Mar 02, 2016 10:11 AM EST

U.S. Supreme Court Nixes Union Challenge Regarding Reforms For New Jersey Pensions

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court turned down a request by unions to compel the state of New Jersey to pay its full share of the annual public pension contribution. The unions were represented by public employees including state troopers and school teachers.

The highest court of the land refused to listen to the union's appeal and left in place a ruling that permitted the administration of Governor Chris Christie, Republican, to only pay partial contributions to public funds.

"We're heartened by the U.S. Supreme Court's decision today," said Joelle Farrell, spokeswoman for Christie, who stated that all parties should return to the negotiating table to arrive at a solution "that is fair for all taxpayers."

The justices of the top court have no comments in the rejection of the union's appeal. Its order came nearly three weeks after Christie ended his bid for the presidential nomination of the Republican Party.

Last year, the Supreme Court of New Jersey ruled that the state is required to pay the pensions of its retirees. However, it turned down a ruling by the lower court that would compel the state to raise billions of dollars to pay the guaranteed pension benefits.

The pension fund of the state has accumulated almost $75 billion in unfunded liabilities due to the underpayment of previous governors both Republican and Democratic. Past administrations in New Jersey have short-changed the state's public pensions and left them poorly funded.

"At least we tried to hold the governor to his word, which means nothing. Anyone that believes anything he says is a fool," said Christopher Burgos, the lead defendant in the case and also the president of the State Troopers Fraternal Association.

"The highest court in the land has allowed lies and deceit to prevail in this case, and once again, workers suffer at the hands of selfish union busting politics by the rich and powerful," he added.

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