Christie Reaches Agreement With Largest Public Workers Union
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and the state’s largest union announced a tentative four-year contract agreement that increases pay, reduces clothing allowances and recognizes a new law raising workers’ benefit costs.
Specifics of the tentative deal will be released next week by the administration and the Communications Workers of America, Christie said in a statement today. The union represents more than 35,000 state employees.
Christie, a first-term Republican, and the CWA have been negotiating since March 2011. The union’s contract expired in June, and talks stalled that month after Christie signed a bill forcing workers to pay more for health care. Union officials had lobbied for the contributions to be negotiated.
“It is clear under this contract, our members continue to make sacrifices,” the CWA said in a release posted on its website today. “Our tentative agreement contains small salary increases, reduces clothing maintenance allowances, and recognizes the new law governing health care for public employees.”
Christie in December announced a four-year contract with the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers Local 195 and Service Employees International Union Local 518, which represent more than 5,000 employees. That deal freezes wages for the first two years and gives raises of 1 percent in the third and 1.75 percent in the final year, Christie said in a statement at the time.
The agreement with the CWA, which would be retroactive to July 1, will go to the membership for review and approval during the next several weeks, according to the statement.
“We have accomplished our core objectives during a very difficult political and economic climate, defending the integrity of our contract against an administration hell-bent on undermining this legal right at every opportunity,” the CWA said. “Given this fact, we support this tentative agreement and recommend its ratification.”
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