Don’t Blame Unions. Instead…..

All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations when applied to public personnel management. The very nature and purposes of Government make it impossible for administrative officials to represent fully or to bind the employer in mutual discussions with Government employee organizations. The employer is the whole people, who speak by means of laws enacted by their representatives in Congress. Accordingly, administrative officials and employees alike are governed and guided, and in many instances restricted, by laws which establish policies, procedures, or rules in personnel matters. FDR 8/16/37

From that we move to newly elected New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s budget address where he made clear:

What changed?

We had some infighting in Union County within the solidly majority party that got me to thinking about whose votes really count. It resulted in this blog on countywatchers that cleared a lot up for me.

Unions are doing their job in representing their constituency of public employees. It is those with whom they are negotiating who are not representing their constituency of taxpayers. What we wind up with is talk of faux reforms like ‘shared services’ while anyone who proposes eliminating county government (or municipal government) would never get on a ballot as they are threatening the livelihoods of the voters who count.

63 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Tough Love on March 18, 2018 at 7:54 pm


    Gov. Murphy, get you head OUT of the Union anus…….. it stinks !


    • Posted by Retired police on March 18, 2018 at 9:21 pm

      Tough love:::

      Is this your occupation “official butt smeller?” You won’t say what you do for a living so I think this an appropriate job you are good at.
      However, you have a great amount of time to write so many lengthily posts degrading everyone that has a different opinion than you.
      So, let us know your occupation sir, perhaps we can have a better grasp of where you are coming from.


      • Posted by Tough Love on March 18, 2018 at 10:03 pm

        Got love all you guys, pissed at me for strongly advocating for material reductions in your ludicrously excessive pension & benefits.

        “degrading” no, debating, yes. I hold no ill will for any Public Sector worker (even the most aggressive “moochers” posting on this Blog). I simply (but strongly) advocate for VERY material reductions in your now LUDICROUSLY excessive pensions (AND benefits).

        And how telling it is that none other than the NJ Pension & Benefit Study Commission AGREES with me.

        Since you are a (retired) Police Officer, I’m assuming you have heard of “free speech” and the US Constitution’s 1-st Amendment.


    • New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s budget address…
      He addressed unions as a whole, NOT public unions per se. I love private sector unions, they are a benefit to the working class and their communities. If they get more than the business can afford the business goes BK and everyone loses. There is that invisible hand of the free market keeping balance. NOW if he is talking abut PUBLIC unions too, then he needs a brain transplant. There is no invisible guiding hand of the free market in public sector unions, just a shitload of capital cronyism.


  2. Posted by Tough Love on March 19, 2018 at 12:45 am

    Somebody should tell our TOOTHY Governor that the works for ALL of NJ’s Taxpayers, NOT just Union members.


    • Posted by Retired police on March 19, 2018 at 1:47 am

      I doubt you pay taxes moocher, probably on unemployment. Is this the reason you won’t say what you DON’T DO for a living? Don’t be ashamed of what one does to earn an honest living.

      By the way, a cop is the only public servant that generates revenue by doing his job.
      During their career, he or she has more than doubled the amount received in wages by doing their job Genius. Compound the interest over 25 years in generated revenue
      from traffic fines alone, not counting fines collect in criminal matters.
      Go bark up another tree.


      • Posted by Tough Love on March 19, 2018 at 2:31 am

        Re-read my reply comment to you ……… nothing has changed.


        • Posted by Anonymous on March 19, 2018 at 8:12 am

          Retired cop is just stating a fact concerning revenue!!!!! I am a police officer too(for 2-7 more years, depending on if/when I can either get promoted or get an insurance job w my crash investigation background)
          I can speak for most cops that the pressure to generate revenue is real!!! Most cops truly believe that traffic summons costs are way to high. $180 for not having your registration card??? I won’t write it in most cases. We don’t set the cost of those fines, but yet we are under pressure to write summons even though it is not supposed to be the case. And we get the wrath of the public for either “not doing anything with these speeders etc” or we are too heavy.
          As a side note TL, just like I called it. Jersey city settled with the teachers late Sunday night. Leads me to believe the city really didn’t present the best offer it could until the strike happened. If they truly couldn’t afford it, they could’ve waited hem out. Public opinion would’ve slowly turned to backing the city and in three weeks time the teachers would’ve been in a tight spot. I also don’t begrudge TL her anonymity with her profession. She says she is in finance and let’s keave it at that. She, I believe, revels in the attention we give her and her positions on these issues when she is not on this blog are probably not as severe. If they were, she would’ve ran for office or had a heart attack by now due to the stress. (My apologies if you indeed have cardiac issues)


          • Posted by Tough Love on March 19, 2018 at 11:50 am

            Ronald Reagan had the right answer with the striking Air Traffic Controllers decades ago.

      • Posted by dentssdunnigan on March 19, 2018 at 4:53 am

        Thank you for confirming all our fears that police are revenue generating robot whose purpose is to boost the city budget….The dangers of turning police officers into revenue generators. is police stops no longer become about safety but just about issuing tickets for revenue ..such revenue stops quickly become unjustified shootings .


        • Posted by MJ on March 19, 2018 at 7:17 am

          ..and if its the cop who shoots, he/she of course will not be quilty of anything


        • Posted by Anonymous on March 19, 2018 at 8:22 am

          As a police officer I concur completely with your opinion on revenue generation. I believe it is a huge issue that towns don’t advertise of course. They design the budgets with fine collections in mind.
          Whether it leads to unjustified shootings, while it increases odds of it that is a big leap to take. While there are some unjustified shootings, most are in fact justified. I don’t know he answers to that problem. Less lethal options and less threat of guns? Better training? All that would help. Doesn’t change the fact that if a human truly feels (right or wrong) that they are in danger of getting killed they will protect themselves. I would bet that the assault rate on police is much lower in other countries that have less police shootings. More respect both ways would solve a lot of this. Problem is the baby boomer generation that taught their kids that we were the enemy and didn’t deserve to be respected. Because that’s how it was in the sixties. I am a firm believer in the community policing model where u know your residents and they know you.


          • “More respect both ways would solve a lot of this. Problem is the baby boomer generation that taught their kids that we were the enemy and didn’t deserve to be respected.”
            #1- “Respect” is not given freely, it is “earned”.
            #2- No one teaches anyone that LE is the “enemy”. People react to LE based on their interactions. A poor black male, or any minority, from the section 8 housing area, is NOT going to have the same type of interactions and relationship with LE as the white family living on Country Club Lane.
            #3- “Community Policing” has a real core issue at it’s base- relationships. Personal and professional relationships. The problem is today it is used more as a feel good “buzzword” instead of actual implementation of it’s core base-building relationships. The problem is today LE is car/vehicle based, you cannot succeed in community policing with LE in cars 24/7. I don’t have the answer to implementing community policing today as LE needs to be mobile and must be based out of their vehicles.

      • Posted by bpaterson on March 19, 2018 at 11:29 am

        thats an interesting factoid to check out about the police dept paying for itself by generating revenue. Our police department line item cost in our small town is about $3 million (there are other line items they impact but this is the direct cost). I will look into if our 16 police on staff generate $3 million in ticket costs. Thats $500 per officer per day


        • Posted by Tough Love on March 19, 2018 at 12:00 pm

          What they show in the budget for pension cost is the annual taxpayer contribution which is roughly half the true cost for their VERY VERY VERY rich promised pensions, and the town is likely showing ZERO toward the cost of retiree healthcare…. which will amount to $250K to $500K per retiring Officer.

          It’s all done to make the costs look far lower than they really are, because if the TRUE costs were widely known, Taxpayers would demand that these ludicrously excessive pension & benefit promises be materially reduced.


      • “By the way, a cop is the only public servant that generates revenue by doing his job. During their career, he or she has more than doubled the amount received in wages by doing their job Genius.”
        See, this is why cops should not e hired with just a GED. You do NOT “generate revenue”, anymore than the IRS does when it collects your taxes April 15. What you do “generate” is that infamous “Entitlement Mentality” all you GED Wonders in trough feeder land develop.


        • Posted by Anonymous on March 20, 2018 at 2:49 pm

          Jealous much? You already know that the overwhelming vast majority of police officers have 4 yr degrees and some have master’s degrees or at least some credits. Our dept wouldn’t even look at someone without a 4 yr degree with the exception of military and an associates. Perhaps the ones you speak of are political hack hires or are hired because of race/gender etc.


        • Um, I think the requirements to become a state trooper is a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and a SPOTLESS criminal and civil record?


          • Posted by Anonymous on March 20, 2018 at 8:02 pm

            Of course. He knows that. It’s just his way of beating his chest behind the keyboard.

      • Posted by Sean on March 21, 2018 at 1:47 am

        I haven’t posted on this blog for quite awhile, but I just wanted to share an observation.

        The other day when I saw Retired Cop’s post challenging TL to share with everyone what TL “does for a living” I shook my head and thought, “here we go again.”

        Why? Because this is nothing more than the first step toward ridiculous and useless ad hominem attacks. Look, if a convicted felon tells you not to jump off a 100 story building because the effects of gravity will have a negative impact on your future, will you disagree with him because of what he “does for a living” or will you decide based on the MERITS of the argument?

        So, just as I thought, I can see the thread has taken its usual downward trajectory, with hateful and useless personal attacks coming from both sides. It’s just human nature, but it does get old. I feel like I’m watching members of the orchestra on the Titanic arguing with each other: “What could you possibly know, you’re a flute player, for crying out loud. I’m a cellist, and the string section is the ONLY section that can play chords AND melodies just by doing our jobs.”
        Fabulous, but guess what? We’re rapidly taking on water, and we will all soon be lying at the bottom of the Atlantic. Does anyone want to talk about, say, how we might survive this, or do we just want to go down to our deaths with a smug and false feeling of superiority? Seriously.

        Personally, as cliche as this sounds, I am interested in ONE thing, and ONLY ONE thing: What is the truth, the WHOLE truth? It is entirely possible to make statements that are true, and yet still be lying. How? By not showing the other side of the coin. And this is where we are in this debate.

        To the Retired Cop, just so you know, I am not anti cop. I, like many others, have family members in law enforcement. My wife trains dogs for a living, many of them police dogs, and she does search and rescue, as well as networking to find permanent homes for German Shepherds and former police dogs (currently, we have a superb Belgian Malinois we are trying to find a home for).
        Of course none of this matters, except to say that I personally respect and admire my law enforcement friends and family. That said, it doesn’t mean you are an elite individual whose shit doesn’t stink. You’re not, and it does. At the same time, I do not like to see and hear cop bashing and animosity toward people who are generally good and decent people doing a job most of us would not ever want to do.

        In the end, these things are just distractions, diverting us from the reality that we are on a sinking ship. As for your argument that cops are the only government workers that generate revenue, I suggest you rethink that (ie, post office, SEC, FDA and others DO generate revenue. Also, this very fact is cause for a LOT of abuse (red light cameras, confiscating property of law-abiding citizens, etc. Not good.)

        And here’s the thing. Defined Benefit Plans are actually NOT the problem. There are actually well-run DB plans;however, they do NOT exist in USA government employee pension plans. (Now THAT would be a good use of one’s time, if you are a government employee. See what the GLARING differences are between well-run DB plans and the US public sector run plans. It’s an eye opener).

        Finally, I think we on this blog spend far too much time on the wrong argument, namely:
        “Our pensions are not excessive.”
        “Yes, they are.”
        “No they’re not.”
        “Yes they are.”

        Can we all agree that the definition of excessive depends on whether you are RECEIVING the benefits, or PAYING for them?

        The REAL question is not, are they excessive. The REAL question is: Are they AFFORDABLE? Are they SUSTAINABLE?

        What if we ALL agreed that every public sector employee should receive a pension of $500 per month (yes, five hundred, just for the sake of argument). I think ALL of us would agree (even TL) that this amount is NOT excessive, right? Guess what? If it is not affordable, then it’s not sustainable, and if it’s not sustainable, it won’t continue, unabated, forever. It can be propped up, lied about, and temporarily bailed out, but sooner or later, mathematics forces its will on the matter. (I trade the financial markets for a living, and that’s what I love about the markets: you can argue all day long about a company’s financial health, but in the end, the truth will come out, and the market WILL bring it to its proper value. The same thing will happen in this pension debate.)

        Additionally, there are those in the public sector who will then turn to the argument that the pensions would be fine except those corrupt politicians did’t fund the pensions, even though they faithfully kept their end of the bargain and paid their fair share. This again is an example of making statements that may be true, but not the WHOLE truth. Ah yes, that pesky concept of telling the WHOLE story.
        Yes, employee, you did keep your end of the bargain, but was the bargain realistic to the benefits received?
        And, did you really pay your fair share, based on the level of benefits you will receive? Perhaps the tax payer is the ONLY group in this mess that has paid its fair share, and THEN SOME, over and over, and over again.
        As for the corrupt politicians that public employees are angry about for not funding the pensions, did you have the same degree of anger when those same greedy politicians were hosing the tax payers and saddling them with such a shitty deal?

        As for the argument that things would be fine if they “just funded the damn pensions,” again, this is a one-sided, oversimplified argument. The primary person preaching this gospel need look no further than his own state of California, 1999, SB400. What were the funding levels prior to the passage of that bill? 100%? 135%? I’ve seen several numbers. And when the unions were pitching SB400 and declaring that it “wouldn’t cost tax payers a dime,” why didn’t they promise that, in WRITING? I guess tax payers are the only ones that don’t deserve the benefit of guaranteed protections. (Go see how well-run DB plans address this type of thing). So, what level of funding do California pensions enjoy now? But this drop in funding is simply due to the politicians “not funding them”? So, the corrupt politicians took the contributions in, then spent half of it on beer and strippers, and the other half they just wasted, right? (SOMEBODY partied like it was 1999, and it damn sure wasn’t the tax payers).

        There are three things in this life that never go unpunished: greed, ignorance, and apathy. We are going to be punished for all three.

        And yet, we keep stubbornly refusing to admit the truth, choosing instead to continue chasing our tails with the same old arguments and denials.

        A great theologian once said, “People do not think. They simply rearrange their prejudices and seek confirmation for those prejudices.”



  3. Posted by MJ on March 19, 2018 at 7:16 am

    ….and this surprises anyone???? Unions, unions unions, breaking NJ into little pieces bit by bit………..within 15 years the southern states will be another NJ as the public pensioners continue to move down that way and vote for the free spending politicians that promise them the world with no way to pay for it

    It will be interesting to see how these wealthy shore towns react to Gov murphy’s proposal of wind turbines off the coast….sort of like Trump saying he thinks its okay to drill for oil there


    • Posted by bpaterson on March 19, 2018 at 11:32 am

      if the govt is a monopoly and the unions are a monopoly, why is there a monopoly inside a monopoly. That creates a huge cost pressure upward toward the product it offers, and thus the products cost is paid through our taxes.


  4. Posted by Tough Love on March 19, 2018 at 12:14 pm

    What’s really outrageous is 2 of Gov Murphy’s Statements in that video…

    (1) “….. as well as good-paying Union jobs”, and

    (2) “….on the shoulders of our Union Brothers and Sisters …”

    “good-paying Union jobs” to him certainly looks like more PUBLIC sector jobs, because the best jobs in the 21-century Private Sector are in STEMS field, and very few are Union jobs.

    And “….on the shoulders of our Union Brothers and Sisters …”.

    “Our” and “Brothers and Sisters” ??? Give me a break. Such pandering to NJ’s Public Sector Unions is disgusting. Does he realize that NJ’s PRIVATE Sector Taxpayers READ this crap ?


    • Posted by Anonymous on March 19, 2018 at 2:15 pm

      Agree on the STEM jobs. Who do think teaches these folks? Teachers.
      Also, why does that mean that cops can’t have great pensions. lol. Can’t wait. Couple years I’ll be collecting mine. Then it’s work a few years for an insurance company and collect a salary and pension. Then it’s retire for good to a cheaper place. Ain’t life grand TL? I love it when a plan comes together.


      • Posted by MJ on March 19, 2018 at 4:21 pm

        @anonymous…….life is grand assuming your pension and benefits stay in place for the remainder of your lifespan which could be many more years than you actually worked. I don’t begrudge inner city/urban cops anything and truly believe that by around age 50 you are completely burnt out. I hope that you fall into this category as opposed to the bedroom community cops…….


        • Posted by Anonymous on March 19, 2018 at 6:32 pm

          Nope. Did the urban thing for 1 year then transferred to bedroom community. Cmon my friend who the hell Wouldn’t. Pay is better. Still get the same shit just fewer and far between. You’re are correct with the age though. By the time you are in your early 50s you are burnt. I’ll be anywhere from 49 to 54. I’m 47 now. Btw. I think that we should have to work until 55. Or at least have our pension frozen until then. I would have NO problem staying if they made that a law. Much better for our pension fund.
          Again, you shouldn’t begrudge a guy cause he worked in suburban area or even a rural one.


          • Posted by Tough Love on March 19, 2018 at 9:06 pm

            Nobody begrudges “a guy” (meaning any individual worker) ……… but it’s certainly justifiable to advocate to reduce your now ludicrously excessive, unnecessary, unfair to Taxpayers, and clearly unaffordable pension (AND benefits).

          • Posted by MJ on March 20, 2018 at 8:44 am

            anonymous…my point was that the city/urban cops have such a higher significant risk of being shot, injured or killed in the line of duty that the pay and benefits are certainly more justifiable. What do you have in the bedroom communities? A few bags of pot, domestic disputes, traffic stops, I can’t recall the last time a cop was shot in the line of duty in one of these more bedroom type communities…….but of course I don’t blame you or anyone else that you would want to work here I just don’t think the pay and benefits are justified for the stupid stuff the cops routinely have to deal with…….please note I typed routinely….I’m sure some heavy shit goes down on occasion but certainly not the norm

          • “Btw. I think that we should have to work until 55. Or at least have our pension frozen until then. I would have NO problem staying if they made that a law. Much better for our pension fund.”
            Still TOO Low, age 62 minimum. And trust me, if you are “burnt out” (like the rest of the working class ISN’T??) then we can assign you to dispatch. If pressing the radio button and giving info out to the street is too hard we will assign you to the local K-6 elementary school and have you work as a crossing-guard. Ad if that is still too hard we can have you re-painting the red curbs. Plenty of work that needs to be done in government.

      • Posted by Tough Love on March 19, 2018 at 4:51 pm

        Quoting Anonymous ……………

        ” ………why does that mean that cops can’t have great pensions”

        Because SOMEONE has to PAY for those “great pensions”.

        In NJ, right now, your own pension contributions (INCLUDING the expected earnings thereon) accumulated to the date of your retirement are rarely sufficient to buy more than 15% of your promised pension, whose (formula/provision-driven) level of “generosity” is TYPICALLY 3.5 to 4 TIMES greater than that of Private Sector workers who retire at the SAME age, with the SAME wages, and the SAME years of service …………. and all while NJ’s Police certainly do NOT make less in WAGES than similarly educated, experienced, skilled and knowledgeable Private Sectors, thereby NOT justifying ANY (yes ANY) greater pensions (let alone ones that are 3.5 to 4 TIMES more generous).

        And that SOMEONE is NJ’s betrayed and beleaguered Taxpayers.

        You have an enormously overdeveloped sense of “entitlement”


        • Posted by Anonymous on March 19, 2018 at 6:35 pm

          Uh…thank you I guess?
          I didn’t make the rules. Just played by them. Not like some of these disability hacks that we get too much of. In addition to no pension till 55, I would love to see disability pensions curtailed. Only for the folks who truly got hurt. Then we can talk about cola again.
          I know you disagree. That’s fine.


          • Posted by MJ on March 20, 2018 at 8:47 am

            anonymous…I think the real question for you is this….are you as a union member/brother in blue permitted to speak out on these abuses without being shunned by your fellow workers. I’m sure in your operation everyone knows who the dirty cops are, the ones cheating and stealing from the system, nepotism, cronyism…… get the drift yet I do not read or hear of anyone in the police community speaking out about stopping all of it……….

          • Posted by Anonymous on March 20, 2018 at 9:00 am

            The vast majority of cops do think these disability pensions are bullshit. Speaking out is really not the issue. These folks get lawyers and sue and it is ultimately the pension board who approves these. The is a hotline to call if you suspect fraud. But most of these folks know how to play he game. Or move out of the area. The pension board should assign more investigators to these cases. I work in a small department. There is very little fraud and corruption in dept like mine. That ones that do everyone hears about and they deserve to lose job/prison. Couple cases a year maybe county wide if that within small departments. Candidly, the pay is better and I think suburbs are a little more selective as to who they hire and everyone is under a microscope more. Usually, they are not looking for the hard ass type in dept like mine. Nepotism is something that needs to be addressed at the local mayor and council level. Many elected officials have no interest in that.

      • Posted by Stanley on March 19, 2018 at 6:05 pm

        “Then it’s work a few years for an insurance company and collect a salary and pension.”
        You have granted substantial credit to a bunch of democrats. (That’s the essence of the arrangement that you do this work now for some pay and a pension to be paid later.) Are you sure you screened them under the 3 Cs of credit? Character, Capacity, Collateral? They probably have a Fico score of about 500 or maybe 600 and you can take it to the bank that they won’t shed a tear or stiffing a bunch of retirees. You’re buying a bill of goods, that’s what you’re buying. Down the road, you’ll be pleading for a bailout like our resident so-called economist. Keep that backup plan handy.

        Roosevelt wasn’t correct about much, but he nailed it about unions and the public sector. It will be amusing when we get to the place in the story where we sort out who screwed who. You have been WARNED!


        • Posted by Anonymous on March 19, 2018 at 6:42 pm

          I have a backup plan. It’s called maxing out on my 457 plan and maxing out on my and my wife’s Roth IRA. Only a fool wouldn’t have a back up plan.
          With the health of Pfrs much better than other funds and the premise that new hires will be hit first, I am reasonably confident that it will be 30-40 years before they would actually pass a law cutting retirees pensions. And if they do, I have the back up plan. Maxing out on the 457, Roth and planning to work a few more years after I turn in my badge. Mortgage will be paid off and kids outta college same year I retire. I live within my means, not cheap but smart w my money. I see others buy lots of crap and not put into a 457. That could hurt them.
          I take all the OT I can get at this point cause I know I’m leaving in a few years. I don’t apologize for my salary, benifits or pension as I’m sure you don’t for your compensation package.


  5. Posted by boscoe on March 19, 2018 at 4:33 pm

    What’s the point here? Franklin Roosevelt gave that opinion in 1937. Public employees in most states got the right to collective representation and bargaining in the late 1960s (and later for federal employees). Furthermore, pension benefits in New Jersey are not subject to binding collective negotiation; they are granted by statute. And finally, what does Murphy’s 20 second comment have to do with public employees? He was talking about private union labor building offshore wind turbines, and he was saying it three feet in front of Senator Sweeney, Mr. Union Representative. It was a throwaway political nod to Sweeney.


    • Posted by Tough Love on March 19, 2018 at 4:54 pm

      I disagree.

      Clearly he was catering to the base that put him in Office ….. the PUBLIC Sector Unions.


      • Posted by Anonymous on March 19, 2018 at 6:51 pm

        TL. Would you rather have cops hired/fired without any protection? Take a look at your appointed positions in town. Rec director, Boro attorney etc. all hacks. Is that what u want for a police force? Can’t have a mayor paying a bunch of patrolman all different amounts. Bad enough promotions are like that on non civil service towns. Collective bargaining is a better option. Think of all the lawsuits. They would be doubled or tripled.
        You do your job you get paid X. You do it well, you will get considered for a promotion when they become available.
        I don’t even think the problem you have is with the salary as much as it is he pension. I get that. I really do. Doesn’t mean I am going to advocate for cutting my own throat(financially speaking). You would do the same if you were in my shoes, regardless of how you felt. How about mayor Redd manipulating the law so she and a few others got enhanced benifits? That happens over and over again. Cops aren’t the problem TL. Check your tax bill and you’ll see where it all goes.


        • Posted by Tough Love on March 19, 2018 at 7:42 pm

          Quoting …………

          “Would you rather have cops hired/fired without any protection?”

          And what does THAT have to do with what I strongly advocate for …………. an end (for the future service of all CURRENT workers) to the now LUDICROUSLY excessive Pensions & Benefits ?
          It certainly looks like you’re trying to CHANGE THE SUBJECT …. because you can’t possibly JUSTIFY your out-sized pensions & Benefits.


        • Posted by Tough Love on March 19, 2018 at 8:12 pm

          Quoting …………

          “I don’t even think the problem you have is with the salary as much as it is he pension. I get that. I really do. Doesn’t mean I am going to advocate for cutting my own throat(financially speaking).”

          True (except I would call it an “issue”, not a “problem”), while most police “wages” are on the high side (when compared to Private Sector workers with comparable experience, education, skills, and knowledge), because they MUST be paid out of CURRENT revenue, our Elected Officials can’t go overboard with wages (and wages can never become an unfunded liability).

          Pensions (AND BENEFITS) are indeed THE problem, NJ Police pensions being 3.5 to 4 TIMES* greater in generosity upon retirement than those of comparably situated Private Sector workers. And then ON TOP OF THAT we layer employer-sponsored retiree healthcare benefits worth $25K to $500K PER retiree….when employer-sponsored retiree healthcare is all be gone in the Private Sector.

          Of course I understand that you don’t want to give up a good (not make that OUTRAGEOUS) deal, but that doesn’t make such pensions & benefits necessary, just, fair to Taxpayers, or affordable.

          And I will continue to strongly advocate for very material reducctiopns in future service accruals for all CURRENT workers.

          * It doesn’t take a detailed demonstration to get to the 3.5 to 4 times multiple. Police pension “formulas” are just about TWICE as generous as those in the Private Sector, and being able to begin collecting an unreduced pension 10+ years younger than those in the Private Sector doubles the value again. There’s your 4 times !


          • Posted by Tough Love on March 19, 2018 at 9:01 pm

            The $25K to $500K in my above comment was supposed to be $250K to $500K


            And the “4 times” in the last sentence will jump to “5 times” if/when COLAS are reinstated.

          • Posted by Anonymous on March 19, 2018 at 9:16 pm

            Don’t hate me cause I’m beautiful😎

      • I disagree. Clearly he was catering to the base that put him in Office ….. the PUBLIC Sector Unions.
        You can disagree all you want, but it is not “clear” he was catering to PUBLIC unions at all. In fact IMO he was speaking to the private sector unions.


        • Posted by Anonymous on March 20, 2018 at 2:57 pm

          Maybe there are some curbs to paint red. Lol. Great idea Einstein. Perhaps we get rid of our DPW. Maybe your ass can volunteer to do some of that shit and we can lay off a few folks. Ya know, neighborhood watch, sweep the streets, pick up garbage on Sundays. Lol. You can jump up and down in the street when someone is driving to fast and yell at them. Or help your neighbor when her husband is beating the shit outta her. Haha. What a fucking tool you are.
          “I’m a total dick….GED hires….waah waah waah…..paint the curbs….cross the kids”. Doucherocket. Why don’t you do it on your free time and save us the money.


    • Posted by MJ on March 20, 2018 at 8:52 am

      Agreed Boscoe….he was sucking up to Sweeney because it is clear that the two do not get along……..although I did get the vibe that he was sucking up to all unions and that he was advocating for unions as opposed to everyone else who lives, works and pays taxes in the state of NJ


      • Posted by Tough Love on March 20, 2018 at 9:02 am

        Private Sector Unions can sometimes be real dumb (e.g. the UAW almost killing America’s auto manufacturing industry), but PUBLIC Sector Union are in a class by themselves ………….. nothing but a CANCER inflicted upon Civilized Society.


        • Posted by Anonymous on March 20, 2018 at 10:48 am

          That’s your opinion, and you’re certainly entitled to it. I am happy I’ve been able to enjoy a decent(certainly not extravagant) standard of living. I’m sure if I worked a full time second job I would be better off but despite what you think I am not greedy. I live within my means. I certainly don’t think that the PBA that helped me feed my kids and put a roof over my head is a cancer. Let’s reserve that term for the real thing. Like the one that took my mother’s life last year.
          Most of the folks on here, want their taxes lowered myself included. Again, most cops fall into the solidly middle class category. Where else would you like them to be?


          • Posted by Tough Love on March 20, 2018 at 11:15 am

            That’s amusing …… you want YOUR taxes lowered, but the PRIMARY reason WHY our taxes are so high (and assured will go MUCH higher unless we find a way to renege on the 50+% share of your promised pensions & benefits that were never necessary, just, fair to Taxpayers, or affordable …… and were granted only due to the COLLUSION between your Unions and our self-interested Elected Officials) is BECAUSE OF the ludicrously excessive PUBLIC Sector pensions & benefits.

  6. Posted by Tough Love on March 20, 2018 at 10:43 am

    Here’s the latest in asinine comment Stephen Douglas just posted on the site calpensions …. along with my response:

    Quoting S Moderation Douglas ……….

    “If cities had to pay only normal costs, they would be affordable, even with a lowered discount rate.”

    A patently absurd statement

    In CA where you live, the NORMAL COST alone……….. if calculated using the SAME assumptions and methodology that the US Gov’t requires of Private Sector DB pension Plans in their valuations ……… would be 35% to 45% of pay for non-safety workers and 50% to 60% of pay for Safety workers.

    Compare that to what Private Sector worker typically get from their employers ……. typically 3% of pay into a 401K plan plus the employer’s 6.2% of pay Social Security contribution on the emplyee’s behalf.

    And you call the MULTIPLES greater PUBLIC(than Private) Sector funding requirements “affordable” ………. how absurd ?


    • Posted by Anonymous on March 20, 2018 at 10:54 am

      Another serious question TL. If you truly believe in equal, what incentive would you propose to keep folks in this line of work if the salary was equal to other lines of work but there was indeed no pension? Don’t forget as taxpayers you don’t want to train guys and have them leave because the bullshit is not worth the salary if they can make as much doing something else. Real question TL. You see the problems with the Clifton NJ pd when it comes to rentention. What would you do if all PD’s had that rentention problem? Remember the NYPD could not even come close to meeting it’s recruitment goals. Please answer the question and not the same bullshit about multipliers and moochers. It is a fair question.


      • Posted by Tough Love on March 20, 2018 at 11:29 am

        I never said no pension or other form of retirement security. And I too have stated (that do to the nature of the job) a “somewhat” higher Police Officer pension is justifiable…………. but that “somewhat” should be 10% to 25% greater in value upon retirement (than that of a similarly situated Private Sector worker) …… NOT 3.5 to 4 TIMES greater as it is right now.

        The general public is SOOOOOOOOOO dumb. Most would fall off their chair in disbelief if they truly understood just how incredible generous (and hence incredibly costly) your pension & benefits are.
        Quoting …………… “what incentive would you propose to keep folks in this line of work if the salary was equal to other lines of work”.

        I doubt that most Police Officers could earn in another field the SAME “wages” as they now earn as Police Officers in NJ. That’s why most would stay.


      • Posted by Tough Love on March 20, 2018 at 11:35 am

        Your retention question is a fair one. That problem exists because of the excessive compensation in OTHER towns. If ALL localities (and the State) were brought DOWN to a level comparable to what similarly experienced, educated, skilled, and knowledgeable Private Sector workers are compensated, there would be no retention problem …… no better place to go.

        Granted that that’s not likely to happens anytime soon. But a failure of your pension is indeed a VERY real possibility.


        • Posted by Anonymous on March 20, 2018 at 3:43 pm

          TL. 1) You have advocated for a freeze on future pension accruals. I have never seen you advocate for a pension 10-25% better than the average. Of course folks would stay if they were accruing pension time. I meant if it was strictly 401k.
          2). The 2% salary cap will over time (especially in conjunction no pension) certainly lead to more retention issues. How could it not? The days of private sector folks “just happy to have a job” are over. As well they should.
          3). Police officers really don’t make that much more than plumbers, electricians, small business owners if they even do make more. In fact, many cops do that kind of stuff on the side. Many others like myself find a niche like crash investigation, arson, drug recognition experts etc. the first time a cop was threatened with harm or a lawsuit, the smart ones would say “I’m going back to school for X” and as long as X was a decent livings they would quit. They wouldn’t leave until they had a job but you get my drift.
          One thing I have never called you in this seemingly endless backs and forth on this issue is stupid. I think you get it. Folks say dumb things about teachers like “I thought it was about the kids” and comments like that. It is no more about the kids for them as it is for a pediatrician trying to pay her bills or a day care center owner looking to pay his. None of these folks took a vow of poverty and I don’t begrudge someone for making a living, as long as they put the kids interest immediately behind making a living.


          • Posted by Tough Love on March 20, 2018 at 7:15 pm


            (1) I have advocated for a freeze on future pension accruals….. but replaced for future service with a 401K Plan equal in generosity to those typically granted Private Sector workers…. I call that EQUAL.

            I have stated that (do to the nature of the job) I support 10%-25% better-than Private Sector pension for police ….. but nowhere near the 3.5 to 4 TIMES greater in value pensions that we have right now. Looks like you didn’t see it … posted several times (usually within longer mathematical demonstrations).

            (2) quoting ……. “The 2% salary cap will over time (especially in conjunction no pension) certainly lead to more retention issues. How could it not? ”

            Isn’t it really the 2% PLUS “step increases” + promotions ? Guess what, there is no such thing as “step increases” in the Private Sector (and if Stephen Douglas is looking over my shoulder, I’m NOT talking about Private Sector Union jobs like truckers. I’m talking about single-employer Corporate America).

            (3) Quoting …………. “Police officers really don’t make that much more than plumbers, electricians, small business owners if they even do make more. ”

            The wages of the workers in those occupations (especially for the small business owner) can vary widely, but I doubt that the salary-employed plumber or electrician makes the same wages as a NJ Police Officer once beyond the grad-in period. And on a Total Compensation basis (wages + pensions + benefits), there isn’t a snowball’s chance in hell that they make anywhere near a that of a NJ Police Officer, now (when the pension & benefits are PROPERLY valued) often $200+K annually for a Patrolman once beyond the grade-in period.

        • Posted by PS Drone on March 20, 2018 at 4:14 pm

          Forget “similarly experienced, educated, skilled, and knowledgeable Private Sector workers”. Compensation for any job, public or private, should be based solely on supply and demand. Don’t pay enough? Guess what, you will not have anyone applying. But S&D does not enter into compensation arrangements for LEO or FF. If it did, the compensation for many such jobs would be about 2/3rds or less of what it is now.


  7. “It is those with whom they are negotiating who are not representing their constituency of taxpayers.”

    The politicians also represent the unions, and not the taxpayers.

    Same thing with executive pay. The boards of directors are not really representing the shareholders.


    • Posted by bpaterson on March 20, 2018 at 1:35 pm

      LL-thats not true, the BOD represents the shareholders and are voted in by the shareholders, although the large funds that hold heavy % have better sway with their votes.


  8. Posted by boscoe on March 20, 2018 at 12:25 pm

    TL, with your single-minded obsession, you must be a hell of a lot of fun at parties. By the way, who do you think will win the NCAA basketball tournament?


    • Posted by Tough Love on March 20, 2018 at 12:36 pm

      I don’t talk pensions at parties………. too many people have family members working in the Public Sector.


      • Posted by Anonymous on March 20, 2018 at 3:54 pm

        Very smart move TL. Just like I NEVER at parties or anywhere else for that matter (with the exception of on this blog of course) discuss what my pension will be. You are right. Folks would be surprised and think I was an asshole for even bringing it up. A lawyer doesn’t say what his hourly rate is at parties either. Nor should he.
        The main obstacle in terms of reform from your point of view are employees and their families voting a certain way. And that way is in line with the majority of the way the state votes (democratic). There is an old saying. Police officers are on a whole a republican group with democratic needs. I really don’t identify with the core members of the Democratic Party on the majority of issues. As most cops probably don’t. But I sure as hell wasn’t going to vote guadagno when she would’ve continued Christie’s policies.


        • Posted by Tough Love on March 20, 2018 at 6:51 pm

          Quoting …………..

          “The main obstacle in terms of reform from your point of view are employees and their families voting a certain way. ”

          Boy have you got that wrong.

          The main obstacle in terms of reform (BY A MILE over all others) is that NJ’s self-interest, vote-selling, contribution-soliciting, taxpayer-betraying Elected Officials are more than willing to trade their favorable votes on Public Sector pay, pensions, and benefits, for Public Sector Union BRIBES disguised as campaign contributions and for their member’s bloc-voting support.

          In any other venue such actions wold be considered Bribe-giving/receiving and racketeering


  9. Posted by Peter A. Quilici on March 20, 2018 at 2:38 pm

    Illinois is probably the poster child for public sector union influence in politics, however, I put the blame on apathetic non-voters. I’ve run the numbers in the most populous Illinois county, Cook, as best as I can, and it appears that the number of active federal, state, county and municipal employees and public sector retirees plus one or two significant others for each with a fiscal interest (ie, pay and gov pensions) get close to a majority in a 50% turnout election.


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