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FROM 222 WEST STATE STREET
Bill Dressel, League Executive Director

 

We Must Act To Preserve
Arbitration Reform

Bill Dressel

When the 2 percent levy cap was passed in the summer of 2010, Governor Christie and legislative leaders committed themselves to enacting serious management reforms and mandates relief initiatives. These reforms would have made it possible for leaders to maintain municipal services within the arbitrary new limits. Chief among these ‘tools’ was binding arbitration reform.

  Months of debate followed. When he signed the compromise arbitration bill into law, the Governor noted, “…we are going to sunset this bill in April of 2014. And we're doing that because we want to give this an opportunity to work, …we've set up a commission with appointees from both my office and the legislature in order to evaluate how well this is working …This task force will also ensure that the implementation of this is responsible and fair.”

To be clear, the 2 percent levy cap will not sunset, but the arbitration award limit will. No committee, commission or task force has been created to evaluate how the 2 percent levy cap is working, but the arbitration reform law will be scrutinized.
April 2014 may seem a long way off. But with the Task Force ready to begin its study, we can’t let legislators forget that the reforms must continue beyond the upcoming sunset. We need to focus on this issue right away. Brian Kronick, the League’s Labor Relations Counsel, played a key role in negotiating the 2010 reforms. He will be representing us with testimony for the Task Force.

But, ultimately, your legislators will need to hear from you. We will give you the information you need to stay on top of this issue. We urge you to use it to convince your representatives to keep the arbitration reform tool in the municipal box

 

Editorial from New Jersey Municipalities, Volume 89, Number 7, October 2012

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