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Public Safety Officers Law Blog

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Tag Archives: NJ Fire

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

NJ Public Employee Involuntary Disability Applications: Notice Must Be Given On Type of Benefits Being Sought

Posted in Disability Retirement
As reported by the New Jersey Law Journal, the Appellate Division recently issued an opinion in the matter Westphal v. Board of Trustees, Police and Firemen’s Retirement System, which addressed certain issues associated with the filing of involuntary disability retirement applications. In the case, the Petitioner, William Westphal, appealed from the Board of Trustees’ denial… Continue Reading

New Jersey Supreme Court to Determine if Volunteer Firefighters Can Receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Posted in Workers Compensation
As reported by the New Jersey Law Journal, the New Jersey Supreme Court has taken up the issue of whether a volunteer firefighter who was injured while responding to a fire should be awarded workers’ compensation benefits. The firefighter, Jennifer Kocanowski, is seeking to overturn an Appellate Division decision determining that, since she was unemployed… Continue Reading

Murphy Rolls Back Recent Pension Change Made By Christie

Posted in Public Employment Pension Crisis
As reported by NJ.com, Governor Phil Murphy’s administration is rolling back a change to New Jersey’s public worker pension system that Chris Christie slipped in during the waning days of his administration that raised government contributions by more than $800 million. The acting State Treasurer, Elizabeth Muoio, said Christie’s surprise reduction in assumed rate of… Continue Reading

Appellate Division Again Considers Meaning of “Undesigned and Unexpected” in NJ Public Employee Accidental Disability Appeals

Posted in Disability Retirement
The Appellate Division once again the considered the “undesigned and unexpected” standard as it pertains to qualifying for accidental disability retirement benefits in the case of Mason v. Bd. of Trustees, Police and Firemen’s Retirement System. In the case, the appellant alleged she was injured while qualifying with a firearm for her work as a Correction Officer… 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

New Jersey Does Not Need the Republicans Legislating the 2% Salary Cap Out of Fear of November’s Impending Gubernatorial Election Results

Posted in Uncategorized
Over the past several days, the minority leaders of the New Jersey State Legislature have become increasingly vocal in their demands to renew what is commonly called the Interest Arbitration Salary Cap.  The Interest Arbitration Salary Cap limits Interest Arbitrator’s economic awards that govern pay raises for first responders in the State of New Jersey.… 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

Correction Officers Renew Calls for Better Workers’ Compensation After Brutal Attack

Posted in Sick Leave Injury Benefits
As reported by NJ.com, the recent brutal attack on a State Correction Officer at East Jersey State Prison has union officials calling for the passage of a bill that would make compensation similar to that of police officers and firefighters injured on duty. On the morning of December 31, Daniel Campione, a Correction Officer at… Continue Reading

State Pension Guarantee Dead For November Ballot

Posted in Public Employment Pension Crisis
As reported by NJ.com, Senate President Stephen Sweeney rejected calling for a crucial vote Monday on a referendum asking voters to constitutionally guarantee state payments into the government worker pension fund, killing its chances of appearing on the November ballot and disappointing public labor unions.  The likelihood that Sweeney, once the prime champion of that… Continue Reading

Deadline For NJ Senate To Take Action On Public Worker Pension Amendment

Posted in Public Employment Pension Crisis
As reported by NJ.com, Senate leaders have spent weeks trying to build a supermajority to override Governor Chris Christie’s opposition to a Transportation Trust Fund tax package, a plan that also holds the fate of a voter referendum on public worker pensions.  And for the last week, they’ve said they’re within a vote or two… Continue Reading

N.J. To Slash Pension Investments In Hedge Funds That Were Criticized By Unions

Posted in Public Employment Pension Crisis
As reported by nj.com, the State Investment Council on Wednesday agreed to slash New Jersey’s investments of public-sector pension dollars in hedge funds by more than half, responding to labor union concerns that the alternative investments are not paying off. At the council’s last meeting in May, union representatives called for drastic reduction in the… 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

NJ Lawmakers Clash Over Forcing Bigger Pension Payments

Posted in Public Employment Pension Crisis
As reported by NJ.com, State Senate President Stephen Sweeney and labor leaders defended Sweeney’s proposal to constitutionally enforce payments into the public pension system against arguments it’s a gift to special interests that will shackle New Jersey’s finances.  The scrap between Sweeney and labor leaders versus Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr. and business lobbyists… Continue Reading

Sweeney Plan To Bypass Christie On NJ Public Worker Pensions Clears First Hurdle

Posted in Public Employment Pension Crisis
As reported by NJ.com, a key State Senate Committee approved legislation to ask voters to revise the New Jersey Constitution to require the State to ratchet up contributions to the public pension system.  The Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee cleared the resolution along party lines, with Republicans’ opposition rooted in protecting taxpayers from severe spending… Continue Reading

State PBA President Lashes Out At Christie For Shameful Comment

Posted in Public Employment Pension Crisis
As reported by NJ.com, the president of the New Jersey police union that represents nearly 33,000 officers lashed out against Governor Chris Christie after the Governor called him a “pension pig.”  Pat Colligan, president of the New Jersey State PBA, referred to the Governor as a “schoolyard bully” and said Christie’s statement “didn’t surprise” him. … Continue Reading

Hamilton Mayor Talks Fire District Consolidation; Wants State Input

Posted in Shared Services/Consolodation
As reported by NJ.com, Hamilton Mayor Kelly Yaede met with the Township firefighters’ unions two years ago about consolidation and said she is pleased to finally see petitions going to taxpayers to start the process.  The mayor, though, believes the unions which are spearheading the effort should be seeking signatures in all districts, including District… Continue Reading

Sweeney Wants Federal Loan Program To Rescue Public Worker Pensions

Posted in Public Employment Pension Crisis
As reported by NJ.com, State Senate President Stephen Sweeney said the answer to New Jersey’s rising public employee pension debt lies in creating a trillion dollar federal loan program that will help states avoid insolvency, spare millions of government workers from economic devastation and take the pressure off state budgets.  The government aid program, which… Continue Reading

NJ Trooper Unions Sue Christie Over Shortchanged Pension Payment In Proposed Budget

Posted in Public Employment Labor Law, Retiree Benefits
As reported by NJ.com, a group of unions representing New Jersey State Troopers are the first to sue Governor Chris Christie to force him to make a larger payment to the State’s public-worker pension system in his latest state budget proposal.  Christie’s proposed budget, which covers the fiscal year that begins in July, includes a $1.3… Continue Reading

Police and Fire Benevolent Associations File Lawsuits To Mandate Funding

Posted in Public Employment Labor Law, Retiree Benefits
As reported by Politckernj.com, in the aftermath of Governor Chris Christie’s budget address, the leaders of the State’s Police and Fire Benevolent Associations announced their decision to file separate lawsuits aimed at making the Governor comply with the full funding of the public pensions.  Below, reprinted in its entirety, is a statement of explanation the… Continue Reading
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