December 21, 2010
Re: Governor Signs Interest Arbitration Reform
Earlier today, Governor Christie signed the Arbitration Reform Bill, A-3393, into law. This was a compromise and given the dynamics of the negotiations, the best compromise at this time. We thank Governor Christie, Senate President Sweeney, and Speaker Oliver on this compromise and encourage them to move forward with remaining pieces of management reforms we so desperately need to meet the pending 2 % cap.
Today’s reforms mark a dramatic change to the Arbitration process and will assist municipalities in controlling the never-ending rise in public safety personnel costs. The reforms, which take effect on January 1, 2011, cap arbitration awards on base salaries to no more than 2%, provide for random selections of arbitrators, expedited the determination of awards, require the arbitrator to provide a written report detailing the weight accorded to each of the statutory requirements and expedited appeal process. For a full summary of the reforms please see our December 10 letter along with our December 15 letter outlining the amendments.
We also thank League Immediate Past President and Clifton Mayor Jim Anzaldi, Chair of the League’s Management Reform Committee and Orange Mayor Eldridge Hawkins, Jr., Rumson Mayor John Ekdahl, Belmar Mayor Kenneth Pringle, Lower Township Mayor Michael Beck, League Attorney Brian Kronick and League Interlocal Services Coordinator Greg Fehrenbach for their efforts in bringing attention to this important issue by holding press conferences, testifying before various Legislative Committees and meeting with Legislators.
We are planning a series of informational sessions and seminars, designed to help officials implement the reforms. We will notify you of those opportunities once all the details are in place.
Please share this information with your labor relations counsel and members of your contract negotiations team.
For further information, contact Lori Buckelew at 609-695-3481, ext. 112 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Jon Moran at 609-695-3481, ext. 121 or email@example.com.
Very truly yours,
William G. Dressel, Jr.