Another Blot on NJ Escutcheon


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So much for the “contractual language that obligates the state payment”.

From the US Supreme Court website on the New Jersey pension payment case:

No. 15-293
Vide 15-302
Title:
Christopher Burgos, et al., Petitioners
v.
New Jersey, et al.
Docketed: September 10, 2015
Lower Ct: Supreme Court of New Jersey
  Case Nos.: (A-55 September Term 2014, 075736)
  Decision Date: June 9, 2015

 

~~~Date~~~ ~~~~~~~Proceedings  and  Orders~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Sep 3 2015 Petition for a writ of certiorari filed. (Response due October 13, 2015)
Oct 8 2015 Waiver of right of respondents New Jersey, et al. to respond filed.
Oct 28 2015 DISTRIBUTED for Conference of November 13, 2015.
Nov 5 2015 Response Requested . (Due December 7, 2015)
Nov 19 2015 Order extending time to file response to petition to and including January 6, 2016.
Jan 6 2016 Brief of respondents New Jersey, et al. in opposition filed. VIDED.
Jan 15 2016 Reply of petitioners Christopher Burgos, et al. filed. (Distributed)
Jan 20 2016 DISTRIBUTED for Conference of February 19, 2016.
Feb 29 2016 Petition DENIED.

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Reaction as reported by nj.com:

“At least we tried to hold the governor to his word, which means nothing,” said Christopher Burgos, the president of the State Troopers Fraternal Association and the lead plaintiff in the case. “Anyone that believes anything he says is a fool.  The highest court in the land has allowed lies and deceit to prevail in this case, and once again, workers suffer at the hands of selfish union-busting politics by the rich and powerful.”

Mike Bukosky, attorney for the lead plaintiff, the State Troopers Fraternal Association of New Jersey, said the case will be a “black stain on New Jersey.”

“The governor, he made a solemn promise to fix the pension system, and we had an agreement that was enshrined in state law. And he broke that promise,” Bukosky said. “We had a split decision in the (New Jersey) Supreme Court, which allowed him to break that promise, and that decision’s now going to stand.”

Hetty Rosenstein, area director of the Communications Workers of America, said public workers knew the petition was a long shot. The high court takes up about 1 percent of appeals. “But we said we’ll leave no stone unturned here to protect these pensions, and that’s what we did,” she said.

“It just means what we already knew, which is that we have to protect the funding for these pensions by giving these pensions the same protections they would have in the private sector.”

At this point wouldn’t a white stain on New Jersey be more noticeable?

 

71 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Tough Love on February 29, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    Quoting Hetty Rosenstein, area director of the Communications Workers of America ….

    ““It just means what we already knew, which is that we have to protect the funding for these pensions by giving these pensions the same protections they would have in the private sector.”

    Oh …. so you want these pensions to have….”the same protections they would have in the private sector.”

    Ok, how about the we ALSO include the clearly LEGAL ability of Private Sector Plan sponsors to unilaterally reduce the pension accrual rate for the Future service of all CURRENT workers, a VERY common occurrence in the Private Sector. ?

    Reply

  2. Posted by Javagold on February 29, 2016 at 3:55 pm

    Tick TOCK. Pension Ponzi. Tick TOCK.

    On a long enough timeline the survival rate of everyone goes to ZERO !!!!!

    Reply

  3. Posted by Anonymous on February 29, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    Not s game changer, Senate this November, Governor next November. Yes change is inevitable but not on this Gov’s faceless and baseless terms. Oh forgot to mention, can you say constitutional amendment.

    Reply

  4. Posted by Anonymous on February 29, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    The union leadership filed the lawsuit to save face, they never instructed their legal staffs to totally review past, previous and future impacts on public collective bargaining. The leadership failed to protect the collective bargaining process and the agreements. The lawsuit amounted to a “at least we tried”, since it was an epic fail,the unions need a leadership cleansing. The pensions are protected by state law until 2022, what was never protected was health benefits. The State covered health benefits for all employees enrolled in state sponsored pension programs statewide for property tax relief, the premium cost is now prohibitive, so the obligation is being increased for employees and soon local school boards, county and local governments as employers will bear the cost. This reality unspoken has been there fir decades, what was the unions backup plan?

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on February 29, 2016 at 5:15 pm

      If the Unions want to keep Public Sector worker’s “platinum+” level of healthcare benefits, the workers’ premiums should AGAIN double.

      You see, what COUNTS is NOT what they pay, but how much the Taxpayers must contribute to pay for the balance of the TOTAL costs of these VERY rich Plans …. and there is ZERO justification for the Taxpayers’ contribution towards Public Sector worker healthcare costs to exceed the contributions THEIR employer make towards THEIR healthcare costs.

      EQUAL ….. but NOT more.

      Reply

      • Posted by Javagold on February 29, 2016 at 5:37 pm

        LESS…… But Not Equal.

        They are servants and always deserve less than the master.

        Reply

        • Posted by Anonymous on February 29, 2016 at 5:41 pm

          We see your true colors, stated like the 1% you and other anti publics are but continue to deny.

          Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on February 29, 2016 at 5:44 pm

            And me ?

            What’s you argument against …

            EQUAL ….but not more ?

          • Posted by Anonymous on February 29, 2016 at 6:30 pm

            My initial reply was for JG. As for you, I forgot that we should trust and believe your every word. Including but not limited to your continual assertion that you’re not in the 1%. I’ll leave the conclusions to the readers Imagination.

          • Posted by Tough Love on February 29, 2016 at 7:26 pm

            Anon, you weaseled out of answering ….

            What you argument against Public Sector workers getting EQUAL to their Private Sector counterparts …. but NOT better.

          • Posted by Anonymous on February 29, 2016 at 9:06 pm

            Quoting Garfield, you resemble your reply…..

          • Posted by Tough Love on February 29, 2016 at 9:49 pm

            Anon, Can’t put together even a shot at responding ? Nothing ? Nada ?

            Try again … What is your argument against Public Sector workers getting EQUAL to their Private Sector counterparts …. but NOT better.

          • Posted by Anonymous on February 29, 2016 at 10:34 pm

            Just keeping pace with the MASTER of deflection and distraction. All the while staying on topic with the specifics of your ORIGINAL reply.

          • Posted by Tough Love on February 29, 2016 at 10:39 pm

            Anon, You won’t answer that question because you have NO ANSWER that doesn’t show that you’re ………… a greedy little man.

          • Posted by Smooth Moderation Anonymous on February 29, 2016 at 10:47 pm

            “And me ?

            What’s you argument against …

            EQUAL ….but not more ?”

            Seriously? Rolling on the floor. Laughing my arse off.

            The argument is whose “opinion” of EQUAL. You have shown yourself to be a veritable cornucopia of incorrect and biased information.

            Tough Love: Often in error, never in doubt.

          • Posted by Tough Love on March 1, 2016 at 12:51 pm

            And as expected, SMD rolls in to save Anon with some of his classic “smoothing” …… “nothing to see here folks (i.e., Taxpayers), we’re not ripping you off too much”.

          • Posted by Anonymous on March 1, 2016 at 1:33 pm

            Keep dancing TL, are you Fred or Ginger?

      • Posted by Anonymous on February 29, 2016 at 5:48 pm

        The issue of the health benefits for active and future retirees will return to the negotiation table. The employees and non-state public employers are now adversaries with the employers facing taxpayer backlash when the expense of employee health benefits becomes their responsibility. So guess who will pay the bulk of the premium cost? Public employees because of high property tax burdens.

        Reply

      • Posted by The Resident Nutcase on March 1, 2016 at 2:26 pm

        Make their jobs…(police,fire,ems) as safe as your job and we can talk about equal. Until then…. All this is strictly your opinion. There’s no facts here. It’s what you think it should be. Sorry TL…. You and your minions don’t get to set the low standards.

        Reply

  5. Um ok…..so where does this leave everyone?

    Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on February 29, 2016 at 8:00 pm

      The state once relieved of the employer healthcare cost can focus on correcting the pension shortfall.

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on February 29, 2016 at 8:27 pm

        Interesting choice of words ….. “correcting” the pension shortfall.

        More accurate would be reducing the current level of Grossly Excessive (by any reasonable metric) pension promises.

        Reply

        • Posted by Smooth Moderation Anonymous on February 29, 2016 at 10:12 pm

          Post your e-mail address so we can all send you a draft of proposed posts for editing prior to publication.

          Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on February 29, 2016 at 10:25 pm

            SMD, No wonder why you think your job as a light-bulb-changer was so deserving of big pay, pension, and benefits ………. probably written into the Union contract, as proportional to the size of the bubs ……

        • Posted by Anonymous on March 1, 2016 at 12:19 am

          If CC recovers from Meg Whitman’ s bitch slap, he still can’t reduce the pension payout, but because the state for property tax relief paid the employer portion of health benefits, the state can find tepid by sending this cost back to local and county government entities.

          Reply

    • Posted by Smooth Moderation Anonymous on February 29, 2016 at 10:11 pm

      Single payer.

      Reply

  6. Posted by George on February 29, 2016 at 5:57 pm

    Arguing about the COLA is interesting as inflation expectations are so low. Actually you might have negative inflation so the private sector will still be transferring wealth into the public sector.

    Reply

  7. Posted by Tough love for tough love on February 29, 2016 at 10:46 pm

    Hey TL,
    See you are still on here saying the same Tired TL lines. Maybe every time you mention the word ‘public’ or ‘pension’ I should write $15 minimum wage. Just to be fair to a business owner like yourself. In the event you missed the larger trend below the surface…
    http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/06/the-pitchforks-are-coming-for-us-plutocrats-108014
    Enjoy

    Reply

    • Posted by Now retired Pat on February 29, 2016 at 11:23 pm

      EQUAL (but not more). I agree. But for the love of God, don’t reduce the benefits for any RETIREES! It’s too late for any of us to make course changes! okay, maybe I can kick in an extra 2-3 hundred a month for health care costs, but anything MORE would seriously endanger my well being! Employees with less than 5 years of service should receive NO healthcare; those with between10-20 years of service pay 25% with a $7,500 deductible. Leave RETIREES alone!!

      If retirees ARE to be given a haircut, then let’s start by gradually reducing the TOP pensions and scale them down accordingly. If the pension is greater than $150K, it gets reduced by 20%. 75K – 149K reduced by 15% and for those making 50K-74K then reduce by 10%. DONT TOUCH any retiree making less than $50K per year!! We are special!

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on February 29, 2016 at 11:53 pm

        Nothing like laying out your PERSONAL self-interest and greed for all to see.

        Reply

        • Posted by MJ on March 1, 2016 at 7:21 pm

          Pat has a good point, start from the top down not bottom up…….start with all double dippers, disability cheats, 3 job holders, cut least from those making the least and most from those working the pension scheme…..

          Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on February 29, 2016 at 11:55 pm

        Wow …. a grovelling CPA … how embarrassing to your profession.

        Reply

        • Posted by Now retired Pat on March 1, 2016 at 11:53 am

          groveling? lol. I am beginning to see why many of the people on this board dislike you! I am not embarassed. Quite the contrary, actually. I strategically positioned myself on the chess-board of life and people LIKE YOU want to rearrange the pieces in the middle of the game. GO FAR AWAY!!

          Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on March 1, 2016 at 12:46 pm

            More like ….. with assistance (from your Unions and complicit politicians) you’ve cheated your way to capture the Queen.

            But people have noticed, and becoming pissed at the cheating … and those gains captured via cheating need to be forfeited.

          • Posted by The Resident Nutcase on March 1, 2016 at 2:28 pm

            Cheated??!!! Lol
            How the hell is working under the standards set by fair negotiated contracts become theft??
            You, TL …are seriously insane.

          • Posted by Tough Love on March 1, 2016 at 2:40 pm

            Nutcase, did you miss the words in parenthesis ….. “(from your Unions and complicit politicians)” ?

            Taxpayer were “cheated” by the collusion between your Unions and NJ’s Elected Officials, with the latter voting favorably on Public Sector pay, pensions, and benefits, IN EXCHANGE FOR your Union’s campaign contributions and election support.

            In any other venue, such underhanded horse-trading would be bribe giving and receiving, and likely prosecutable under RICO statutes.
            ————————————————————————————————-
            It’s not rocket science (even a light-bulb-changer like SMD knows how it works).

      • Easy decisions here. Max pension: $60K for current and future retirees with 6% annual haircuts for every year collecting before age 66. That includes double and triple dippers, sick pay, vacation pay on and on. Better that than the funds go broke in 8 or 10 years you get nothing (when the only intelligent life left in NJ is public sector employees).

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on March 1, 2016 at 8:17 pm

          There are 2 groups who support Tax hikes:

          (1) the Public Sector workers who know that for every $1 in incremental taxes they pay, they will get back perhaps $5 in support of their outrageous pension and benefits, and

          (2) those who pay very little or no taxes (e.g., residents on financial assistance) but like a generous plate of free stuff.

          When the Productive Taxpayers leave, the Public Sector workers (as a group) will be supporting them selves as well as supporting those on financial assistance.

          Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on February 29, 2016 at 11:52 pm

      I support the $15 minimum wage ….. as long as any “me too” contract provisions in Public Sector contracts are NOT honored.

      Reply

      • Posted by Smooth Moderation Anonymous on March 1, 2016 at 12:00 am

        Have you found even one such provision? Or just more TL innuendo?

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on March 1, 2016 at 12:08 am

          Are you denying that they exist …. or just innuendo ?

          Reply

          • Posted by Smooth Moderation Anonymous on March 1, 2016 at 12:41 am

            Hmmmm.

            Moderation can download and study every public sector contract in the US, or TL can find just one with a  “me too” contract provision.

            Put up.

          • Posted by Tough Love on March 1, 2016 at 12:55 am

            Hey SMD …that you in the light-bulb-changer picture above ?

            Tough job…. but someone’s got yo do it.

  8. Posted by Smooth Moderation Anonymous on February 29, 2016 at 11:47 pm

    Pat,

    Your suggestion is supported by a lot of people. Even some of the biggest DB opponents. The biggest pensions are the impetus for much of the pension “reformers”.

    Even TL voiced objection to only the largest pensions (till someone started pulling his chain.) Now he’s going after the clerk’s and janitors too. I think more people agree with you than him, though.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on March 1, 2016 at 12:06 am

      Those with any financial acumen understand that the problem (of grossly excessive pensions) extends to ALL level of income … from the highest all the way down to the lowest…….

      There is ZERO justification to provide greater compensation to the Public Sector “janitor” (SMD’s fixation) than to the Private Sector janitor. If basic needs as to food, shelter, clothing, Medical Care, etc. cannot be met, the low-income Public Sector worker’s needs should be addressed via the Social Services system (just as it now is for Private Sector workers), NOT by artificially increasing the compensation above what is “market rate” compensation in the PRIVATE Sector.

      Reply

      • Posted by Smooth Moderation Anonymous on March 1, 2016 at 4:00 am

        “Those with any financial acumen ..”

        Nyuck, nyuck, nyuck

        Every economic study done shows that those in the professional public jobs earn far less than the private sector. Even with the value of pensions and benefits included.

        If I told you once, I told you a million times; don’t exaggerate!!!

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on March 1, 2016 at 12:41 pm

          Wow …”ever’ ….. .. “far less” ….. “even with”.

          As YOU say, Don’t Exaggerate………..Lol.
          ——————————————————–

          And as I’ve stated before, compensation comparisons should reflect average hours worked/wk as well as the productive output per hour where possible.

          Meaning that the PUBLIC Sector (say) CPA who works 40 hrs/wk (perhaps 5-10 at the water cooler or browsing the internet) should NOT expect compensation equal to that of the PRIVATE Sector CPA, many of whom ACTUALLY WORK 50 to 60 hours/wk.
          ————————————————————-

          Reply

          • Posted by Smooth Moderation Anonymous on March 2, 2016 at 12:54 am

            “Every” major economic study. Including the same study which says New Jersey workers earn “23% more” (average.)

            “far less” ; private sector professionals make 50% more in cash wages. Again, that same study.

            “even with”; pensions and benefits, private sector professionals make 20% more than the public sector. Again, same study.
            __________________
            No exaggeration. Moderation is the messenger. The data comes from the American Enterprise Institute.

            Wow!!!

          • Posted by Tough Love on March 2, 2016 at 1:21 am

            SMD … to repeat,

            “the PUBLIC Sector (say) CPA who works 40 hrs/wk (perhaps 5-10 at the water cooler or browsing the internet) should NOT expect compensation equal to that of the PRIVATE Sector CPA, many of whom ACTUALLY WORK 50 to 60 hours/wk.”

          • Posted by Tough Love on March 2, 2016 at 1:24 am

            SMD, And don’t get me started on the grossly excessive compensation (as documented in YOUR quoted study) of blue collar Public Sector workers …..such as light-bulb-changers.

          • Posted by Smooth Moderation Anonymous on March 2, 2016 at 2:04 am

            LOL!!!

            See my long opinion above.

          • Posted by Tough Love on March 2, 2016 at 2:30 am

            Goodnight SMD ….don’t fall now…

  9. Posted by Smooth Moderation Anonymous on March 1, 2016 at 12:36 am

    Those with any financial acumen know that the “free market” is anything but.

    You have two similar workers, one makes $30,000 a year, the other makes $40,000. Why would one automatically assume that $30,000 is the “correct” compensation?

    Free market determination? If the Walmart janitor receives $30k from his employer plus $8k in foodstamps, MedicAid, and earned income credit, what is the “proper” total compensation?

    Simplistic and biased, that’s our TL.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on March 1, 2016 at 12:58 am

      I remain unconvinced …….

      “There is ZERO justification to provide greater compensation to the Public Sector “janitor” (SMD’s fixation) than to the Private Sector janitor. If basic needs as to food, shelter, clothing, Medical Care, etc. cannot be met, the low-income Public Sector worker’s needs should be addressed via the Social Services system (just as it now is for Private Sector workers), NOT by artificially increasing the compensation above what is “market rate” compensation in the PRIVATE Sector.”

      Reply

  10. Posted by Smooth Moderation Anonymous on March 1, 2016 at 1:23 am

    Some people say there is zero justification for Social Services (i.e. taxpayers) to subsidize Walmart employee costs. If our hypothetical janitor received a total compensation of $38,000: $30k from Walmart, plus $8k from you, me, and the man behind the tree, is $38k not the actual “market rate”?

    You say potato, I say potahto. I also don’t advocate raising the compensation of public sector doctors and lawyers by 40% to be EQUAL with the private sector.

    The free market gods work in mysterious ways. They laugh at Tough Love simplicity. And bias.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on March 1, 2016 at 1:31 am

      LOL …. go read about the CA Prison psychologists making $500K+ in wages with pensions and benefits layered on top of that . ….. then try to find just ONE Private Sector psychologist making that kind of total compensation.

      Reply

      • Overpaid at 1/3rd the amount they are compensated. No need for a Harvard trained shrink in a prison.

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on March 1, 2016 at 8:20 pm

          Of course the prisoners are unhappy ….. they’re in jail, and their roommates are mostly society’s misfits, just like they are

          Reply

          • Posted by Anonymous on March 1, 2016 at 8:23 pm

            Guess they’ll be the only ones left with “free” taxpayer funded healthcare, at least it’s not platinum……LOL!

          • Posted by Tough Love on March 1, 2016 at 8:50 pm

            And as more and more of NJ’s productive PRIVATE Sector taxpayers get fed-up and move to more tax-friendly States, a growing share of that free healthcare for those prisoners will be paid for with increased taxes on PUBLIC Sector workers…..karma.

          • Posted by Anonymous on March 1, 2016 at 10:16 pm

            Are you kidding, the criminals are smarter than that. They’re already committing crimes in those “tax friendly” States.

          • Posted by Tough Love on March 1, 2016 at 10:24 pm

            The tax-friendly States will become tax-unfriendly (as has NJ. Ill, and many others) unless they cut the head off the Public Sector DB pension Plan snake.

  11. Posted by Smooth Moderation Anonymous on March 1, 2016 at 2:39 am

    Would that be “typical” pay or average pay?

    What is median pay for a prison psychologist?

    Alternatively, what is the most extreme value you can find?

    Tough Innuendo Love?

    Say good night, Gracie!

    Reply

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