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Murphy, public union ink $34M contract

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“This contract will provide fair wages, honor past increments that the prior administration refused to pay, and protect health care, among other benefits.
“This contract will provide fair wages, honor past increments that the prior administration refused to pay, and protect health care, among other benefits." - Gov. Phil Murphy - ()

Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration announced Thursday that it has signed a $34 million contract with 6,500 state workers from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

Representatives from AFSCME still have to ratify the contract, which expired amidst a stalemate contract negotiations with the administration of then-Gov. Chris Christie.

The contract will be retroactively effective from July 1, 2015 and run through June 30. It will include two separate 2 percent across-the-board pay increases, and compensate them for longevity pay, which had been frozen under Christie.

New Jersey employees are represented by AFSCME Council 63.

“This contract will provide fair wages, honor past increments that the prior administration refused to pay, and protect health care, among other benefits,” Murphy said Thursday during a speech at the AFSCME’s 43rd International Convention in Boston.

The new contracts will include step increases, which Christie also froze following the 2015 expiration. Those payments boost pay annually by hundreds of thousands of dollars for workers.

Employees who weren’t eligible for step increases will receive a $650 bonus, while employees who’ve retired following the contract expiration will receive a $450 bonus.

The first 2 percent raise will be retroactive to August, while the second will be effective this month.

“Eight years of Chris Christie’s attacks on labor, particularly public organized labor, came to an abrupt end. Out went the name-calling. Out went the vilification and blame for seemingly everything going wrong in our state,” Murphy said at his Boston speech. “In New Jersey, instead of a closed door, my door is open. Instead of being told to “sit down and shut up,” labor now finds a seat at the table.”

Thursday’s announcement marks the second union contract agreement with Murphy. In May, his administration and the Communications Workers of America agreed on a $148.9 million contract.

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Daniel J. Munoz

Daniel J. Munoz


Daniel Munoz covers politics and state government for NJBIZ. You can contact him at dmunoz@njbiz.com.

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