.
But we didn’t wait until after the speech to get the word out. NJEA President Wendell Steinhauer had an op-ed in yesterday’s Star-Ledger outlining the governor’s past budget lies and stating our support for a constitutional amendment to require regular, responsible pension funding.
Of course, not everyone wants the state to live up to its obligations, and they have all sorts of excuses for why the constitutional amendment is the wrong approach. If you come across people like that, use this fact sheet to show them why they are wrong.
We aren’t alone in this fight. Other unions and a majority of legislators also support the constitutional amendment. And we have allies in the public who share our concerns about Gov. Christie’s messed up priorities. Earlier today, NJEA participated in a press conference calling for new budget priorities for New Jersey.
The fight to pass a constitutional amendment and protect our pensions is just beginning. It will take every NJEA member engaged and energized to win. We are counting on you! If you aren’t already a pension activist, sign up today!
If you want something to do right now, share one (or all!) of these memes on your own social media and help us tell the truth about our pension crisis.
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For the last 15 years, the state of New Jersey has provided little or NO FUNDING to its public employee pension funds. When Chapter 78 was passed in 2011, it increased employee contributions and reduced benefits, but it also gave you aCONTRACTUAL RIGHT to the state’s share of pension funding. It was a promise from the governor and Legislature that they would not repeat the sins of the past.
Since the law was passed, New Jersey school employees have contributed BILLIONS OF DOLLARS to their pensions, but Governor Christie CONTINUES TO VIOLATE THE VERY LAW THAT HE SIGNED!
NJEA and the other public employee unions recently won a lawsuit, with the judge requiring the state to contribute the FULL AMOUNT of state funding required this year. Governor Christie has ignored the ruling and promised to appeal. The unions have filed a second lawsuit for the coming fiscal year, for which Governor Christie also refused to provide full pension funding. Over three consecutive budgets, he has shorted the pension funds by OVER $4 BILLION. Simply put, he broke his promise — and his own law.
We can’t simply rely on lawsuits . . . they take a long time, there is no guarantee of success, and time is of the essence. IT’S TIME TO HOLD GOVERNOR CHRISTIE AND THE LEGISLATURE ACCOUNTABLE for their obligations under the law. Without the state’s full contribution, the pension funds grow weaker every day. And without a dramatic increase in the state’s current funding commitment, NJEA actuaries predict THE TPAF (TEACHERS’ PENSION AND ANNUITY FUND) WILL RUN OUT OF MONEY IN 2027. (The PERS/Local fund, which is for ESP members, has funding problems as well.)
NJEA has over 200,000 members, who have contributed every penny required by law into their own pension funds. It’s time for each and every one of us to tell the governor and the Legislature that it’sBEYOND time to live up to their legal obligation to fund public employee pensions.
FUNDING THE PENSION SYSTEMS: What you need to know as we fight together to save our pensions – Q & A
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