Giblin plays key role in health benefits talks

Either Assemblyman Tom Giblin, (D-34), can sell Speaker Sheila Oliver’s, (D-34), health benefits compromise plan to union leaders or it goes bust, say Democratic Party sources.

Like other Democrats, members of the Essex delegation continued to dig in against health benefits reform measures for public sector workers championed by Gov. Chris Christie and Senate President Steve Sweeney, (D-3), or – at the very least – worry about the impact on public worker constituents.

Veteran politician Giblin is trying to work with Oliver to find middle ground.

“Some of the impositions are really draconian,” Giblin, a labor union officer with Local 68 Operating Engineers, said of the Sweeney reforms.

Giblin met with Oliver this afternoon and discussed with her a compromise proposal for the lower house that the Star-Ledger reports would require public workers to pay more for health care benefits but that would sunset in 2014.

“It’s a work in progress,” said Giblin, who intends to talk with union officials in the coming hours.

“I see the issue of the pensions,” he added. “It’s the collective bargaining with health benefits that remains an issue. We’ll get together with the bargaining groups; that’s why it’s a still a work in progress.”

Giblin plays key role in health benefits talks