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Message from President Colligan: Baton Rouge Attack

As our members were literally leaving Dallas this morning we learned of another horrific attack on brother officers in Baton Rouge. Although early in the investigation we again have officers targeted simply for the uniforms they put on this morning. The rush to judgement by politicians and appointed officials in our highest offices did nothing more than to fan the anti-police sentiment held by few in this country. Our communities and life as we know it would cease to exist and turn to anarchy if we chose not to put on the uniform every day. We will stand united with our brothers and sisters in Baton Rouge as we did with Dallas. Our Thin Blue Line has been stretched these last two weeks but it will not break. Our society will not be undermined by the few who despise us for what we represent.

New Jersey State PBA (NJSPBA) Reaches Into Survivor & Welfare Fund To Support Law Enforcement Victims

Law Enforcement Officers from NJSPBA to drive support trailer to Dallas to help on the ground.
(Woodbridge, NJ – July 9, 2016)-  NJSPBA President Patrick Colligan today announced that the union representing 33,000+ law enforcement officers from through New Jersey will make a $10,000 donation to support the men and women of law enforcement who were victims of the shooting attack on July 7 in Dallas, Texas.  
“Law enforcement will continue to stand together in these difficult and dangerous times. The donation to our brothers and sisters in Dallas is the right thing to do and we hope that other organizations throughout the country will show support for these fallen officers and their families,” said NJSPBA President Patrick Colligan.
The donation will come from the NJSPBA Survivor & Welfare Fund, a non-profit organization established by the NJSPBA to support law enforcement officers during difficult times. Funds in the NJSPBA Survivor & Welfare Fund, a tax exempt 501(c)3, are donated by law enforcement officers, corporate donors, PBA locals, businessmen and residents.
In addition to the donation, the NJSPBA will be dispatching the organization’s Special Services trailer to Texas in order to assist law enforcement officers and their families. The NJSPBA trailer is traditionally used to support law enforcement activities and events in New Jersey.
“We continue to get calls from our members looking for ways to help in Dallas. Pat Colligan and I will be traveling to Dallas with the PBA’s trailer to support law enforcement and their families,” added NJSPBA Executive Vice President Marc Kovar. 

Important Alert For PBA Members & Their Families From NJ State PBA Executive VP Marc Kovar

Our thoughts and prayers are with the law enforcement officers murdered in Dallas. These vicious murders make one thing clear: Even while protecting the communities we are sworn to serve, we are in danger because of our profession.  Please be vigilant and remain on high alert given the anti-police sentiment making its way through our country.

Do your job, but don’t be a hero.  Please be mindful of your surroundings at all times.  Avoid any situations that are not essential to public safety or the very description of your job during these dangerous times.  Most importantly, please take all precautions to survive your shift and make it home to your families.   When off-duty, we are recommending that you limit wearing  police insignia or PBA apparel that would make you or your family a target for those looking to harm law enforcement officers.  We also encourage taking police shields and other police identifying articles off your cars.

We’re all in this together.  Protect one another and get home safe to your family.  

Marc Kovar, NJSPBA Executive Vice President

Message from President Colligan: Anti-Cop Rhetoric & the Dallas Police Assassinations

The assassination of five Dallas law enforcement officers should shock and disgust us all. No society can be safe, no rights can be assured and no justice can be found in any place where police officers are intentionally targeted for murder.

Sadly, this vicious attack comes on the heels of yet another viral video of a police shooting. Despite the fact that they have no facts to speak of, the usual assortment of politicians, talking heads and professional troublemakers are demanding punishment. I can assure them that a few seconds of video tells us very little about what actually was going on physically and mentally on the scene.

But a lack of facts or a subjective viewing of a video never seems to stop the rush to judgement and the will of some to do away with due process for the officers. Due Process is fair treatment through a well-established and balanced process within the judicial system. If I were to conduct an investigation and attempt to arrest someone based on social media and a few seconds of grainy video without a proper detailed investigation I would be out of a job. But that is what far too many have done to fan the flames of anti-police hatred that lead sick individuals to try to take justice into their own hands.


An Open Letter to the New Jersey Legislature from the Union-Side of the State Health Benefits Plan Design Committee

Dear Legislator,
                Yesterday, Governor Christie issued an Executive Order – EO 209 – that violates Chapter 78, in that he seeks to unilaterally implement plan design changes to the State Health Benefits Plan and the School Employees Health Benefits Plan.  The statute gives sole authority for changes to Plan Design to the Plan Design Committees of both plans.  Not only will pursuit of the EO  result in unnecessary litigation, it unnecessarily interferes with a highly successful process that once established has produced more than a half a billion in savings.
                The State Health Benefits Plan Design Committee, established under Chapter 78, is made up of 6 members of management appointed by the Governor, and 6 members of unions, representing the AFL-CIO unions and the uniform unions.   In order for there to be a Plan Design change, at least 7 members of the committee must vote for it. This formulation was developed under the law, in order to make up for the fact that under the State Health Benefits Plan, collective bargaining was being eliminated for plan design.
                Over the course of several years, the Plan Design Committee has met, and the Union-side of the committee has brought innovative and cooperative approaches to the attention to management, and we have worked very hard to develop approaches to healthcare savings that improve healthcare outcomes, make healthcare delivery systems more efficient, eliminate fraud and overcharges, and result in substantive savings of over a half a billion dollars so far.  We have a vested interest in controlling healthcare costs because our members are paying a substantial portion of the premiums.
                In the last plan year alone, we established two pilot projects: a Direct Primary Care Medical Home  (DPCMH) model and a specialized program through Rutgers, that are in the process of being rolled out now and that have the potential to save hundreds of millions of dollars, possibly more, and improve healthcare outcomes substantially.  The awarding of the bids on the DPCMH model is complete and the 2 winning bidders are in the process of setting this program in motion.
                We also developed a Tiered Network healthcare plan that costs 25% less than the State’s Direct 15 healthcare plan, and 30% less than the Local Government Direct 10 program.  The cost savings for this plan is enormous, and if there continues to be a cooperative attitude in rolling in out, incentivizing, the public employees and the State and Local Government employers stand to save hundreds of millions of dollars a year.
                These are not programs that can be imposed.  To reach the savings, we need a cooperative and non-adversarial approach.
                In addition to these new options to healthcare Plan Design, the PDC has eliminated the costs of fraudulent use of compounded creams, and excessive out of network costs for chiropractic and acupuncture.  These changes have saved the State approximately $200 million this year alone.
                The PDC also agreed upon an Employee Group Waiver Program that saved the State of New Jersey $100 million a year for the past 4 years.
                But there is more this year.  Even prior to the Governor demanding that the PDC find $250 million in additional healthcare savings, over a very short period of time, the Union side of the PDC had already begun exploring a program that would allow the State to save 8 – 12% in prescription drug costs.  We researched an advanced technology online competitive bidding process that is likely to save the State of New Jersey as much as $200 million a year!  This highly advanced system digitalizes competitive bidding in real time over pharmaceutical costs.    A proposal for implementing this system by January or sooner is in the hands of the management side of the committee.
                In addition, the Union side of the committee has supported the healthcare advocates and legislation proposed by Singleton, Coughlin, Vitale and Schaer, on limiting balanced billing surprises for out of network emergencies and reimbursing out of network hospital services in in network hospitals to between 90 – 200% of the CMS rate.  (The PDC recommended 150% of the CMS rate, but we understand the need to negotiate with the hospitals over this.)  The savings from this legislation could be between $40 million and $160 million depending upon how and when the legislation is adopted. But even more importantly – this legislation will save health care consumers, taxpayers, local governments and private sector employers up to $1 billion in out of network and balanced billing costs. While the parties are fighting over both increases and cuts in taxes, this legislation provides both enormous relief not only to taxpayers but will have a stimulus effect.  The Union-side of the committee urges the passage of this legislation without further delay.
                The Union side of the PDC also proposed maximizing the implementation of the tiered network by using a process that was very successful in Massachusetts, of incentivizing transfer to the tiered network by waiving employee contributions for a short time if they make the leap.  In Massachusetts using this system, more than 10% of employees made the switch once the incentive was offered and the savings would be enormous.
                These proposals, that were made several weeks ago to the Governor’s side of the committee, are still being reviewed, but have not been adopted or supported by that side yet.  These proposals have the potential to save the $250 million the Governor is looking for in his budget.
                Healthcare changes are complicated.  Unilateral and poorly thought through changes have unintended consequences.  Both sides of the PDC are serious.  The Union side has access to some of the most innovative programs in the country that the management side doesn’t always know about.  But the times that we have been most successful on this committee have been when we have tried to collectively tackle these issues without hostility or threats.  The fact that each side needs at least someone from the other side to agree was not easy to navigate initially, but over time it has the potential to bring out the best in each “side” instead of the adversarial and belligerent worst.
                The bottom line is that contrary to the Governor’s proposed resolution and his unilateral Executive Order 209, the union side of the Plan Design Committee has made excellent proposals that actually improve healthcare outcomes, delivery of services and save hundreds of millions of dollars that are sustainable and will increase over time.  Our proposals do not pit workers against the public and make it completely clear that we should not be used as an excuse to cut services to New Jersey residents in need.  We will continue to work responsibly to represent our members and the public in our actions and we hope that the management side of the committee will adopt our proposals.  We plan to schedule a meeting of the entire committee to consider these proposals next week.
As always we remain available to the New Jersey Legislature to provide updated information on our progress.
Yours truly,
Dave Jones
Representing the State Troopers
Robert Little
Representing the AFL-CIO
Kevin Lyons
Representing the NJPBA
Patrick Nowlan, Union-side Chair
Representing the AFL-CIO
Hetty Rosenstein
Representing the AFL-CIO
Abdur Yasin
Representing the FMBA

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NJ Cops Magazine

June 2016 Back Issues
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President's Message

Patrick Colligan, NJSPBA President Patrick Colligan, President Dear Trenton: a race to the VERY bottom!

To my friends in the NJ State Legislature, let me start this message by saying that my sister used to believe I was so far to the “right,” I didn’t need left shirt sleeves. Tony Wieners used to say those of us in law enforcement were conservatives with Democratic needs. Whether you are right, center or left, I just have to get S-1711 off my chest this month. In case you voted on it and didn’t get a chance to peruse it, please allow me to give you some CliffNotes from the bill:

- Amending or terminating any existing contracts (excluding financing instruments such as bonds);
- Modifying the terms, including wages and hours, or other terms of collective negotiations agreements or terminating any collective negotiations agreements to which the municipality is a party;
- Negotiating, on behalf of the municipality, future collective bargaining agreements;
- Abolishing any positions in the municipality;
- Unilaterally appointing, transferring, or removing employees.

Humor me and please go back and re-read that just one more time; it’s kind of important to those of us who have dedicated our lives to serving the citizens of New Jersey. Allow me to pull the old “Miriam Webster says” for a second. Unilateral means: “Done or undertaken by one person or party.”

Anybody want to hazard a guess who that might be?

Now, forgive me for insulting anybody but that places New Jersey public workers’ rights somewhere below Mississippi and a slight tick above China. I say New Jersey because that bill doesn’t say Atlantic City anywhere in its 22 pages. I checked.

This is a bill for all of New Jersey (granted, with some parameters). I’m not sure how anybody on either side of the aisle doesn’t read that and have the bejesus scared out of them. It really is a race to the very bottom. I hope that those of you who voted for it get another bite at the apple. I suspect you will.… Read More