TONY WIENERS: Both media reports and our numerous meetings in Trenton with legislative leadership and the Front Office indicate that talks are growing more aggressive to finalize some form of pension and/or health benefit change bill before the end of June.
As you are aware, the proposals include mandating up to 30% premium contributions for all employees, including future retirees with less than 25 years of service.
There also are competing pension reform bills that eliminate COLA, require members to work more years for less benefits and to dramatically cut disability pensions.
While the State PBA is engaged with all sides to provide alternatives to protect PFRS and the collective bargaining process, it is the Legislature that will decide whether to incorporate our suggestions or pass laws that weakens collective bargaining and our pensions, which we have paid our fair share to earn.
I am therefore urging all of our members to call their legislators, the Governor, Speaker and Senate President ASAP and ask them not to cut PFRS benefits and to work with the State PBA on their offer of millions of dollars in real reforms that don’t hurt PFRS members.
In addition, tell them that health benefits is a matter for local collective bargaining and not for the Legislature to mandate.
If you have called your legislator already, then please do so again.
If you haven’t picked up the phone or sent an e-mail, then time is running out!
MORE…. (CLICK THE HEADLINES TO READ):
EDITORIAL: Another group of public officials in New Jersey is taking aim at police officers — this time for “slacking” since eight of their colleagues were let go. Their evidence? Fewer summonses over the course of a single month.
ONLY ON CLIFFVIEW PILOT: A state appeals court has upheld an arbitrator’s decision not to consider private-sector compensation for his award to Fort Lee PBA Local 235 because a police officer holds “a uniquely public sector position that does not lend itself to private sector comparisons.”
EXCLUSIVE: Police in a North Jersey town have launched a bold letter-writing campaign urging state lawmakers to think twice before backing Gov. Christie’s plans to cut police salary and pensions while hiking their health insurance costs — or face rejection at the polls this fall. (You can print a copy here to send to your local legislator.)
‘Me first’? Here’s how much you really pay for police, fire in NJ
AN OFFICER WRITES: As you already know, Governor Christie actually called the public safety community a “me first” group. As a police officer for 23 years, I resent the fact that an elected official — our “leader” — demonizes the very people who are here to protect him and our fellow citizens.
Saturday, 12 March 2011 By P.O. Vincent Kearney
AN OFFICER WRITES: With all the buzz about Governor Christie’s “tool kit,” it’s important to understand that one of its goals is to end the Civil Service system in New Jersey. The result? A total politization of jobs that will make current patronage look minor in comparison. Instead, I propose a plan to reshape the system into a true money-saver that will award jobs based on merit, as it’s supposed to.
Gov. Christie called it a “me first” rally, and he was right — only he missed the point, organizers said. “When the fire bell rings or someone says shots are being fired, each one of the people in the crowd will say ‘me first’ through the door or ‘me first’ to the rescue,” Bill Lavin, president of the New Jersey Firefighter’s Mutual Benevolent Association, told the crowd.
YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: The latest bombshells in the battle between Gov. Christie and New Jersey public servants — just days from a huge rally in Trenton — come in the form of advisory letters that say state lawmakers can’t change a public employee’s pension once he or she has put in five years on the job.
New Jersey police, firefighters to rally in Trenton March 3
YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Police and firefighters from throughout New Jersey plan to descend on Trenton on March 3 in a “Stand Up for Safety” rally aimed at countering Gov. Christie’s plan to roll back public employee benefits. “We have had enough and want to send a message,” State PBA member Jim Ryan told CLIFFVIEW PILOT.
Christie campaign letter promised ‘no harm’ to police, firefighter pensions
“The claim that any harm would come to your pension when I’m elected Governor is absolutely untrue. It is a 100% lie,” Chris Christie wrote to New Jersey law enforcement officers during his campaign against Jon Corzine. The 2009 letter, and a near-carbon copy sent to firefighters, has resurfaced amid Christie’s bid to overhaul public servants’ pension system.
EDITORIAL: “First they got rid of unionists. I said nothing, because I was not a unionist. When they came for me, there was no one to protest.” Every one of us who has focused on Gov. Christie’s attempts to demonize public servants has missed a much bigger picture: This isn’t unique to New Jersey, as the Woodstock in Wisconsin has shown. A carefully constructed strategy to split the middle and working classes is going on throughout the entire country right now. And many of us are the pawns.
EDITORIAL: I’ve tried not to connect the horrors visited on sworn law enforcement officers and their loved ones nationwide this year with Gov. Chris Christie’s assault on New Jersey’s public servants, out of respect for those injured and killed, but his calling on police unions Monday — of ALL days — to make concessions for the sake of public safety is plain insensitive.
Monday, 31 January 2011 By Andover P.O. Joseph Indano
AN OFFICER WRITES: In light of a recent newspaper article about police salaries in New Jersey being among the highest in the nation: First off, let’s remind ourselves that New Jersey’s cost of living is one of, if not the highest, in the country, and that most jobs in New Jer sey, including private sector jobs, pay more than other states.
Veteran cop takes on Christie, draws raves
Police statewide are haili
ng a veteran cop in a North Jersey town who is fed up with “the current climate of public employee bashing” and challenges Gov. Christie to “do the right thing” with taxpayer-funded pensions.
NJ police salaries aren’t the problem
By Jerry DeMarco
EDITORIAL: Many are making much of a newspaper report that New Jersey police salaries are the highest in the land. To paraphrase a man who puts his life on the line every day to protect his community: Does a bullet feel any different if it’s fired in, say, Lyndhurst, than it does in Paterson? Know how many cops have been killed in the line of duty in Lyndhurst? Four. In Paterson? The same.
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