Paid leave for public-sector labor reps costs state millions, says new report

TRENTON – The state Commission on Investigation says in a new report that New Jersey taxpayers are losing millions of dollars a year due to public-sector labor representatives who are on paid leave or who are on release to conduct union business.

While the report says this practice is neither improper nor uncommon, the commission found “significant and questionable variations’’ regarding authorization and oversight of such leave.

According to the report some representatives have been on paid leave for years or even decades while holding government job titles but doing no government work.

The taxpayers are footing the bill for such practices while in some cases there is little transparency to account for them, the commission said.

From 2006 to 2011, the report found that this practice cost taxpayers $30 million in salaries and medical benefits.

The commission reviewed more than 120 school districts, all 21 counties, 17 towns, and 12 departments of state government.

Paid leave for public-sector labor reps costs state millions, says new report