News


Just a reminder from today’s meeting regarding what our members can do regarding the 2% Arbitration Cap Bill-

Assembly Speaker Prieto has demonstrated his commitment to a fair and open discussion on this issue and he has
been in constant communication with us. The governor and League of Municipalities has a full court press on the speaker.
State PBA members therefore need to call Speaker Prieto at (201) 770-1303 and/or email him at
asmprieto@njleg.org and tell him THANK YOU for continuing to stand up for the collective bargaining rights of
law enforcement officers in New Jersey!  If you have called/emailed already- we really appreciate your efforts and
encourage you to let his office know again how much this means to a reasonable collective bargaining process.

Thanks,
Keith

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PRESS RELEASE:

For Immediate Release
April 9, 2014

Contact: Jim Ryan
732-343-0532
State PBA Responds to Governor’s Comments

At Town Hall Meeting
“Governor Christie’s repeated attempts to belittle police and fire by
calling us special interests demonstrates that he is incapable of working
towards reasonable solutions to issues of mutual concern,” State PBA
President Tony Wieners said today in response to the Governors Town
Hall comments on negotiations over a revised binding arbitration law.
“It is evident that the Governor desperately needs a distraction from the
ongoing Criminal Federal investigation surrounding him and his top
advisors. He will shamefully come to the Memorial Service for fallen
officers and call us heroes when we die but while we are alive he seems
determined to diminish our service and sacrifices.

“I am proud to argue for a fair and reasonable process for contract
negotiations regardless of how many sad and unbecoming insults the
Governor wants to throw at law enforcement in NJ,” Wieners concluded.

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***2nd Notice-  Urgent Action Required  (if you have acted already-Thank you!  If not- please call today)

 

Arbitration Cap Update – IMMEDIATE MEMBER ACTION REQUIRED    call Speaker Prieto at (201) 770-1303 and/or email him at asmprieto@njleg.org  

As you may be aware, the Senate and General Assembly met last week to pass legislation to extend until 2017 the 2% cap on arbitration awards with several critical concessions to re-establish flexibility in the process.  Senate Bill 1869/Assembly Bill 3067 extended the timelines for arbitrators to hear cases,  allow mediation to work and to encourage more arbitrators to participate in the process.  The bill was designed to allow for the arbitration award cap to rise to 3% with the inclusion of cost exceptions for cuts in staffing and for employee contributions required by Chapter 78 and would have ensured that Locals would only have had to face the cap or negotiate a contract inside the cap once.

As we expected, the Governor immediately conditionally vetoed that bill and sent changes back to the Legislature to eliminate the financial flexibility in the cap, to eliminate the “one and done” provision and to reestablish the Arbitration Task Force.  We strongly oppose each of the Governor’s recommended changes.  Unfortunately, the Senate voted to approve the Veto last night.  However, Assembly Speaker Prieto believes that the Veto and the process that led to it unfairly excluded honest negotiation among the interested parties and he refused to vote on the Veto last night.  The Governor’s proposal is therefore held in limbo and the current 2% cap law will expire on April 1st.

Assembly Speaker Prieto has demonstrated his commitment to a fair and open discussion on this issue and he has been in constant communication with us.  State PBA members therefore need to call Speaker Prieto at (201) 770-1303 and email him at asmprieto@njleg.org and tell him THANK YOU for standing up for the collective bargaining rights of law enforcement officers in New Jersey!

The League of Municipalities, Governor and several key Democrats are likely to pressure Speaker Prieto to ignore our concerns and accept the Governor’s language.  He needs to hear from you TODAY that his actions in support of the PBA are appreciated and that we will be there for him as he fights for us. 

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Arbitration Cap Update – IMMEDIATE MEMBER ACTION REQUIRED

As you may be aware, the Senate and General Assembly met yesterday to pass legislation to extend until 2017 the 2% cap on arbitration awards with several critical concessions to reestablish flexibility in the process.  Senate Bill 1869/Assembly Bill 3067 extended the timelines for arbitrators to hear cases,  allow mediation to work and to encourage more arbitrators to participate in the process.  The bill was designed to allow for the arbitration award cap to rise to 3% with the inclusion of cost exceptions for cuts in staffing and for employee contributions required by Chapter 78 and would have ensured that Locals would only have had to face the cap or negotiate a contract inside the cap once.  

As we expected, the Governor immediately conditionally vetoed that bill and sent changes back to the Legislature to eliminate the financial flexibility in the cap, to eliminate the “one and done” provision and to reestablish the Arbitration Task Force.  We strongly oppose each of the Governor’s recommended changes.  Unfortunately, the Senate voted to approve the Veto last night.  However, Assembly Speaker Prieto believes that the Veto and the process that led to it unfairly excluded honest negotiation among the interested parties and he refused to vote on the Veto last night.  The Governor’s proposal is therefore held in limbo and the current 2% cap law will expire on April 1st.

Assembly Speaker Prieto has demonstrated his commitment to a fair and open discussion on this issue and he has been in constant communication with us.  State PBA members therefore need to call Speaker Prieto at (201) 770-1303 and email him at asmprieto@njleg.org and tell him THANK YOU for standing up for the collective bargaining rights of law enforcement officers in New Jersey!

The League of Municipalities, Governor and several key Democrats are likely to pressure Speaker Prieto to ignore our concerns and accept the Governor’s language.  He needs to hear from you TODAY that his actions in support of the PBA are appreciated and that we will be there for him as he fights for us. 

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URGENT ACTION REQUIRED: Call your legislator on arbitration bill!!!  (CALL TODAY) 

As you are aware, the Senate and General Assembly will vote on Thursday, March 27th to pass legislation on the law governing the binding arbitration process.  The current 2% cap on arbitration awards is set to expire on April 1st.  The League of Municipalities, the Governor and a few legislators are demanding that the 2% cap be made permanent on all arbitration awards.  The State PBA has opposed making the cap permanent and has been working with the Legislature to end the law and provide relief from what has become a broken process.

The Legislature has agreed to not make the law permanent.  Instead, they have introduced Senate Bill 1869 and Assembly Bill 3067 that will make important modifications to the arbitration process while providing expanded financial relief under the cap in exchange for a one time extension to 2017.  These changes will extend the timelines for arbitrators to hear cases, to allow mediation to work and to encourage more arbitrators to participate in the process.  The bill also would allow for the arbitration award cap to rise to 3% with the inclusion of cost exceptions for cuts in staffing and for employee contributions required by Chapter 78.  This is an important addition to the law and will provide arbitrators more flexibility to address the needs of our members, especially those still in steps.  The bill contains critical provisions that ensure that a collective bargaining unit can only be exposed to the arbitration cap law once.  Finally, the cap on arbitration awards (up to 3%) will be extended to apply to contracts that expire before December 31, 2017.

The League of Municipalities is fighting to delete these amendments to the law and to make the cap permanent.  It is expected the Governor will make a decision quickly on this bill.

As a result, the State PBA encourages all members to call or email their legislators today and ask them:

  1. Support S1869/A3067 as a compromise
  2. If the Governor vetoes the bill ask them to oppose any effort to make the cap on arbitration permanent
  3. Tell them without financial relief to the arbitration cap law, the State will be hurting younger officers in steps
  4. Remind them that Chapter 78 contributions for pension and health care costs have taken thousands of dollars out of your take home pay 

Legislator info can be linked from www.njleg.state.nj.us/members/legsearch.asp

Also- Please take some extra time to call Senate and Assembly leaders below and let them know how much this compromise bill means to law enforcement officers.

Senate President Stephen Sweeney  (Office):    856-251-9801
Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto       (Office):    201-770-1303

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Legislature makes last minute push on arbitration

Today the State Senate State Government and Assembly Budget committees considered a last minute effort to pass legislation to extend the 2% cap on interest arbitration awards. The legislation, which wasn’t scheduled publicly for consideration until this morning, was designed to address the expiration of the cap at the end of March.

Upon learning about the effort to move the bill at the last minute, State PBA President Wieners, Executive Vice President Keith Dunn and Director of Government Affairs Rob Nixon worked over the weekend and all day in Trenton on the language expected to be passed. The end result focused on many of the recommendations of the Arbitration Task Force, including PBA and FMBA recommendations to provide further room for negotiations.

The bill passed by Committee does not make the cap permanent as called for by the Governor. The cap would be extended to the end of 2017 but would provide certain exclusions to potentially increase the cap amount to up to 3%.  This would be obtained through allowing savings from retired officers, which PERC had previously denied could be included, and an exemption for employee Chapter 78 health care contributions.

The bill also maintains language providing that the law only could be experienced once by a collective bargaining group.

The bill is currently being analyzed in greater detail and it remains to be seen whether Governor will sign the bill. But the direction of the bill rejecting a permanent cap and providing more financial room for consideration are important improvements considering the potential direction of the movement of the bill at the last minute today.
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Members URGED to Call Senate President Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Prieto on Arbitration Cap

The NJ State PBA is urging all members/family/friends to contact the legislative offices of State Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto and tell them to let the 2% arbitration cap expire and to put a stop to the Governor’s attempt to eliminate fair collective bargaining in the State.  Let them know that arbitrations are rare in NJ and that municipal leaders have mismanaged both the pension system and police staffing and it’s time police officers (who have ALWAYS paid their full pension contribution) should no longer be punished for the mistakes of these town officials.  Arbitration exists because police officers are not allowed by law to go on strike.

Senate President Stephen Sweeney  (Office):    856-251-9801
Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto       (Office):    201-770-1303 

Thank you,
Keith

________________________________________________________________________________________________________News from The Senate Democrats

A TALE OF TWO CHRISTIE’S

Gov Love For Pension Reform Lasted Until Reelection

TRENTON – Before he was reelected, Chris Christie couldn’t say enough about how wonderful the pension reforms he signed into law were. On countless occasions he used pension reform to bolster his image and as a citation for bipartisan accomplishments. But now that he is working to build a national profile – and possibly distract from a few other things – he suddenly decides the reforms were not good enough.

But don’t just take our word for it. Here is some of the praise from Christie himself:

“As a result of Democrats and Republicans coming together to confront the tough issues, we are providing a sustainable future for our pension and health benefit system, saving New Jersey taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars and securing a fiscally responsible future for our state.” (Gov. Chris Christie’s Office, June 20, 2011 press release)

“The reforms will ensure long-term solvency, while slowing the rapid growth of government costs, spending and taxes that have overwhelmed taxpayers.” (Gov. Chris Christie’s Office, June 23, 2011 press release)

“What this legislation will do is simply to save the pension system for all those retirees and public employees who are counting on that retirement. It will save and protect the taxpayer and it will restore choice and fairness to a public sector system that had run completely out of control.” (June 15, 2011 speech to Employer Legislative Committees State Dinner)

“The pensions of every state worker, of every teacher, and of every retired municipal employee are more secure today. By the tough choices we made together, we saved their pensions.” (State of the State Address, January 17, 2012)

“They said it was impossible to touch the third rail of politics, to take on the public-sector unions and to reform a pension and health benefits system that was headed to bankruptcy. But with bipartisan leadership, we saved taxpayers $132 billion dollars over 30 years and saved retirees their pensions. We did it.” (Keynote address August 28, 2012 at GOP National Convention)

“Securing the future of New Jersey’s pension system to protect current and future retirees was a paramount goal of the bipartisan pension and health benefits reform legislation we successfully fought for last year. These reforms are not only saving the taxpayers of our state at least $132 billion over the next 30 years but, just as importantly, they are also ensuring that the pensions are protected for the hardworking men and women who are counting on them.” (Gov. Chris Christie’s Office, May 3, 2012 press release)

“We’ve taken historic, bipartisan action to fix a broken public pension system that would have been insolvent in a matter of years without bold intervention. This is a serious and significant new step to protect the integrity of the system and guard every taxpayer dollar and employee contribution from fraud and abuse.” (Gov. Chris Christie’s Office, August 07, 2013 press release)

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MINI CONVENTION 2014

The main meeting room (Palladium Ballroom) is located on 2nd floor:
Reminder that all breakout rooms for Mini Convention will be located on 3rd floor of Caesars.
Vendors will now be located in room adjacent to Palladium Ballroom

Tues/Wed:     9am-1pm                         Bone Marrow Screening    Tiberius Room (3rd floor)
Wednesday:   9am-2pm                         Health Screening                Neptune Room (3rd floor)
Wednesday:   after meeting to 2 pm   Civil Service                         Spartacus Room (3rd floor)

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TO:                         New Jersey State Health Benefit Plan Members
FROM:                 Kevin C. Lyons, Sr.
SUBJECT:           Important Announcement – Free On-Site Health Screenings
DATE:                   February 18, 2014

Good news!  As part of our commitment to the health and wellness of our members and their families, we are pleased to announce that we will be offering convenient, confidential health screenings, administered by Summit Health.

The employee health screening is a great assessment tool to help you determine your current health status.  It takes approximately 15 minutes to complete all the screenings.  Each employee has the opportunity to participate in an examination and receive immediate results.

The health screening includes the following exams:

  • Cholesterol (Total Cholesterol, HDL and Total Cholesterol / HDL Ratio)
  • Blood sugar (Glucose)
  • Blood pressure and pulse
  • Body Mass Index (BMI)

No fasting is required for the screenings. The cholesterol and diabetes screenings are conducted with a single finger-stick, which draws a small amount of blood.

Important note:  We take confidentiality very seriouslyNo information will be shared.  The results will be given directly to you after the screening and then erased on the medical equipment.  

The screening will take place on March 5, 2014 from 9:00 to 2:30 PM in the Poseidon Room at Caesars Atlantic City during the Mini-Convention. If you complete the screening and an online assessment at http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/pensions/njwell/main.shtml., by October 1, 2014 you will receive a $100.00 visa gift card. There will be representatives from both Horizon and Aetna for screenings.

To access the Summit Health Appointment Web site, please use the following URL.

Please Click Here To Access Summit Health Appointment Web Site

Or copy the following link:
https://www.summithealth.com/AppointmentSystem/LoginAppointment.aspx?LHpqXHpTqLpS6H2fLLM1nNM+H0Wtu3J4Xm0N+4mjHAb7TB0F+dYAFuk/CnFpGOdj36Q5jVrOKSq7FTpyDqJvV3vCT4DFTJsyjT3LGqEf83w=

If you are unable to schedule an appointment, walk-in appointments may be available on the day of the event, ask at the registration table.

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

® Registered mark of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey.

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BREAKING NEWS: For a VERY limited time, the PFRS mortgage program is OPEN for REFINANCE!!! Rate and term refinance ONLY (NO cash out).
As always, the program is open for ALL PURCHASE transactions as well. The current rate as of February 15, 2014 is 3.68% with 0 points.

This money will most likely run out VERY quick so ACT FAST!

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Reminder that the 2014 Polar Bear Plunge is on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at Seaside Heights is next month on Saturday, February 22nd  at Seaside Heights.
The NJ State PBA has a long history of being a top sponsor and our members have proudly made us the #1 participating group in the Plunge.
Please register on link below and support the Special Olympics of NJ.

www.njpolarplunge.org/

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Chapter 78 COLA lawsuit argument 

As we have previously reported to our membership, the Chapter 78 COLA lawsuit arguments will be heard before the appellate Court on
January 28, 2014 at the Middlesex County Courthouse.

The New Jersey State PBA is deeply concerned with the COLA issue and the impact that the outcome will have on our current and future retirees. The PBA will be represented before the court by our very competent attorneys from the Zazzali, Fagella, Nowak, Kleinbaum and Friedman Law Firm.

It has come to my attention that other organizations or associations have instructed their members to pack the Courtroom, the hallways and the entire courthouse to make the hearing an event for the media.

The New Jersey State PBA feels strongly that such conduct is not in the best interest of our members or the issue at hand. The media will not be deciding this case nor will judges be making decision based upon the demands of what could end up as an unruly crowd. Any distractions from the facts or show of disrespect for the proceedings could likely result in a negative outcome.

Therefore, I am requesting that our members NOT gather at the courthouse for the hearing and allow the proceedings be conducted in a professional and dignified atmosphere. Our response to the outcome of the case will be formulated upon receipt of the decision; we will keep you advised of any updates.

- Tony

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 Below message from NAPO regarding TOP COPS Awards

 

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S MESSAGE 

YOUR NOMINATIONS MAKE THE DIFFERENCE FOR TOP COPS®

 This year will mark the 21st year NAPO has produced the TOP COPS Awards®.  The ceremony will take place on Monday, May 12, 2014, again coinciding with Police Week.  Over the next few months I will be asking for your assistance in three major areas in which you, our members, can help to ensure the success of TOP COPS®:  nominations, sponsorships, and show attendance.  Today, I want to ask for your assistance with the first and most fundamental component, nominations.

TOP COPS® is unique in that it is a peer nominated award.  However, one of the greatest struggles we have faced in the past is getting the nomination form out to officers nationwide.  I am asking you to assist us in making this happen.  It is our goal this year to see all 50 states represented with a nominee.  While we appreciate and welcome nominations from the executive level, we would really like to see the nomination form circulated among the members. 

The nomination form can be downloaded from the NAPO website, www.napo.org, and if need be, we would also be happy to email you the form.  Just send us an email to info@napo.org with your request.  Please feel free to duplicate and post it anywhere you feel it is appropriate.  We would especially like to see forms posted in association offices and departments with the hope that your members will feel inclined to nominate the great cases/officers they have come into contact with over the past year.  I would also like to ask you to consider including the nomination form, on your website, or as a hand out at your next meeting.

If you have other thoughts or ideas as to how to get the word out about this most worthwhile event, please let us know.  With your help and partnership, I know that TOP COPS® will be a tremendous success!

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DECEMBER 10, 2013 EDISON, NJ

The State PBA Executive Board and Board of Delegates today chose Keith Bennett, State Delegate of Atlantic City PBA Local 24 as its Official Endorsed Candidate for PFRS Trustee.

Nominations for this position are now being taken online at https://vote.election-america.com/NJPensions

Please log on and support KEITH BENNETT, the PBA Candidate for this position - handout

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06 December 2013

Brothers and Sisters,

This afternoon, the State PBA Became aware that there has been a security breach at the Horizon offices in Newark, NJ wherein two laptops were stolen between November 1 and 3, 2013. We have very preliminary information on this matter and it is our understanding that there was potentially information on 10,000 members of the SHBP and the SEHBP including social security numbers stored on the laptops.

It is our understanding that Horizon is contacting every potentially affected member via mail.

Here is correspondence from the Division of Pension and Benefits on the matter and I have attached a sample letter that is going out to the affected  members. It is my understanding at this time that the breach is not the result of actions of the division, but rather the vendor, Horizon.

Please monitor the Horizon and SHBP web sites as well as NJSPBA.com.

Fraternally,
Kevin C. Lyons, Sr.

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PFRS Mortgage Loan Rate eff. 8/15/13 is now 3.64%

Active members of the New Jersey Police and Firefighter Retirement System (PFRS) with one year of creditable service are eligible for this program.
Members may buy a home (first-time or trade-up). Maximum mortgage amount is $417,000. Interest rate is 30 year fixed. Program rates are set semi-annually in February and August.

Effective August 15, 2009, funding is only available for First-Time Homebuyers and Trade-Up Buyers.
There is no funding available for refinances.

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NJ State Health Benefits Committee Approves substantial Rate Increases

In a 3-2 vote (labor dissenting) the State Health Benefits Committee approved substantial rate increases for all plans overseen by them.
The increases came despite protest and a flurry of questions toward the amount the state, at the recommendation of Aon Hewitt
(the actuarial firm who is awarded its contract by the state treasurer) is holding in reserve.

While excess reserves will come back in future years as funds to stabilize future rates, it is basically done on an objective basis.
The actuary also made a statement that the claims had dropped last year but that the drop was due to Sandy.

Local Government Increases

These rate increases assume a claim trend increase across the medical plans as listed in the chart below.
These trends are based in the cost of health care inflation which traditionally is much greater than the normal inflation measurements that we see in the media……. download the full report here

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JO Coin