Having taken on the state teachers union, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie may be ready to put the squeeze on another once-sacred employee base — the police and fire unions, says the Asbury Park Press. One goal may be the revamping of police unions’ arbitration processes and reforming the state’s pension system with such changes as making police and fire employees put in more years of service to receive full pension benefits.
While most aren’t expecting a battle with police unions to play out as viciously as the past year’s with teachers, analysts and police union officials alike agree police and fire will share at least a portion of the governor’s chopping block this year. Although embattled by sweeping layoffs, police union leaders said they are watching the governor and are ready to stand up for themselves. Last year, Christie proposed sweeping pension reform changes and made it clear in his recent State of the State address he would follow through on the initiative.