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Public Safety Officers Law Blog

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Category Archives: Public Employment Labor Law

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Assembly Votes On Bill Requiring Public Employees Guilty of Sexual Assault and/or Sexual Harassment To Forfeit Pensions

Posted in Public Employment Labor Law, Retiree Benefits
As reported by NJSpotlight.com, inspired by the nationwide campaign against sexual harassment known as the #MeToo movement, lawmakers in New Jersey are proposing a costly new punishment for elected officials and public workers who use their positions to commit a sexual assault or related offense. A bill that was easily approved by a State Assembly… Continue Reading

Labor Arbitration Awards: Be Mindful of The Standard of Review

Posted in Contract Interpretation, Interest Arbitration, Public Employment Labor Law
As reported by the New Jersey Law Journal, the Appellate Division recently issued an opinion in the case Policemen’s Benevolent Association v. Camden County Board of Chosen Freeholders, which addressed a challenge to a labor arbitration decision revolving around “bonus vacation days.” In the case, the Union appealed from an Order which dismissed its complaint… Continue Reading

Proposed Bill Intended to Help Union Officials Gain Easier Access to Public Workers in NJ

Posted in Contract Negotiations, Public Employment Labor Law
  As reported by whyy.org, a bill advancing in the New Jersey Legislature would ensure that union representatives have greater access to the public employees they represent.  Dubbed the Workplace Democracy Enhancement Act, the measure would allow unions to meet with employees during lunch and other breaks to talk about their issues and grievances.  It… Continue Reading

NJ Attorney General Directive: All NJ Police Officers Subject to Random Drug Testing

Posted in Public Employment Labor Law
As reported by NJ.com, all police officers in New Jersey are now subject to random drug-testing under a directive from the State’s new Attorney General. Police Departments are also required to implement “early warning systems” triggered by problem behavior such as misconduct accusations, lawsuits, domestic abuse and drunken driving under a separate directive announced by Attorney… Continue Reading

NJ Senate Bill S-1858 Proposes to Implement a Permanent 2% Salary Cap on Police and Fire Interest Arbitration Awards

Posted in Interest Arbitration, Public Employment Labor Law
On Friday, February 9th, 2018, New Jersey State Senator Declan O’Scanlon introduced legislation that would reinstate New Jersey’s interest arbitration salary cap that limits two-percent (2%) annual salary increases that can be awarded when disputed police and fire contracts enter the process of binding arbitration. O’ Scanlon stated on his website that “One of the… Continue Reading

NJ Supreme Court Will Decide Whether OPRA Covers Police Dash Cam Videos

Posted in Public Employment Labor Law
As reported by the New Jersey Law Journal, the New Jersey Supreme Court will hear the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office’s appeal in a case examining whether the public can access videos recorded by police dashboard cameras. In a 2-1 unpublished decision released in August, the Appellate Division said a police dashcam could be considered a… Continue Reading

Preparing for Collective Negotiations in 2018 Now That The 2% Salary Cap Has Expired

Posted in Contract Negotiations, Interest Arbitration, Pay and Overtime, Public Employment Labor Law
Next week I will again be speaking at the New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association’s Collective Bargaining Seminar in Atlantic City, New Jersey.   Now that the two percent (2%) Interest Arbitration Salary Cap has expired and not been renewed, this will be the first time in eight (8) years that the seminar is being held where… Continue Reading

New Jersey State Employees to Receive Back Pay For Time Away From Work Due To Government Shutdown

Posted in Public Employment Labor Law
As reported by NJ 101.5, Governor Chris Christie has signed the bill granting back pay to state workers to cover the wages lost during the three-day partial government shutdown at the start of July. An estimated 30,000 to 35,000 workers were furloughed. Most of them were off the job for one day, as the first… Continue Reading

Police Dash Cam Footage and Use-of-Force Reports Must be Turned Over Under the New Jersey Open Public Records Act

Posted in Public Employment Labor Law
This past week the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that dashboard recordings and use-of-force reports generated in connection with the fatal police shooting of a man who led officers on a high speed chase through several North Jersey towns are public records and thus subject to disclosure under the New Jersey Open Public Records Act. … Continue Reading

State Correction Officers Win Fight Over Sick Leave Pay as Christie Signs New Bill into Law

Posted in Public Employment Labor Law, Sick Leave Injury Benefits
As reported by Trentonian.com, following the publicity of numerous corrections officers beaten at work, Gov. Chris Christie has agreed to provide sick leave pay to prison workers assaulted by inmates. Christie signed a bill into law on Monday that will make corrections, juvenile, parole and probation officers whole — albeit on a limited basis —… Continue Reading

Judge Halts Christie’s Atlantic City Police Layoffs

Posted in Contract Negotiations, Public Employment Labor Law
As reported by Philly.com, a Superior Court judge has temporarily blocked the State of New Jersey from unilaterally imposing layoffs and schedule changes on the Atlantic City Police Department. The ruling is the second time Judge Julio Mendez has checked the vast powers granted the Christie administration under the Municipal Stabilization and Recovery Act, which went… Continue Reading

Police Call Layoffs a Union-Busting Tactic

Posted in Pay and Overtime, Public Employment Labor Law
As reported by northjersey.com, members of the Bergen County Bureau of Police Services police union on Monday protested more than two dozen impending layoffs and about a dozen demotions that, the union head said, is an attempt to bust the 75-officer organization. But Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino, the target of the union’s ire, said there’s another reason for the staffing cuts — namely, his need for more sheriff’s… Continue Reading

New Bill Proposes $2 Room Surcharge at A.C. Hotels to Avoid Police and Firefighter Layoffs

Posted in Public Employment Labor Law
As reported by N.J.com, guests at Atlantic City hotels may soon see a new $2 surcharge on their room bills to help avoid police and firefighter layoffs in the financially struggling seaside gambling resort. Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto on Tuesday proposed a bill that would temporarily charge hotels in the city a $2 tax or fee to help… Continue Reading

Christie Signs Bill Allowing Retired Officers to Provide Security for NJ Schools

Posted in Contract Negotiations, Public Employment Labor Law
As reported by N.J.com, specially trained retired police officers may be hired to provide security for public and private schools and community colleges in New Jersey under a bill Gov. Chris Christie signed into law Wednesday. The governor conditionally vetoed an earlier version of the legislation two months ago because it did not require these “special law enforcement… Continue Reading

Blue Justice Podcast #01 (Negotiating Collective Bargaining Agreements)

Posted in Contract Negotiations, Interest Arbitration, Public Employment Labor Law, Uncategorized
Time for some negotiation-education! In our very first episode of the Blue Justice Podcast, Frank Crivelli explains why experience is so important when it comes to collective bargaining and negotiating a union’s contract. We plan on posting a new podcast on a regular basis, every other week or so, so please check back periodically for… Continue Reading

Appellate Division Upholds Officers’ Suspension in Connection with Off-Duty Bar Fight

Posted in Public Employee Discipline, Public Employment Labor Law
As reported by N.J.com, the Pennsauken Police Department was right to suspend six officers in 2011 for violating rules and hindering the investigation of a fight that involved two off-duty officers, an appellate court has ruled. The conduct was not directly related to the fight May 7, 2011, but to officers’ failure to properly report and… Continue Reading

Officers Involved In Fatal Shootings Would Be Identified Under Proposed Law

Posted in Public Employment Labor Law
As reported by NJ.com, a bill before the State Legislature would require state authorities to identify police officers involved in fatal shootings and in-custody deaths within 48 hours of the incident.  The public notification requirement was added as an amendment to legislation that would put all fatal police shooting investigations under the State’s Attorney General,… Continue Reading

The US Supreme Court agrees that Paterson Police Officer’s Demotion Violated his First Amendment Right to Free Speech

Posted in Public Employee Discipline, Public Employment Labor Law
The U.S. Supreme Court sided with former Paterson police officer Jeffrey J. Heffernan and ruled that his First Amendment rights were violated when he was demoted after picking up a campaign sign for the mayor’s opponent.  Heffernan had been demoted after supporters of Mayor Jose “Joey” Torres saw him picking up a campaign sign for challenger Lawrence Spagnola,… Continue Reading

The Costs of Chapter 78, P.L., 2011 on New Jersey Retirees’ Healthcare Contributions

Posted in Public Employment Labor Law, Retiree Benefits, Uncategorized
Chapter 78, P.L., 2011 (hereinafter referred to as “Chapter 78”) went into effect on June 28, 2011, and has increased the average healthcare contributions required of public employees substantially. However, not all employees and retirees are equally effected. This article will briefly outline the effect Chapter 78 will have on newly and prospective retirees. Chapter… Continue Reading

NJ Public Unions Defend Mandatory Dues Challenged in U.S. Supreme Court

Posted in Public Employment Labor Law
As reported by NJ.com, New Jersey’s public labor unions leaders say they are intently watching a case before the U.S. Supreme Court that could strike down compulsory membership dues and threaten how they are funded.  The outcome is of major consequence in the Garden State and about 20 other states where public workers are required… Continue Reading

Trenton First Responders to Receive Bulletproof Vests & Raises

Posted in Contract Negotiations, Public Employment Labor Law, Uncategorized
As reported by Trentonian.com, Trenton firefighters will receive bulletproof vests and raises as part of a labor contract approved by city council on Dec. 17. “Our firefighters — they go inside houses — sometimes in situations where they don’t really know what the circumstances are,” Qareeb Bashir, the city’s fire & emergency services director, rationalized… Continue Reading
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