NJ gov, Senate leader reach union benefits deal

June 8, 2011 - 5:13 PM

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and the state's Democratic Senate president have reached a deal on legislation that would change pensions and health benefits for all public workers.

A person familiar with the talks tells The Associated Press the agreement would require employees to pay more for retirement and health benefits as of July 1 if the Legislature goes along. The person insisted on anonymity because the deal hasn't been made official.

Details of the legislation are still being worked out by Democrats who control the Senate. The Democratically-controlled Assembly hasn't agreed to the deal, however.

Union leaders have opposed Christie's push to change benefits through legislation rather than negotiations.

New Jersey's pension and retiree health care systems are seriously underfunded.