The New Jersey Appellate Division issued a unanimous decision on September 27th, 2021 affirming the right of the City of Newark to adopt and enforce a policy requiring mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations without an option for testing in lieu of vaccinations.   Employees who violate the policy are subject to discipline up to and including discharge. The policy also includes exemptions for medical reasons and for sincerely held religious beliefs.

The case involved a challenge to the City’s policy by the City’s police and firefighter unions and the civilian unions.  PERC issued temporary restraints barring the City from implementing its policy pending negotiations over the impact of the policy.  The City then filed an emergent motion with the Appellate Division seeking to dissolve the restraints imposed by PERC.  In its decision, the Appellate Division concluded that Newark had a managerial prerogative to enforce its mandatory COVID vaccination policy which also would subject employees to discipline up to and including discharge.  The Court further concluded that the restraints imposed by PERC impermissibly interfered with the City’s managerial prerogative to protect the health and safety of its employees and City residents, and that negotiations over any impact issues could not interfere with the City’s ability to implement and enforce its vaccination mandate.

Because the Appellate Division decision was unanimous, there is no automatic right of appeal to the New Jersey Supreme Court. The unions involved in this case are considering whether to file an emergent application with the Supreme Court to request that the court hear an appeal.  The State PBA does not have a voice in that decision because it is not the negotiations representative for the police officers in Newark.

Yesterday was a particularly sad day for the members of the PBA and the residents of New Jersey. We lost two more heroes to this terrible pandemic.

Yesterday we had the unenviable task of announcing the passing of two more of our heroic front line warriors. Hudson County Correctional Police Officer Zeb Craig, 56 years old and a 7 year veteran of the department and member of PBA Local 109 and Glen Ridge Police Officer and PBA Local 58 member Charles “Rob” Roberts, better known as "Mr. Glen Ridge," both lost their battles with COVID-19.

Yesterday we asked that you keep them, their families and fellow officers in your thoughts and prayers. Today we ask for your continued support and prayers for them and all who are battling this terrible disease.

The New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association in conjunction with Accurate Diagnostic Labs and The New Jersey Doctor Patient Alliance has designed a program that will afford our members the ability to obtain a test to determine if they carry the antibodies for COVID-19. Both the Doctor Patient Alliance and Accurate Diagnostic are assisting us with access to testing to our members, we ask that you be patient with them and work out any issues with them directly. If you have any issues that cannot be resolved by the provider or the lab you may contact Kevin Lyons at the State Office for assistance.

The procedure will be as follows:

  1. The members will contact a Medical Provider on the list provided to your State Delegate to schedule and participate in a telemedicine visit. During the scheduling, you will advise the scheduler that you are registering for the PBA COVID-19 antibody test and provide your insurance ID and Personal information, NO EXCEPTIONS. You should speak to a Doctor within 24 Hours. The visit will be via telehealth so the geographical location and type of practice of the office you choose to use does not matter all the Doctors are trained to address testing.
  2. The Provider will provide the member with a prescription with the following information:

    FAX, PHONE, NPI, and ADDRESS of Practice
  3. Member (patient) should record the name of the Doctor that they spoke to as this will be the provider that advises you of your test results.
  4. The provider will provide a copy of the prescription to the testing center of the member (patient’s) choice. (Please your State Delegate for a Provider and draw site list spreadsheet)
  5.  Members will go to the testing facility of their choice as listed on the spreadsheet and will provide insurance info and ID, NO EXCEPTIONS, and be tested. Wait times should be minimal at the collection sites.

There will be no cost share for the member for COVID related telemedicine or testing, regardless of your plan.

After testing, members will receive their results from the provider that they used, members should not contact Accurate Diagnostics or the collection sites.

Dear SHBP Members;

The Division of Pensions and Benefits has done an outstanding job of being fluid and making adjustments to insure your access to healthcare during the extended lockdown that we are experiencing.

All of these programs are provided on the COVID page of the SHBP web page

View Important Highlights Here

We are mourning the death of one of our brothers in blue today. Our law enforcement family has lost Officer Gary Walker to complications from the Covid-19 virus. Gary was 53 years old. He had served with the Bloomingdale Police Department since March 2000. We ask for the community’s prayers and support for Officer Walker’s family, especially his wife Danielle and daughter Demi, during this time of loss, as well as his police and fire fraternity. Officer Walker will be truly missed by his BPD family, all those who served within municipal departments around him, and our Borough residents he so deeply touched with his extremely unique sense of humor and unwavering dedication to duty.

Officer Walker was a selfless, dedicated police officer that touched the lives of so many, he always flourished by bringing people together. Most importantly, Officer Walker will be remembered most for his dedication to being a devoted husband, loving father and having a golden heart.

Finally, for all who have contracted coronavirus, or those who unselfishly continue to care for those needing care in hospital or at home, we pray for enduring care and healing.

View Full Letter Here

1 2