NJ's AFSCME union ratifies pact

TRENTON, N.J. -- New Jersey's second-largest public employee union has ratified a new contract that the Christie administration says reflects financial realities and budget constraints.

The negotiated settlement obtained by The Associated Press calls for the nearly 9,000 American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees members to receive raises totaling 2.75 percent over four years.

Workers will receive the first increase, 1 percent, in the third year of the contract.

The Christie administration also has reached deals with the state's largest public employee union, the Communications Workers of America.