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Will N.J. end contract arbitration to save money?

Friday, October 15th, 2010

New Jersey lawmakers are considering a measure that would put a limit on salary and benefit increases for public safety workers.

Binding interest arbitration is the process used to settle collective bargaining disputes between local governments and police and firefighters who are prohibited from going on strike.
Mayors want arbitration awards to be limited to two percent so they can stay within the state’s two percent cap on property tax increases.

Steve Demofonte with the New Jersey Fraternal Order of Police says that limitation would make it difficult to attract and retain officers.

“If their health goes up typically which is ten or eleven percent per year that would be absorbed into that two percent and the officers could actually see a pay decrease. Now who’s going to take that kind of job?”

The chairman of the Senate Government Committee says he’s hoping a compromise can be reached that will be acceptable to government and union officials.

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