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In Wake of Ruling, Search for Funds for Pension Bailout Grows More Urgent

John Reitmeyer/NJ Spotlight/July 20, 2015

t's been more than a month since the New Jersey Supreme Court issued a major ruling on public-employee pension funding, finding that the state doesn't have to follow a 2011 law that promised increased state pension contributions as a contractual right of workers. And though the high court said the payments aren't required, the pension system's huge unfunded liability is still a big problem that actuaries say is only getting worse.

But so far this summer, though the state's political leaders have been searching for answers, they've had little success agreeing on a solution.

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Pension Trustees Take New Tack, Ask Court to Require State to Pay 'Unpaid Debt'


John Reitmeyer | July 28, 2015

The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled against the state's public-worker unions in a major pension-funding case last month, but the trustees of three retirement funds that are a part of the pension system have filed a new legal motion seeking to ensure the workers' pensions are still made whole.

The filing in Superior Court in Mercer County is not an appeal of the high-court ruling issued on June 9, but represents a different attempt on new legal grounds to secure the funding - and this time with interest.

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Sweeney Urges Federal Loan to Fix N.J. pension Woes


Andrew Seidman/Inquirer/July 29, 2015

New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney on Wednesday said the federal government should provide low-interest loans to states struggling to pay down their pension obligations, the latest proposal to shore up benefits for public workers.

Sweeney (D., Gloucester), who wants a $50 billion loan for New Jersey with an interest rate of 1 percent to 2 percent, said the federal program would help states and local governments with underfunded pension liabilities restore their retirement systems to fiscal health.

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PSMA Retirees' Network Update


The Retiree Network is establishing a Coordinating Committee to develop bylaws and increase membership recruitment. If you are interested in serving on the Coordinating Committee please send an email to Barry Chalofsky at bchalofs@gmail.com.

The Retiree Network will be scheduling a Breakfast Meeting in September - look for the email!

PSMA Retirees' Network membership continues to grow and is now almost 40 members! We need each member to get at least one new member to join. Don't think that because you are retired you are not affected by what's going on in Trenton. Our pensions and health benefits are on the line, and we need support from PSMA and IBEW Local 30 to fight for our rights. The Retiree Network is the only organization that can bring you that support - so help us grow our membership!

As many of you are aware a number of long-time PSMA members have retired from the State. While this has been a loss to PSMA we all understand that this is part of life - especially for State workers. We strongly encourage these recent retirees to join the PSMA Retirees' Network. If you know of a retired manager (or non-manager), please have him or her go to http://www.psmanj.org/extras/RetiredManagers.pdf for more information.





Contribute to PSMA PAC


In order for an organization to be effective it has to have a well-funded Political Action Committee (PAC). PSMA is not allowed to use dues to given donations to candidates and political parties. All monies used for that purpose come from a separate PSMA PAC which gets its funding directly from contributions by members. This past year the PSMA PAC made some very critical donations to legislators who ended up supporting us in our quest for union legislation.

This effort requires a small contribution from everyone. Please consider donating $2.00 or more per paycheck to the PSMA PAC. You can get a special PAC dues deduction card by e-mailing
info@psmanj.org, or directly from your payroll clerk. You can also send a donation to:

PSMA PAC
212 West State Street
Trenton, NJ 08608
 
Welcome to the Public Sector Managers' Association

The Public Sector Managers' Association, Inc. (PSMA) has been recognized by the State of New Jersey as the Constitutional Representative of all non- aligned/non-union managers in New Jersey government as of November 13, 1993 pursuant to Article 1, Paragraph 19 of the New Jersey State Constitution. PSMA's responsibility under that provision is to serve as a vehicle for two-way communication between the State as an employer and its managerial employees. The representation, however, is limited to managers who are PSMA dues-paying members of the State government. PSMA is a partner with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 30 which represents certain managers in State government. PSMA works closely with IBEW Local 30 on issues related to managers who are represented by IBEW Local 30 and those that are not eligible for representation.

PSMA's mission is to serve managers in New Jersey government by achieving and maintaining superior and ethical management service; promoting a high regard for our managers by those outside and within the government; and restoring equity to the human resource policies and practices of New Jersey government as they relate to managers.




Letter to PSMA Members


Recently a member of PSMA wrote an email to us expressing support and asking about where PSMA is going as an organization. We wanted to share our response with all of our members.

Dear PSMA Member:

First, thank you for supporting PSMA through the years. We understand it may be frustrating to be excluded from joining IBEW. As for the managers (represented by IBEW but that didn't join) you may perceive that they never stepped up to help, or support years of efforts to organize; we can assure you that they are contributing now. There were many steps required by the Public Employment Relations Commission' before Local 30 could implement dues from all represented members. But, as of pay period #13, all IBEW-represented managers are paying dues including those that have not yet joined IBEW as full members.

As you know, PSMA has been the voice for managers for well over 20 years. We delivered managers a union! This was not without the support of our members. Are we done fighting - Absolutely NOT! We will continue to fight for our members, but we need your help. Many felt they could sit on the sidelines and let the others fight for them. But, thankfully, for IBEW Local 30, a good number of great individuals stood up and fought together. We need your help by stepping up to continue this fight - This includes joining our Board of Directors. This is where we exchange ideas and information and strategize for our next mission - to expand collective bargaining rights to more managers.

We definitely encourage our current members to maintain their PSMA membership. There are new developments for PSMA coming down the road. Getting the Managers' Local up and running has been a challenge given all of the legal requirements and waiting periods we have had to endure. One of the initiatives we have been thoroughly researching is creating a Labor Council that includes PSMA, Local 30 and Local 33 (the Deputy Attorneys General). The Council will ultimately bring all of these professionals together to discuss issues that equally affect all of you. While PSMA has suffered a tremendous loss over the last year due to retirements and transitioning to IBEW, the Council will add an influx of resources needed to sustain the organization. The Council will bring many voices to one table and there is always strength in numbers.

Keep in mind that IBEW essentially is PSMA - many of these managers were members of PSMA before the ratification of the Union's contract. And, their mission is not complete. There are many managers that cannot be represented at this time and IBEW will continue to fight until they are. As you know, the organizing efforts for Local 30 took a lot of time and preparation. We imagine the same will hold true for the remaining managers. We may need to wait for a "friendly" administration to change some of the dynamics that bar your membership from Local 30. Whatever it takes, IBEW is taking steps today to create a coalition with the Labor Council to forge ahead.

We truly appreciate your support and your affiliation with PSMA as we continue to be the voice for all State managers. Please let Lisa Ginther, PSMA Executive Director, know if you have any questions, or if you're interested in joining our Board. You can also get involved with the IBEW process of organizing W, V & Y employees by emailing her at Execdir@PSMANJ.org.

We ask that you speak to other managers, especially managers that supervise other managers, to get them to join PSMA - please have them visit the PSMA Website!

Thank you for your support and loyalty to the only professional organization for NJ State Managers - formed by State Managers.

All the best,

Stanley V. Cach, President
Public Sector Managers' Association
www.PSMANJ.org




Editorial - Realistic Solution to the Pension Problem


By Barry Chalofsky/NJ.com/July 17, 2015
Recently, Tom Byrne, member of the Pension and Benefit Study Commission, wrote about the need to seriously consider the reforms proposed by his Commission as the best alternative to save the NJ State pension benefits. He rightfully stated that the funding problems of the pension have been ongoing for many years. He also indicated that the NJ Supreme Court will not solve the underfunding by Governor Christie, nor can the State's budget absorb the costs of funding the pension into the future, "Soon the funding gap will be too wide for any solution that preserves meaningful benefits for public employees."

It is unfortunate that we find ourselves in this situation four years after the "deal" that was supposed to solve the pension problems for good. State, county, and local employees were sold on the 2011 pension reforms as the solution to our pension problems. Yet here we are today, after every employee paid his/her increased share into the pension, and retirees had to forgo any cost-of living increases; in the same or worse shape than we were in 2011.

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Christie to Public-Employee Unions: No Contracts, No Step Increases in Salaries



John Reitmeyer/NJ Spotlight/July 14, 2015

Gov. Chris Christie has taken an aggressive approach to dealing with public workers and their unions since taking office in early 2010. He's encouraged voters to reject school budgets in communities where teachers weren't accepting pay freezes, pushed to change civil-service rules, and signed legislation that forced employees to pay more toward to their pensions and health benefits.

Now that Christie has joined the 2016 GOP presidential primary field, his administration is taking another tough stance. It recently told thousands of union members whose contracts expired June 30 that they won't be receiving annual incremental pay increases while there's no new deal in place.

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Prescription Drug Co-Pays Reduced for Retired Employees


As a result of a court case brought by the unions, and a subsequent settlement, the State has reduced prescription co-pays for retired employees effective July 1, 2015. The reduction is significant for most of the plans - in some cases $0.00 for generic drugs. We have included a link to the Treasury Co-Pay Table for your information - Click here..


Patient-Centered Health Plan for State Employees Wins Panel's Approval



John Reitmeyer/NJ Spotlight/July 7, 201

While Gov. Chris Christie's latest proposal to reduce government spending on public-employee healthcare has stalled, a pilot program with the same goal backed by Senate President Stephen Sweeney is moving forward.

A vote yesterday by a panel that oversees the design of public-employee health benefit plans in New Jersey paves the way for an experimental program based on offering patient-centered healthcare to New Jersey public employees.

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