With Third-Largest Public Employee Negotiations Unit
Financial Terms Recognize Fiscal Realities and Limitations as New Jersey Emerges from Recession
Trenton, NJ – The Christie Administration has reached a four-year contract agreement with a state employee collective negotiations unit representing more than 5,000 employees. The financial terms of the agreement, which provide for no across the board salary increases in the first two years and small increases in the third and final years, are a practical recognition by both the negotiations unit and the Christie Administration of the strains on budget resources and state revenues and the continuing need to restrain costs as New Jersey emerges from recession.
The agreement, which requires ratification by the union memberships, was reached with the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE), AFL-CIO Local 195, and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Local 518. Both union locals are covered under one contract, and the new agreement will succeed the prior agreement which expired June 30, 2011. The agreement was reached last week and is expected to be voted on by the locals’ respective memberships in the coming weeks.
The across the board salary increases in the agreement are as follows: July 1, 2011 – 0 percent; July 1, 2012 – 0 percent; July 1, 2013 – 1 percent , and July 1, 2014 – 1.75 percent.
“The financial terms of this agreement are, at best, similar to what most New Jerseyans in the private sector have experienced in recent years. The same can be said for non-union state employees in the executive branch who have not seen a raise in over four years,” said Governor Christie. “I thank both union locals for their recognition of the reality we all confront and for their honest and fair negotiations with my administration. I can tell you that we have the same expectations for our other public employee contracts still being negotiated.”
IFPTE represents approximately 4,900 state employees throughout departments in the executive branch and at state colleges, with job titles falling into the categories of operations, maintenance and services; crafts (mechanics, engineers, plumbers, etc.); and inspection and security. SEIU represents approximately 190 employees at the state Motor Vehicle Commission. Together IFPTE/SEIU represents the third-largest state employee civilian negotiations unit.
The Christie Administration continues negotiations with 12 other public employee unions, the largest being the Communications Workers of America, representing approximately 35,000 state employees.