The New Jersey Association of Counties (NJAC) and the New Jersey State League of Municipalities (NJSLOM) announced jointly they are disappointed that the public safety union representatives of the Police and Fire Interest Arbitration Impact Task Force are not releasing the Task Force’s final report, which was due Dec. 31, 2017.
“The decision of the labor representatives to block the release of the Task Force’s final report is very disappointing as state leaders have been waiting to review the document before deciding on whether to support extending the 2 percent cap on binding interest arbitration awards, which is inextricably linked to the 2 percent limit on overall local government spending,” said Gloucester County Freeholder and NJAC President Heather Simmons.
On Sept. 28, Gov. Chris Christie’s Task Force released findings following a meeting where the committee was deadlocked on adopting the report and delivering it to the governor and Legislature. The governor’s appointees supported adopting and releasing the report, while the public safety union representatives opposed taking any action.
In summary, the governor’s appointees to the Police and Fire Public Interest Arbitration Impact Task Force made these recommendations: permanently impose the 2 percent cap well in advance of the Dec. 31 expiration date; and, eliminate the dynamic status quo doctrine to require that increment and longevity schemes cease upon the expiration of a collective negotiations agreement.
“The 2 percent cap on binding interest arbitration awards has proven to be a vital tool for controlling personnel costs; negotiating reasonable successor contracts; and, avoiding arbitration awards granted by third party administrators who are not accountable to taxpayers,” said East Rutherford Mayor and NJSLOM President James Cassella.