Troopers File Pension Payment Lawsuit [POLL/AUDIO]
Last month, when Gov. Chris Christie announced the state would cut its contribution to the state worker pension fund by $2.5 billion over the next 13 months because of budget woes, two of the state's largest unions - the CWA and the NJEA - announced plans to challenge the decision in court. Now law enforcement officers are following suit.
The State Troopers Fraternal Association has filed suit in Mercer County Superior court, to force the governor to make the full pension payment.
"Filing the lawsuit is something we believe we have to do to protect our members' interests under the law. Under the statute the pension system funding is mandatory, and this action is on our part to make sure that adequate funding is made," said Chris Burgos, president of the State Troopers Fraternal Association.
Burgos said the Pension Reform bill, which was signed into law a few years ago, spells out that pension system contributions must be made in a timely manner.
"Under the law, the formula said that there was supposed to be a certain amount of money put in, and our indications that we received so far is that is not going to happen," he said.
Burgos said workers are just seeking the funds they were promised.
"The only thing we're looking for here is the adequate funding that was promised, and for them to keep their promise," Burgos said. "I've made every payment in my 28 years as a state trooper, every two weeks I've made my pension contribution as per the law, we've been faithfully contributing and all we're asking for is that the state uphold its end of the bargain."
He also said he understands that "everybody has their needs in regard to the annual budget - all we're asking for is required mandatorily."
A spokesman for Gov. Christie was contacted for comment, but did not respond.