Donnelly: Back the Firefighters – and the Hard Numbers – and Resist Re-Upping 2% Cap
We are always there for you…. now your firefighters need you
It’s that time again. The time when our legislature will be tasked with standing up to mayors who will look for the easy way out….
You see the easy way out is to cry to the legislature to re-up a 2% arbitration cap. A cap, only in place for firefighters and police officers, which usurps collective bargaining, a practice that has been forgotten about over the past 7 1/2 years under the Christie/Guadagno Administration.
New Jersey’s longstanding tradition of being a collective bargaining state has been gutted by this Administration’s consistent attacks on public workers.
It’s time our state’s policy makers allow the men and women of the fire and police unions back to the bargaining table with a fair playing field. Our members have felt the draconian affects of a Christie/Guadagno Administration. Their relentless attacks on the men and women, who put their lives on the line every day for our residents, have caused destructive consequences to our rank and file. Over the past 7 1/2 years we have seen a mass retirement of police and firefighters.
The Administration’s continued defamation of our jobs has caused our communities to notice a decline in the recruiting of highly qualified candidates. We are making less today than we were eight years ago, and what you won’t hear is we are paying upwards of $10,000 annually towards healthcare, 10% of our salaries go towards our pension and all cost-of-living adjustments in retirement have been eliminated. Couple that with an arbitration cap that allows for little to no ability to negotiate fair and reasonable raises truly handcuffs us at the bargaining table.
You will start to hear all the scare tactics from the spin-doctors: “Firefighters and police officers received 5% raises prior to this cap!”, “Without this cap in place property taxes will rise exponentially!”, “It’s working, so let’s implement it on all public workers!”
All of this fake news and skewed opinions could not be further from the truth. The truth is in the numbers, and we have the numbers to back up our words. Anyone that would like to see the factual numbers as it compares to your overall taxes and what you pay for life saving Fire/EMS in your community, is invited to make an appointment and come to our office to review them. When you leave I promise you will have a new understanding of what you pay for professional Fire/EMS services and the minimal costs it represents on your tax bill.
President NJ FMBA
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