Association of Fire Fighters State Association
on the Front Line Protecting "New Jersey's Bravest"-- --Established 1929--
of the New Jersey State AFL-CIO
to the home page of the Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey, proudly
representing the interests and concerns of New Jersey's Bravest and their loved
encourage our membership to periodically, if not several times daily, review the
contents of this web site and it's various departments, in order to remain up
to date and conversant on the issues facing our profession in the 21st century.
In the event you need more specific or additional information,
we further encourage you to submit your inquiry or commentary via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will endeavor to provide any needed information or address any concern in a
Gov. Chris Christie 's administration pitched the transfer of proceeds from lottery ticket sales into government worker pensions as a windfall, but a Wall Street ratings house says it won't cure the worst-funded pension system in the country overnight.
Moody's Investors Service's report follows the July adoption of a plan to shift roughly $1 billion a year from the sale of lottery tickets from state coffers to the dangerously underfunded public pension system.
The rating agency's assessment on Tuesday that the transfer "does not alter the burden of pensions on the state's credit profile" stands in stark contrast to the unqualified hype from state officials.
Christie's administration offered it as a foolproof wayto immediately improve the health of the ailing pension funds -- one that "positively addresses the chief fiscal burden on the state, mitigating the fears of bond holders, rating agencies and public employees, by significantly reducing the unfunded liability of the retirement system," Treasurer Ford Scudder said in May.
The administration says pledging the lottery enterprise as an asset of the pension fund for the next three decades reduces the $49 billionin unfunded liabilities by about $13 billion.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR MEMBERS IN THE STATE HEALTH BENEFITS PLAN OF NEW JERSEY (SHBP)
No Change in Rates for Active Members in 2018; Retiree Rates To Go Down
Effective January 1, 2018 there will be no increase in premiums for any active state or local government workers that are in the State Health Benefit Plan (SHBP).
Premium rates for local government early retirees will go down by 2.3%; rates for local government Medicare retirees will go down 6.2%. Premium rates for state early retirees will fall 4.4% and the rates for Medicare retirees go down 6.3%.
NJ State Supreme Court Rules On Step Pay Hikes For Out Of Contract Local Public Employees
August 2, 2017
Brothers & Sisters,
Earlier today, the state Supreme Court ruled in a critical case that the PFANJ participated in as a “friend of the court.”
"In the Matter of County of Atlantic/In the Matter of Bridgewater", the state Supreme Court upheld the Appellate court decision to rebuke the Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC), which previously decided that local governments do not have to pay step raises during lapses in contracts, even if contract language guaranteed it.
The Supreme Court upheld the Appellate Division decision on fairly narrow grounds. It held first that the payment of step increases are a mandatorily negotiable term and condition of employment that cannot be changed unilaterally. Then, it examined the labor contracts of the four unions that participated in the case and found that each of them contained specific language that extended their effectiveness after expiration through the signing of a new contract. Because these agreements continued in full force after expiration, therefore the payment of step increases had to continue as well.
This is a great victory for firefighters and our union. This decision is a clear signal that contractual language must be enforced as it is written. It also must be seen as a rebuke to PERC, which has tried to erode many of our hard-fought achievements over the last several years.
Fraternally and united,
Dominick Marino, President
Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey
We Mourn the LODD Loss of Retired Perth Amboy Firefighter Richard W. Leonard
The Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey, IAFF, AFL-CIO, the statewide representative of career professional firefighters, emergency medical, and allied support services personnel has announced its endorsement of Phil Murphy for Governor of New Jersey.
Fire Fighters Union Says Pension Bill Veto Spares Damage to Police and Firemen’s Retirement System
For immediate release: Monday, May 8, 2017
TRENTON – Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey President Dominick Marino issued this statement after Governor Chris Christie conditionally vetoed S3040 - “Transfer Management of PFRS to Board of Trustees of PFRS":
“This veto comes as no surprise to the PFANJ."
"The PFANJ believed that with a “tweak” of the SIC and the PFRS Board of Trustees we can accomplish what this bill tried to do without leaving the larger New Jersey state system."
“Working together with the next governor, legislators, other public safety representatives along with local, state and national experts, we will be able to find solutions that help to shore up our pension system so the benefits are there after fire fighters finish a career protecting our communities and citizens.”
The IAFF, along with the International Association of Fire Chiefs, Metropolitan Fire Chiefs, the Congressional Fire Services Institute and the International Fire Service Training Association, have updated and released the 3rd Edition of the Fire-Based EMS Toolkit.
Updates to the online toolkit include up-to-date information on Fire-Based Community Healthcare Providers (FBCHP) - or “communityparamedicine” - and a new section on responding to violence, including resources for active shooter response.
State Health Benefits Program Information (SHBP)
For those Departments that are in the State Health Benefits Program:
We have been advised that open enrollment has been extended to November 11 for changes in plan options for the State Health Benefit Plan.
Links to the NJ Division of Pensions and Benefits Health Benefits Handbooks may be found here
In the NJ Direct Handbook those preventative services which are mandated by the National Health Reform to be covered without co-payment are listed on pages 76, 77, and 81.
NJ State Health Benefits Mobile Phone Applications Aetna, CIGNA, and Horizon have developed applications for the iPhone, smartphones, and other web-enabled mobile devices to provide State Health Benefits Program (SHBP) members with plan information "on the go."
Medco Health Solutions, Inc. has also developed the Medco Pharmacy mobile app for its Prescription Plan, now available at no cost on BlackBerry® and Android™ smartphones using the Verizon Wireless network.
CHAPTER 330 RETIREES
New program for those in the SHBP & SEHBP - Direct Primary Care is Here! R-Health Up and Running Now
Direct Primary Care-- We Need Your Help to Build It Direct Primary Care is here.
One provider of Direct Primary Care services, R-Health, signed a contract with Horizon earlier this month and has been signing up members for two weeks.
A second firm, Paladena Health, is expected to sign a contract with Horizon within weeks and will be opening doctor's offices by the Spring. Paladena will operate in North Jersey and Mercer County.
For now, R-Health has three locations - Haddonfield, Moorestown, and Washington Crossing. A brand new site, Ewing, will open in January.
R-Health's information piece and update may be foundHERE.
A quick reminder, Direct Primary Care Medical Homes feature no co-pays, same day/next day appointments, 24/7 access to your doctor, and simply a lot more and better care.
Direct Primary Care is an union initiative for our members. Only we can make it succeed by informing and motivating our members.
Important Information on Supreme Court Health Care Decision
As many of you are aware, recently the Supreme Court handed down another landmark decision addressing the president’s controversial health care law known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In the case of King v. Burwell, the court was charged with determining if individuals purchasing health care through the federal exchange were permitted to receive tax subsidies. Since the court’s ruling, we have received numerous questions regarding the impact of the ruling on our members and their health plans. Generally speaking, there is no immediate effect on IAFF members or their plans. To help our IAFF members to better understand the ruling, we have prepared the following supplemental materials:
Regardless how the Supreme Court ruled, we have a major concern over the portion of the ACA which imposes a 40 percent excise tax on high-cost health plans beginning in 2018. The IAFF has taken a leading role in a coalition of labor and corporate interests in trying to repeal the excise tax. Current legislation (H.R. 2050) to repeal the tax has been introduced by Representative Joe Courtney (D-CT), a bipartisan bill with more than115 co-sponsors. We will continue our fight to repeal this provision of the ACA and work to ensure that the benefits our members and their families enjoy will not be diminished. I hope the information proves helpful. As always, I appreciate your hard work and leadership.
Harold A. Schaitberger
Grant Applicants: Get Bid Specifications Ready Early
Review your grant application's requirements and get your bid specifications ready now. If you receive an award, this early preparation will help you to implement your grant as soon as possible and help ensure you are able to complete your project within the period of performance.
Start to draft a bid solicitation that encourages competition by not using proprietary vendor specifications. By avoiding the use of proprietary vendor specifications, you encourage competition, which may decrease your overall costs. For example, you can request bids for a new pumper and specify that it have an "independent front suspension." But specifying that the pumper have a particular name-brand independent front suspension would be a proprietary specification that would limit competition to those vendors that build trucks containing those particular items.
Avoid any real or apparent conflicts of interest in your procurements. Remember that no employee, officer, or agent of your organization, who has a real or even apparent conflict of interest (potential for personal gain), may participate in the selection of the contractor or vendor that will supply the grant-funded items or services. They cannot accept gifts, favors, or anything of monetary value from potential contractors.
Maintain written procurement procedures. Become familiar with and keep on file the written procurement procedures and standards for your organization. If you are unsure, check with your local or state government for procedures. All grantees must have procurement procedures that follow local or state procurement procedures AND meet Federal procurement law as outlined in 44 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 13.36.
Have a record system set up for the grant. Make sure that you have system established that will maintain your grant records accurately and securely while still being accessible. All Federal awards are subject to a possible audit or desk review.
Available for Download HERE for Apple and iPad Devices
The Truth About Arbitration
Many politicians, local and state, want everyone to believe that binding arbitration is the reason local property taxes are high, when this simply is not true. Not daunted by the truth, the Governor and his allies are pushing for changes to binding arbitration that will reduce public safety, that will end innovative and cooperative approaches and will not save money nor preserve public safety and it certainly will not reduce your property taxes.
The truth is that arbitration is rarely used in the firefighter world as approximately 10% of the firefighter contracts over the last five years have been arbitrated and not negotiated. The truth is that binding arbitration exists because firefighters are not permitted by law to strike. When management and the bargaining group cannot agree on a contract, they must resort to binding arbitration, which is expensive for both management and labor. If these changes were instituted, more contracts would end in arbitration. This would increase the cost to local taxpayers not decrease it.
The push for these changes is a way to change the subject when the unpleasant truth is that the Governor is balancing the State’s budget on the backs of local property taxpayers by reducing aid to municipalities and school districts by more than $1.2 billion dollars in the current budget year. These cuts, and not arbitration, will raise your taxes and reduce your safety and quality of life.
The law is widely viewed as the most historic overhaul of the U.S. health care system since the inception of Medicare and Medicaid.
While the law’s primary goal is to increase the number of insured Americans, there are other provisions within the law that also have implications for IAFF members.
In order to help IAFF members better understand the law the IAFF has developed a What You Need to Know About the Affordable Care Act online resource of information, including an overview of the Affordable Care Act, answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs), an educational video about the ACA, strategies on negotiating health care and links to both government and industry sources such Healthcare.gov, the AFL-CIO and the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Firefighters represented by the Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey strongly disagree with the governor’s agenda and his decisions because they threaten public safety.
The governor failed to take advantage of a federal grant program that would improve public safety and create jobs.
While the governor argues forcefully that he is doing what’s best for New Jersey residents, the reality is that he continues to do what’s best for himself, using his so-called reforms to promote himself on a national stage.
He also is spreading misinformation.
In his speech last week, the governor took credit for the improved funding level of the Police and Firemen Retirement System in New Jersey. But the reason the PFRS pension fund is doing better is because local municipalities are finally meeting their financial obligations and paying what they are required to pay into the system – just as the firefighters in this state have always done.
He also inferred that when the state pension funds reach 80 percent a state-established board of government officials and firefighters can vote to raise annual cost of living adjustments to pensions. While that’s technically possible – and would be a welcome change – it has not happened, and benefits won’t increase until harsh restrictions on the state board are loosened.
The governor shouldn't take credit for something he didn't’t do, but that hasn't’t stopped him in the past. Once again, the governor’s statements need careful fact-checking. Once again, his credibility has been damaged because he has climbed atop his bully pulpit to spread falsehoods.
He is not our state’s savior. He is merely a politician angling for his next job in public office – and he has a public employee pension, too.
Rather than constantly oppose public employees or hammer away at our rights and benefits, the governor should sit down with us to discuss public safety and the wages, rights and benefits of those sworn to protect communities throughout our state. But to this day the governor still has not met with the Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey.
And that’s no lie.
NJTV Interview with PFANJ President Marino -
October 2, 2012
To All IAFF Local Leaders:
Contact Information for IAFF 1st District Vice
James Slevin: email@example.com
Talking points with respect to S1913 and A3074:
The biggest point is that the legislature should reverse the Richardson Case from 2007. This case changed the criteria for what constitutes an accidental disability thus opening the door for a much easier avenue for members of a pension system to claim a job related disability.
If this were to be repealed, it would go a long way to correcting the issues with the disability pensions.
Other areas of issue:
1. A committee of 26 will not get anything done! Each system already has a board that oversees the system, there is no need to add an additional board.
2. Each system should be responsible for themselves. PERS should not be determining a disability pension for PFRS and likewise.
3. Any reference to Social Security Benefits must be removed, since Firefighters do not pay into social security therefore are not eligible to receive social security benefits.
4. Changing the eligibility years from 4 to 10 for an ordinary disability does a disservice to the firefighter workforce. If a member suffers an injury with prior to completing 10 years and it is not a traumatic injury that member would get no pension. Our profession puts us at harms way every time we go to work. The legislation should not change the number of years.
5. Reducing the disability pension of a firefighter who is no longer able to perform firefighting duties because he or she was able to supplement their income in other ways is disrespectful and unwarranted.
It's a slap in the face to those dedicated firefighters who were injured while serving the public because this legislation would decrease their disability pension if they were to go out and get extra income to provide for their families.
6. The one size fits all about the legislation is wrong. A firefighter or EMS workers level of risk is much greater than a teacher or office worker. The Pension systems must be treated different and separate. If our job functions weren't different, there wouldn't be different systems.
To NJ PERC Constituents, Labor Relations Professionals and Interested
Parties: PERC has modified the Unfair Practice Charge Form, and asks parties to utilize the new form immediately. The changes to the form include hyperlinks, space for a second respondent, and details about the status of negotiations, if any. Additionally, the form seeks more specific information about matters at PERC or other forums that are based upon the same facts alleged in the charge. We hope the new form will expedite
processing of charges.
here for a downloadable and printable IAFF document
and Demonstration of Interest"
for those individuals wishing to learn
and affiliate with the International Association of Fire Fighters...
Kindly fill out the form and then mail it to the
State Association Office