Monthly Archives: January 2013

Commission Rules That City May Limit Use of Acting Captains to Shifts Where Fire Alarm Occurs

By Ira W. Mintz, Esq.

City of Rahway and FMBA Local 33

In P.E.R.C. No. 2013-13, the Commission restrained arbitration of a grievance challenging the City’s decision to limit designation of firefighters as acting captains only to shifts where a response to a fire alarm occurs.  Although the Commission’s decision recites only the City’s legal arguments, it appears that the City had routinely used firefighters to fill vacancies caused by illness or scheduled leave.

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Commission Restrains Arbitration Over Claim that 1.5% Required Health Benefits Premium Contribution Does Not Apply Where Employee Takes Dental Care Only

By Ira W. Mintz, Esq.

Town of Morristown and PBA Local 43

In P.E.R.C. No. 2013-11, the Commission restrained arbitration of a grievance challenging the Town’s deduction of 1.5% of base salary towards the cost of dental insurance for an employee who waived basic health benefits.  The employee’s total yearly deduction was more than the annual cost of the dental premium.  The Department of Community Affairs has issued a Local Finance Notice that states that the full 1.5% should be deducted regardless of the employee’s specific coverage, but that the contribution should not exceed the cost of the selected coverage.  Relying on the Local Finance Notice and without performing the required independent scope of negotiations analysis, the Commission restrained arbitration except to the extent the grievance asserted that the salary deductions exceeded the cost of the dental care premium.

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