BY EDWARD HENDERSON AND WILLIAM OSBORNE, PATERSON EDUCATION ASSOCIATION
This video, taken at an April 30 forum staged by Senate President Steve Sweeney, highlights the concerns of New Jersey public workers who are again having their pensions and health insurance put on the chopping block at the hands of the legislative leadership of this state.
In it Sweeney is asked “Why keep tapping into pensions? Has the government forgotten that it borrowed many millions and never paid it back, and when you speak of reducing benefits for public workers, which public workers are you talking about? Does this include police and firefighters?”
Steve Sweeney, we believe, all too readily answers the question by stating that “police and fire didn’t do what the other unions did. They didn’t change the amount of money they’re putting in, they didn’t change the retirement, they didn’t do any of the things the other unions did. So, by doing that, why should they be punished, if you’re saying punished…”
At which point the audience erupts and Sweeney futilely tries to backtrack and say “no one was being punished.” The message is out there loud and clear Mr. Sweeney. We didn’t play ball like you wanted, and now you intend to make us suffer for it. We absolutely believe firefighters and police deserve their full benefits and should not be subjected to the unwarranted cuts and “restructuring” you are peddling, but neither should any other state employee when the responsibility of this failure falls clearly