May 12, 2009
Re: Recent Arbitration Award
On May 5, 2008, Arbitrator James Mastriani issued the first interest arbitration award that acknowledges the current economic crisis. In State of New Jersey and PBA Local 105, the State and the rank and file correction officers engaged in an interest arbitration hearing over the terms of a successor collective negotiations agreement for the agreement that expired June 30, 2007. The State, represented by Doug Solomon of Genova, Burns and Vernoia, participated in seven days of hearing during September and October 2008. Click here for a copy of the Award document
The important economic aspects of the Award are as follows:
- Term: July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2011
- Wage Increases:
- July 2007: 3.5%;
- July 2008: 3.5%;
- July 2009: No wage Increase
- July 2010: 2.0%
- January 2011: 2.0%
- Step Increases: July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010: Freeze on all step increases and no credit for time worked during this period toward time needed for any step increment except for the 18-month period between Step 8 and 9 and the 24-month period between Step 9 and 10.
- Correction Officer Recruit Salary: Reduced to $40,000 and frozen at $40,000 for the term of the Agreement.
- Healthcare Contributions:
- Employee Contributions: The Award requires, for the first time, all members of the bargaining unit to contribute toward health benefits commencing January 2011:
- Doctor Visit Co-Pays: Increase from $10 to $15.
- Emergency room co-pays: Increase from $25 to $50.
- Prescription Drug Co-Pays: New third tier of co-pay for Brand name drugs with a Generic equivalent: $25 non-mail order/$40 mail order.
Arbitrator Mastriani’s award demonstrates that in the current economic crisis, when presented with competent testimonial and documentary evidence an arbitrator can, and will, make the tough call and issue an award that is fair and reasonable under the circumstances, even if it calls for a wage and step freeze.
We recommend that you consult with your municipal and/or labor attorney on how this may impact your community.
Very truly yours,
William G. Dressel, Jr.