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N.J. State Workers Seeking Back Pay After Shutdown

July 13, 2017  
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel

Trenton, NJ - New Jersey state Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester) has scheduled a special session for July 13 to vote on a bill that would give back pay to the 30,000 and 35,000 state employees furloughed during the July 1-3 shutdown of state government.

The funding was included in the budget agreement that ended the shutdown, he said in a statement July 6. But the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development put a special notice on its Web site telling the workers they had to file for unemployment benefits by June 8 if they wanted any remuneration for the days they missed. “This is neither a fair nor practical way to compensate state government workers who were not responsible for the shutdown,” Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson) wrote in a letter to Gov. Chris Christie July 7. Christie, who spent July 2 on a beach that had been closed to the public because of the shutdown, had told workers that they shouldn’t count on getting paid. Communications Workers of America state director Hetty Rosenstein had responded that a shutdown is no different than a lockout, and that the union’s members were willing to work and expected to be paid. Read more

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