New Jersey businesses have given up a lot to stop the spread of coronavirus. Many of them have closed their doors and foregone the revenue they need to operate for three months. So when it comes to closing a huge hole in New Jersey’s budget, it’s time for state employees to sacrifice.
In an op-ed for NJ.com, NJBIA President and CEO Michele Siekerka argued that Gov. Phil Murphy should sign the voluntary state employee furlough bill sitting on his desk and adopt a wage freeze, as employees are scheduled to receive a $100 million negotiated pay raise in the next fiscal year.
“To this point, New Jersey businesses have already paid a very steep price toward this shared sacrifice – having been mandated to shut down or reduce operations for months, with a slow-moving reopening process that has greatly impacted the livelihoods of business owners and employees alike,” Siekerka wrote.
“Given the shared sacrifice of the private sector and taxpayers, it is wholly appropriate to ask the public sector to share the pain, as well, in order to responsibly adjust our budget to address our economic crisis,” Siekerka said.