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Re: Council may approve contract with police this month -- Union President and Mayor traded barbs
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@ JC344

I suggest you start considering that 'the city' is not some metaphysical empire from which monopoly money falls like snowflakes but rather it is human being taxpayers who hoped to authorize a smaller group of entrusted people to carry out their requests, using their money, with the utmost thrift. Taxpaying people pay the salaries and benefits of policemen - the politicians are supposed to just do the disbursing. Unfortunately in Jersey City, the police union has great influence via electioneering over who these politicians are and how they compensate the union members, even if that contradicts what the taxpayers would offer.

I can appreciate a no strike rule and that is great. Now how do you proposed eliminating the undue influence the police union has in establishing the city's compensation standards by political organizing, campaign contributions, get-out-the-vote activities, patronage jobs and featherbedding for ward heelers?

Posted on: 2010/2/15 22:07
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Re: Council may approve contract with police this month -- Union President and Mayor traded barbs
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JCLAW, I didn't miss the point.Unlike the private sector, the unions that the officer's belong to are not like those in corporate America. For starters, the police cannot go on strike, they have no choice when the contract expires but to continue to work at the salaries of the old contract, and wait for the city to agree to negotiate a contract.While it is true that in corporate America there is downsizing .The truth of the matter is when the economy is doing bad crime tends to increase.That being said the truth of the matter is if you look at the size of the police department now and what it was 10 years ago you would see that there are less officer's on the street now, and if you were to take the number of officer's today and compare it to the table of organization you would see that the department is in fact below where it should be in terms of the number of officer's working. The bottom line is the police accepted a contract that does save the city and the taxpayers money. Had the police officer's taken the city to arbitration which is their right, the city would have had to bear all of the costs associated with the arbitration process and in the end the officer's quite possibly could've come out with a better contract. albeit it probably would've taken alot more time. While people are not happy with the contract that the officer's accepted it was more then fair to the city and the taxpayers. The Jersey City Police Department is by far the largest Police Force in Hudson County but they certainly aren't the highest paid.

Posted on: 2010/2/15 21:55
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Re: Council may approve contract with police this month -- Union President and Mayor traded barbs
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jc344:

I hear this again and again from Police and Fire. You could have filled out an application but no, you chose a job that paid more or was safer. You civilians don't undertand how tough our jobs are.

The truth is : most who apply to become Police and Fire personnel do it for the excellent pay, benefits and job security. Lots of overtime, lots of time off and hefty pensions.

Today's reality can't support this system any longer. Police and Fire cannot continue to be the sacred cows of municipal government. They must accept cuts and sacrifices like everybody else in the public and private sectors.

Posted on: 2010/2/15 21:54
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Re: Council may approve contract with police this month -- Union President and Mayor traded barbs
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@ jc344

I think you miss the point, jc344. No one is saying that police aren't entitled to a wage for which they are willing to work. The issue here is whether essential government workers should be able to unionize, and thus hold the taxpayer at risk everytime the union agitates.

In the private sector, when the employer (aka taxpayer) needs to downsize, he does so. When the employees are unionized, they strike and put the company out of business, with a terrible outcome for all.

In the public sector, if the employees are unionized, a strike has dire nonfinancial consequences such as riots in the street! Even worse, since the union's member essentially get to vote for their own salaries at the expense of other taxpayers, the taxpayers' say in the matter is diminished.

The public sector employees should either not have the right to unionize, or if they must, they should not have the right to use the union for campaign contributions, organizing or get-out-the-vote.

Posted on: 2010/2/15 21:37
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Re: Council may approve contract with police this month -- Union President and Mayor traded barbs
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The police department has been without a contract since the end of 2008. The contract was negotiated and settled a couple of weeks ago. The bottom line is people are not happy that the officer's finally have a contract. Some in the private sector obviously feel that it is unjust due to the current economy. At any given time those of you who are complaining about the police finally getting a contract , remember you could have put in an application and gone through the process and quite possibly become a police officer, but then you wouldn't have been able to work at a lucrative position in the private sector.Remember when the economy was doing well and people in the private sector didn't have to worry about job security and were quite happy making six figure salaries , while police officer's work for far less money then those in the private sector. Now that the private sector isn't doing as well as in the past and job security is an issue people now say it isn't fair.Well I beg to differ,everyone in life has choices, and the freedom to choose which choice to make. At the same time you live with the choices that you make. Tell me how many of you in the private sector five years ago would work without a raise for over a year ? If I was a betting man I would say none of you would. You choose your career, now live with those choices and stop complaining about others. How much do you think it's worth to leave your family each day not knowing whether you will return or not?

Posted on: 2010/2/15 21:29
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Re: Council may approve contract with police this month -- Union President and Mayor traded barbs
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Quote:

West wrote:
Quote:

teacher wrote:
no outrage over this? I am disapointed in this community....so the group only gets mad at Healy and not the roots of the issues.


I don't know about that, I think there is.

We're just busy focusing our energy to cut off the head of the beast, the rest will fall in line.


It's fine to focus your rage at Healy, however, out of control Police and Fire budgets are the reason this City is in the mess it's in. For years, one administration after another has knuckled under to the Police and Fire unions while paying out millions in overtime to them.

Until a Mayor has the guts to take these unions on and cut these public safety costs the City will never get out from under.

Posted on: 2010/2/15 20:58
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Re: Council may approve contract with police this month -- Union President and Mayor traded barbs
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Quote:

teacher wrote:
no outrage over this? I am disapointed in this community....so the group only gets mad at Healy and not the roots of the issues.


I don't know about that, I think there is.

We're just busy focusing our energy to cut off the head of the beast, the rest will fall in line.

Posted on: 2010/2/15 20:28
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Re: Council may approve contract with police this month -- Union President and Mayor traded barbs
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no outrage over this? I am disapointed in this community....so the group only gets mad at Healy and not the roots of the issues.

Posted on: 2010/2/15 20:23
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Re: Council may approve contract with police this month -- Union President and Mayor traded barbs
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The City is furloughing and laying off workers and the Police are getting increases ? WTF ?!

Posted on: 2010/2/15 18:12
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Council may approve contract with police this month -- Union President and Mayor traded barbs
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Jersey City Council may approve contract with police this month

By Melissa Hayes/The Jersey Journal
February 14, 2010, 1:20PM

The Jersey City Council could approve contracts with the city's police officers later this month.

Members of the Jersey City Police Officers Benevolent Association approved the contract last week.

The contract would be retroactive to Jan. 1, 2009 and run through Dec. 31, 2012. It calls for a 3 percent raise for 2009, 3.3 percent this year, 3.4 percent in 2011 and 3.5 percent in 2012.

Union President Jerry DeCicco and Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy traded barbs during the negotiation process. The union took out advertisements in The Jersey Journal criticizing Healy and the city.

One of the ads noted that the city paid an outside law firm $1.6 million to negotiate contracts, despite having a legal department.

At last Monday's council caucus, Councilwoman Viola Richardson questioned why the contract with that law firm, Morristown-based Schwartz, Simon, Edelstein, Celso and Kessler, was set to increase by $225,000.

Roger Grego, an attorney from the firm, said many of the negotiations have gone to arbitration, which takes time. He noted that the city met with representatives from the firefighters' union about 15 times to reach a tentative agreement, which union members voted against.

"Arbitration entails a lot of all day meetings," he said Monday.

But he said the police union has approved the negotiated contract, which will result in savings on health insurance.

The contract calls for all of the police officers to transfer out of the city's Blue Cross Blue Shield traditional health care plan by July 1.

Grego told City Council members Monday the move would save $2,500 to $2,700 per employee. That amounts to over $650,000, he said.

The police are the second union to transfer out of the traditional plan. Members of Jersey City Public Employees Local 246 gave up the plan when they accepted a contract in December.

The employees will instead enroll in an HMO.

The police will also be required to pay $13 for a month's supply of a brand name mail order medication and $1.50 for a one month supply of generic medication. Previously mail order prescriptions were free.

Posted on: 2010/2/15 15:07
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