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May 31, 2011

Re:      Recent Interest Arbitration Award
            Zero Percent Salary Increase
            Borough of Spotswood

Dear Mayor:

One of the first towns under the new “rocket docket” recently received their decision. Part of last year’s arbitration reform bill, the “rocket docket” is meant to prevent delay and uncertainty and accelerate the process. For the Borough of Spotswood the entire process was completed in 50 days. 

The award, issued on May 23, 2011, is the first to award a 0% salary increase in the first year.  The three year contract awarded a 0% salary increase in year one and a 2% increase on July 1, 2012 and a 2% increase on January 1, 2013.  In addition, the award converted longevity to a flat rate for current employees and froze the amount as well as eliminated the benefit for new employees.  It also requires employees to contribute 2% of their salary for health benefits and to pay the difference between NJ Direct 15 and any other health plan selected.  It also eliminated the educational incentive offered to employees.

Below is a summary of Arbitrator Frank A. Mason's decision:

Contract Duration:      January 1, 2011 through December 31, 2013

Wage Increase:            2011 - 0%, 7/1/12 - 2% and 1/1/13 - 2%

Longevity:       Current PBA members - frozen at current level and convert to flat dollar amount; those not receiving longevity and new hires - ELIMINATED

Snow Days:     No additional day off for officers working the snow day

Personal Days:            Must be used in year earned, unless extended by Chief, whose decision shall not be grievable

Disciplinary hearings:  No overtime for officers called in to attend hearing unless approved by Chief

Terminal Leave:          Change wording per our proposal; PBA proposal to increase terminal leave pay - REJECTED

Vacations:       Vacation day for new hires shall be as follows:

1-6 years:                  10 vacation days;
6-15 years:                15 days;
16 years or more:            20 days.

Cap selling back of vacation days to 5 per year once employee has used at least 10 vacation days.

Health Insurance:        Effective 7/31/11 all employees in NJDIRECT15 or pay difference for higher plan if selected; employees to contribute 2% of salary

Education Incentive:   Eliminate Article

PBA Expenses:           Eliminate that Borough pays PBA dues

Compensatory Time:   Eliminate Employee's Birthday as 8 hours of Comp time

Extra Duty Pay:          Increase hourly rate to $55

All other proposals of the parties not mentioned in the award are rejected.

As a reminder, if you are entering into negotiations and want to stay current on what neighboring or similar departments are being awarded, the League’s Arbitration Reporter can help you do this.  This series of booklets is published quarterly and summarizes the most recent awards issued.  As a part of our Police and Fire Data Service, these timely publications are helpful tools for preparing you for impending negotiations.  For details on this series visit or


Very truly yours,

William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director




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