The labor unions representing Paterson’s police officers and firefighters are accusing the city of violating their contracts by not issuing accrued leave time payments to employees who retired since July 1.
Administration officials said the city intends to make the payments eventually, but that checks have not yet been issued because of “a cash flow issue.”
Business Administrator Vaughn McKoy said the total payments for the current fiscal year could amount to between $4 million and $5 million.
“We have to make sure we don’t deplete our cash because we have to operate the city as well,” said McKoy during Tuesday night’s city council meeting.
During the past eight years, Paterson had borrowed more than $20 million to cover employee retirement payments. But the state has directed Paterson to stop borrowing money to pay the retirees, officials said. As a result, the city is trying to cover the payments in its regular operating budget.