We are receiving word that CWA has overwhelmingly approved the new contract negotiated with Governor Corzine earlier this month.
In some cases the vote was 3 to 1. Basically, it requires the state and the largest state worker union to reopen their contract and give up a 3.5% raise this upcoming fiscal year. Workers will also be taking ten unpaid furlough days.
This is all the result of the unprecendented economic collapse. The threat of layoffs forced the union to make the new concessions, although Republicans say those concessions do not go far enough. Republican Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean called them “election year give backs.”
This was an agreement that was reached on the eve of Veep Joe Biden’s arrival in New Jersey to help Corzine kick-off his re-election campaign. Some have suggested that the White house was balking while the the two sides remained deadlocked.
The same deal also lets workers bank 7 paid holidays that they can use at some point down the road. Total savings to the state is $325 million, and the Guv’s budget depended on the ratification of this agreement. Looks like he is in the clear….for now.