Cryan makes final call for a halt to pension and benefits overhaul

TRENTON – In a rousing floor speech, Assemblyman Joe Cryan said, “Today we turn our backs on the working people of this state. We turn our back and we dismiss them.”

He said his father came form Ireland and taught him that Democrats are only as good as the workers they protect. “You go to work and you stand by the working man, you’ll be okay,” he said. He also named three alternatives that were not mentioned by Republican opponents who claimed nothing has been put on paper as a counter-offer.

He minimized the inclusion of the “sunset clause” that is intended to restart collective bargaining in four years, saying all health cost will have already been too high to negotiate. “That’s what makes this most reprehensible,” he said. “You don’t do health care changes in 10 days. That’s why it’s wrong. You don’t do it this way.”

Cryan said there’s a pension fix bill, a bill that separates the pension reform from the health care portion, and a collective bargaining offer from the Communications Workers of America that would address cost saving.

Assemblyman Ralph Caputo, also opposed to the bill, said, “This bill is being rushed down our throats,” while Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman said, “It is a very bad day in the state of New Jersey when we start taking away middle class opportunities for quality of work issues.”

Cryan makes final call for a halt to pension and benefits overhaul