Labor’s New Critics: Old Allies in Elected Office

Publication: The New York Times

Author: Steven Greenhouse


06/27/2010 - Stephen M. Sweeney, the president of the State Senate here, glowered with disgust as he described how one New Jersey town paid out nearly $1 million to four retiring police officers for their unused sick days and vacation time.

Mr. Sweeney, a Democrat, also scowled about the estimated $46 billion New Jersey owes in pension contributions and its $58 billion in liabilities to finance retiree health coverage for government employees.

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Last year, 51 percent of cities froze or reduced pay, according to the National League of Cities, while 25 percent laid off workers, 24 percent reduced health benefits and 22 percent revised union contracts to reduce pay and benefits. According to the Pew Center on the States, states are $452 billion behind in their pension contributions while also having $554 billion in liabilities for retiree health care.

Read the entire article Labor’s New Critics: Old Allies in Elected Office on the New York Times Web site.

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