New Jersey state workers to get back pay under new labor pact

Trenton state Capitol building. (WHYY file photo)

Trenton state Capitol building. (WHYY file photo)

New Jersey state workers who had been working without a contract for three years will be getting a raise and some back pay.

The Communications Workers of America ratified a contract that calls for a two percent salary increase in August and another two percent raise in July of next year. It covers 35,000 CWA workers employed by the executive branch of state government.

It also calls for back pay for performance “step increases” former Gov. Chris Christie’s administration froze in 2015.

Republican state Sen. Tony Bucco said that could be expensive.

“[It will] be interesting to see exactly what it’s going to cost us because it’s going to be very, very difficult in our budget season here,” he said.

Democratic state Sen. Linda Greenstein believes providing the funding is a priority because of the 2011 law that required state employees to contribute more for their pensions and health care.

“I feel that many of the people are very put upon in so many different ways, the cost of their health insurance, anything that we can do to help here would be very important from my perspective,” she said.

The governor’s office said the state’s costs have been accounted for in the current budget and Gov. Phil Murphy’s budget plan for the next fiscal year.

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