Archives for : NJ FMBA

In The Spotlight…NJ FMBA Bulletin…Clifton FMBA 21

NJ Jackals First Responder Night- June 29, 2017

NJ FMBA supports Phil Murphy for NJ Governor

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Clifton FMBA 21 Was glad to participate in last night’s event in support of Phil Murphy for Governor. For nearly eight years Governor Christie has treated New Jersey’s public employees like the bad guys. January 2018 can’t come soon enough!

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In Like Flynn- NJ FMBA Cooked and Uncorked 2017

Clifton FMBA 21 members recently placed 2nd place in the Annual NJ FMBA Cooked and Uncorked fundraiser. Pictured from right to left: Tim Flynn, Tom Slanina, Andrew Intili, and President John Beard. See article above for more details.

Clifton FMBA 21- Cooked and Uncorked Event


On Monday, February 27, a team of firefighters from Clifton FMBA Local 21 will participate in the 7th annual Cooked and Uncorked Food and Wine Tasting event. This special event, hosted by the NJFMBA, pits teams of professional firefighters, representing 20 New Jersey fire departments, competing to show off their cooking talents, and will be held at the Pines Manor in Edison.

The event benefits the Saint Barnabas Burn Center and the New Jersey Firefighters Mutual Benevolent Association Foundation.

“The time our members spend together in the firehouse, sometimes in the kitchen, is an important part of their efforts to develop camaraderie and a sense of teamwork,” stated John Beard, President, FMBA Local 21. “That is every bit as important to their ability to do their jobs as the rigorous and continual training they go through every shift. This event is a great way for them to work together, blow off some steam, and raise money for some important causes.”

Tim Flynn, Clifton’s Cooked and Uncorked Executive Chef added, “Our team is ready to compete with the best firehouse chefs in New Jersey, and we are proud to dedicate our participation to the memory of Scott Danielson, a committed volunteer first responder, and brother of one of our members, who died in 2016 after responding to a car accident.”

-Story by Steve Lenox Consulting

Firefighter Appreciation Night at the NJ Devils

Members of Clifton FMBA Local 21 were proud to join firefighters from across the state, professional and volunteer, at the Prudential Center for the NJ Devils Firefighter Appreciation night.

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NJ FMBA Fund Raising Hockey Game

NJ FMBA Fund Raising Hockey Game

On Saturday January 7, 2017 the NJ FMBA will be having a Fund Raising game at the Prudential Center. All the money raised will go towards the NJ FMBA PAC. See the flyer below for information on how to get your tickets.

This is a special night in that it is Firefighter Appreciation Night and all firefighters are invited to attend. The NJ FMBA Honor Guard will present the Colors before the game and Deputy Chief Kevin Brady from the Linden FD will sing the National Anthem! We are also working on a ceremonial puck drop before the game! 

If you order your tickets before December 15th you will receive a NJ Devils/NJ FMBA Challenge Coin courtesy of the NJ Devils

 

 

You can order your tickets by clicking on the link in the flyer or go to www.newjerseydevils.com/njfmba

 

https://www.nhl.com/devils/tickets/firefighter-appreciation-night

 

The Promo Code is: NJFMBA

Tickets start at only $45.61

If you have any questions you can call Matthew Fishbein with the Devils at 973-757-6123 or at mfishbein@newjerseydevils.com

 

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NJ FMBA Night at the NJ Devils

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NJ FMBA Endorses Phil Murphy for Governor of NJ

“The NJ FMBA, and our members, committed long ago to be heard in the race for New Jersey Governor, to bring an end to an era where the issues that matter to us — retirement security, affordable health care and safety on the job — were ignored.

Phil Murphy has made his entire campaign about listening to and learning about the struggles faced by working families all over New Jersey, he understands what’s important to firefighters, EMTs and dispatchers throughout the state, and we know he is the right person to change the way Trenton does business.”

 

– President Eddie Donnelly

Passaic County Red Mass- Clifton FMBA 21

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Photo courtesy of Joe Gigli

NJ FMBA Rally

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Ch. 78 UPDATE FOR MEMBERS WITH LESS THAN 20 YEARS OF SERVICE

Ch. 78 UPDATE FOR MEMBERS WITH LESS THAN 20 YEARS OF SERVICE

 

Thank you to Belleville Locals 29 and 229 for bringing to the forefront a discussion on the implementation of Chapter 78 as it relates to retiree health benefit contributions and the issue of contract impairment.

The NJ FMBA has received an opinion from DCA which states that members who were covered by a collective negotiations agreement at the time of Chapter 78 implementation, 6/28/2011, and reached 20 years of service in a retirement system during the term of that agreement, are exempt from paying for health care in retirement as it relates to the Chapter 78 grid.

This is an important finding by your State Union and we are proud of the hard work by all those involved in providing this opinion. We will have a full report at the August meeting and a copy of the opinion will be available to any Local needing it for clarification.

Below is a summary from our Chief State Counsel which will be printed in our July Bulletin.

Eddie

RETIREES WITH LESS THAN 20 YEARS OF SERVICE IN A RETIREMENT SYSTEM AS OF JUNE 28, 2011 ARE EXEMPT FROM MAKING HEALTH BENEFIT CONTRIBUTIONS UNDER CHAPTER 78 IF A BARGAINING AGREEMENT WAS IN PLACE

The NJ FMBA has been diligently researching the issue of retiree health benefit contribution obligations under Chapter 78 for firefighters/fire officers who had less than 20 years of creditable service in the PFRS pension fund as of June 28, 2011 but were covered by a collective negotiations agreement in force on that date and whether these employees will be subject to health benefit contributions under Chapter 78 in retirement if they reached 20 years of service in PFRS prior to the expiration of their contract.    The answer to this question is no, these firefighters/fire officers will not be subject to retiree health benefit contributions under Chapter 78.

Chapter 78 states that retirees who accrue 25 years of service on or after June 28, 2011 or on or after the expiration of a collective negotiations agreement that was in effect on June 28, 2011, and retire after that date, will be required to contribute a percentage of the cost of healthcare benefit premiums in retirement, based on their retirement benefit.  Thus, it is clear from the language in this section of Chapter 78 that the 25 years of service threshold must be obtained either as of June 28, 2011 (if no collective negotiations agreement was in effect), or prior to the expiration of a collective negotiations agreement in effect as of June 28, 2011.  The statute exempts from this obligation those members who had 20 years of service in a retirement system on or after June 28, 2011 or on or after the expiration of a collective negotiations agreement that was in effect on June 28, 2011, and retire after that date.  N.J.S.A. 52:14-17.28d(b)(3).

The Department of Community Affairs, Division of Local Government Services, issued a Local Finance Notice, LFN 2011-20R, on November 23, 2011 (“Notice”).  The Notice is intended to provide guidance to local government units who provide healthcare coverage to their employees.   Section I of the Notice defines “effective date” as follows:

Effective date is June 28, 2011.  The law is effective on that date for employees not under a CNA, and upon contract expiration for employees with a CNA.  

Section IV of the Notice sets forth the obligations for retiree health benefit contributions under Chapter 78.  It states as follows:

N.J.S.A. 52:14-17.38 (for SHBP members) and 40A:10-23 (for all other local units) allows employers to assume payment obligations for health care benefits in retirement when various eligibility criteria are met.  They are often referred to as “Chapter 88” or “Chapter 44” and include so-called “62/15” (age/years of service) health care retirement benefits.

Chapter 78 requires, with some important exceptions, all public employees, that retire after the effective date and receive employer paid health benefits, to make a health benefits contribution, paid to their employer as a deduction from their retirement benefit.  A key exception is, in the absence of a local unit requirement to make a contribution that the c.78 requirement for retiree health insurance contributions does not apply to employees that have 20 years or more of service in a state or local retirement system as of the effective date and meet the eligibility requirements of the employer pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:10-23, (i.e., 62/15 or 25 yrs)(b3).

Thus, the contribution requirement affects most employees with less than 20 years of service as of the effective date.  When these employees retire, they shall have deducted from their retirement allowance the health benefit contribution, using the retirement allowance as if it were the base salary (b1).

Thus, local unit employees that receive retirement health care paid for by their employers (as per N.J.S.A. 40A:10-23 or other similar law) are exempt from the health benefits contribution required by c.78 if:

1)They are covered or connected to a CNA; and,

2)They reach the age/years of service requirements (at least 62/15, pursuant to an approved local policy) for the benefit no later than the expiration of a contract that was in force on the effective date; or,

3)In the absence of a CNA, they reached the required age/years of service requirements (at least 62/15, pursuant to an approved local policy) for the benefit prior to the effective date; or

4)They had 20 or more years of creditable service in one or more State or locally-administered retirement systems on the effective date.

Regardless of CNA status, the amount paid by a retiree, not grandfathered by the foregoing, is based on the benefit in effect at the time the employee becomes eligible for the benefit, provided that the retiree pays at a minimum the contribution required by Chapter 78.  As these can vary case-by-case, local officials should be sure to diligently maintain records of benefits in effect when employees reach retirement benefit eligibility.

It is possible there are some local units that have plans or practices that are not consistent with N.J.S.A. 40A:10-23 or have other practices that are not consistent with the law.  In these cases, local unit legal advisors should carefully review the law to determine how it should be applied locally and take the opportunity to bring their plans into compliance with this statute.

The Local Finance Notice confirms that the effective date for those with a collective negotiations agreement in force as of June 28, 2011 is upon expiration of the CNA.  It states that if aretiree was covered by a collective negotiations agreement, and had 20 or more years of creditable service in one or more State or locally-administered retirement systems on the “effective date”, the retiree is exempt from health benefit contributions required by Chapter 78.

The NJFMBA communicated with the Department of Community Affairs who confirmed that “The Division’s Local Finance Notice 2011-20R at Section IV (p. 9) advises that P.L. 2011, c.78 permits municipal employees with 20 or more years of service credit by the effective date to be exempt from the retiree healthcare contributions required by Chapter 78.  See N.J.S.A. 40A:10-21.1b(3) or 52:14-17.28d(b)(3).  As such, unless their collective negotiated agreement says otherwise …individuals [reaching 20 years of service in a retirement system prior to the expiration of the contract in force as of June 28, 2011] would be exempt from contributing toward post-retirement health benefits pursuant to the Chapter 78 grid.”

Anyone in this situation who is contemplating retirement is urged to confirm their retiree health benefit contribution obligation status with their public employer prior to filing for retirement.

PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO THIS E-MAIL ADDRESS. ANY QUESTIONS PLEASE CALL THE STATE OFFICE.

Eddie Donnelly, President NJ FMBA
http://www.njfmba.org/

NJ FMBA Press Conference Update- Change of Venue

We look forward to seeing you Monday in Teaneck as the NJ FMBA officially announces our endorsement of Josh Gottheimer for Congress.
The response we have gotten has been great, and we have decided to move to a larger venue.
This event will now be held at:

Fire Station 4
1375 Windsor Road

Please join us, along with Congressman Bill Pascrell and Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco, to show Josh, and especially his opponent who has consistently fought efforts to support firefighters, EMTs and dispatchers, just how strong the voices of the more than 5000 members of the NJFMBA can be!
NJ FMBA
www.NJFMBA.org

A important message fron the NJ State FMBA

All FMBA members are invited and encouraged to attend a very important endorsement announcement in support of Josh Gottheimer on Monday, May 23 at Teaneck Fire Station 2 located at 617 Cedar Lane in Teaneck.

The response we have gotten has been great, and we have decided to move to a larger venue.
This event will now be held at:

Fire Station 4
1375 Windsor Road

 

Members are asked to arrive by 10:45 a.m. and wear their union logos.

In what has already become one of the most closely watched races in the country, Josh Gottheimer is running for Congress against incumbent Scott Garrett in New Jersey’s 5th Congressional District which covers parts of Bergen, Passaic, Sussex and Warren counties.

In Congress since 2003, Scott Garrett has stood against issues critical to New Jersey firefighters, EMTs and dispatchers, worked to deny SAFER Funds to communities across the state, and voted against the James Zadroga Act to provide health care to first responders whose health has been impacted by their heroic response to the 9/11 terror attacks.

We know that once elected Josh will work shoulder to shoulder with Congressman Bill Pascrell and be another strong voice for our members in Washington, D.C. We are proud that Congressman Pascrell will also join us on Monday and lend his support for this endorsement.

Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco will also join us at this important event.

Our opportunity to make a change this November starts on Monday!

Hope to see you all there!

NJ State FMBA Picnic- June 8, 2016

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