Assembly Approves Arbitration Awards Cap

By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
Trenton. June 16, 2014

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Assembly Speaker Vinnie Prieto
Assembly Speaker Vinnie Prieto (photo by Phil Gregory)

The New Jersey Assembly has passed a bill to restore the cap on pay increases for local police and firefighters.

Despite outcries from mayors and Governor Chris Christie, the cap that prevented police and fire contract arbitration awards from growing more than 2 percent a year expired at the end of March.

Assembly Speaker Vinnie Prieto says the new bill re-instates the cap at two percent through 2017 but allows the awards to be compounded each year.

“In my eyes probably it’s not enough. I wish I would have been able to get them more but at the end of the day getting them something was the goal to be able to say listen we know what you do, we care about you, and it’s important for us to get you something.”

The measure also extends how long an arbitrator has to make a decision and for appealing that ruling.

Bill Dressel is executive director of the New Jersey League of Municipalities. He says restoring the cap will help local governments.

“This will give towns some predictability on how to strike their budgets, being fair to all employees in the municipal workforce, and it will I believe reduce property taxes to the extent that they will be contained within the two percent.”

The Senate is also expected to approve the compromise legislation later this week.


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