Police, Firefighters Sue Over NJ Pension Changes

April 26, 2010 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – New Jersey police and firefighter unions have taken the state to court over new pension reforms recently signed into law by Governor Chris Christie.

An Associated Press report said the union lawsuit claims the pension changes are unconstitutional and asks for a court order barring the changes from going into effect as scheduled on May 21 (see Garden State Pension Bills Become Law).

One reform requires all public workers to contribute part of their salaries to health care costs, while another mandates that negotiated state health benefits will be applied to local government workers’ contracts.The mandated contribution toward health benefits represents “an improper intrusion into pending arbitration proceedings,” the complaint says, according to the news report. There are 215 pending arbitration cases across the state.

The suit filed in Mercer County Superior Court by the state Police Benevolent Association, Firefighters Mutual Benevolent Association, and union locals names the state treasurer, the Health Benefits Commission, the state Senate, and state Assembly as defendants.