New Jersey police and firefighters protested at the Statehouse on Saturday to show support to their Wisconsin brothers, and to send a message to Gov. Chris Christie that they aren’t the enemy.
While that may be true, New Jersey is not Wisconsin, and too often we read about public safety workers retiring with a $200,000+ sick time payout and a pension bloated by years of overtime abuse.
Just yesterday, a report by the Press of Atlantic City shows city officials used $2.2 million gained from layoffs of 60 police officers and 30 firefighters last year to help offset $7.1 in terminal leave payments to veteran police and fire employees upon retirement.
One retiring deputy fire chief received more than $272,000, three other public safety workers collected more than $200,000 each and 12 more cleared at least $100,000.
So far, Christie isn’t trying to end collective bargaining the way that is Wisconsin counterpart, Gov. Scott Walker, is. In fact, one measure of Gov. Christie’s “tool kit” to help municipalities better manage their growing financial burdens it to cap sick-leave payouts at $15,000.