WEST ORANGE FINALIZES BENCHMARK UNION AGREEMENT
April 7, 2011
After much negotiation, the Township of West Orange and the Unions of the Township’s Fire Department came to a monumental agreement to avoid foreseen layoffs and demotions that many New Jersey municipalities succumbed during these tough economic times
The Unions, which include Union 28 F.M.B.A. (the rank and file firefighters) and the S.O.A. West Orange Fire Department (the Fire Superior Officers), agreed to an unprecedented contribution of 7.5% of pensionable base salary towards the costs of health benefits. This is the first occurrence within the state where a union negotiated this size contribution.
Before this deal was struck and with tough budgetary decisions in sight, the Township was forced to file a layoff and demotion plan with the Department of Civil Service in January 2011; the plan was ultimately approved. Faced with a possible 27 layoffs and/or demotions in the Fire Department, the Unions made great strides with Township Mayor Robert Parisi to avoid such actions.
Mayor Parisi strongly supported the compromises and on March 14, 2011, the Township’s Council unanimously approved this benchmark final Agreement.
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