Archives for : NJ FMBA

Help us continue to fight for New Jersey’s bravest and chip in today! Firefighter Cancer Donations

 

Last week we stoof with Congressman Bill Pascrell and Senator Bob Menendez to call on Congress to create a national database to help us gain a better understanding of links between long term exposure firefighters have to pollutants during fires and cancer. Initiatives like this can save firefighter’s lives.

That’s why we work hard to educate and support elected officials who understand the sacrifices made by our brothers and sisters. Whether we’re protecting our hard-earned pensions, working to increase safety or fighting for funding to help support 9/11 first responders, our voices need to be unified, loud and clear.

Help us continue to fight for New Jersey’s bravest and chip in today.

Click here to donate $10, $15, $25, $50 or $75 today.  

In solidarity,

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

NJ State FMBA President Ed Donnelly, Congressman Bill Pascrell, and Senator Bob Menendez Speak in Clifton Fire House regarding Cancer Bill for Firefighters

nj fmbaLarge Blog Image

The Clifton Fire Department and Clifton FMBA 21 were honored to hold a press conference this morning on a very important topic. This legislation is very important to the health and safety of every firefighter in the United States. There is no greater friends to the fire service than Congressman Bill Pascrell and Senator Bob Menendez. Clifton Fire Department and Clifton FMBA 21 would like to thank them for their continued support.

H.R. 4625, Firefighter Cancer Registry Act of 2016 would establish a specialized national cancer registry to improve collection infrastructure and research activities related to monitoring and studying cancer incidence among firefighters. The registry would improve collection capabilities and activities related to the nationwide monitoring of cancer incidence among all firefighters – career and volunteer. Specifically, the registry would:

•  Store and consolidate epidemiological information submitted by healthcare professionals related to cancer incidence among firefighters.
• Make de-identified data available to public health researchers to provide them with robust and comprehensive datasets to expand groundbreaking research.
• Improve our understanding of cancer incidence and could potentially lead to the development of more sophisticated safety protocols and safeguards as more data is collected.
• Ensure effectiveness by requiring its administrators to consult regularly with epidemiologists, public health experts, clinicians, and firefighters.

Tune into your local news for more info on this Important Bill.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

Attention All FMBA 21 Members- You are needed Thursday, May 5, 2016 at Clifton Fire Station 5

nj fmba

The New Jersey FMBA will participate in an important press conference this Thursday, May 5, with Congressman Bill Pascrell and Senator Robert Menendez to support the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act.

More information about this bill follows.
The event will be held at Clifton Firehouse 5, 51 Brighton Ave, Clifton beginning at 10:00 a.m.  Please join us as to show your Local’s support for this important legislation! As always wear your helmets and station gear or FMBA logos.

For more information please call Kyle Hughes, Northern District VP or the State Office at 732 499 9250.

H.R. 4625, Firefighter Cancer Registry Act of 2016 would establish a specialized national cancer registry to improve collection infrastructure and research activities related to monitoring and studying cancer incidence among firefighters. The registry would improve collection capabilities and activities related to the nationwide monitoring of cancer incidence among all firefighters – career and volunteer. Specifically, the registry would:

•  Store and consolidate epidemiological information submitted by healthcare professionals related to cancer incidence among firefighters.
• Make de-identified data available to public health researchers to provide them with robust and comprehensive datasets to expand groundbreaking research.
• Improve our understanding of cancer incidence and could potentially lead to the development of more sophisticated safety protocols and safeguards as more data is collected.
• Ensure effectiveness by requiring its administrators to consult regularly with epidemiologists, public health experts, clinicians, and firefighters.

In solidarity,

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

New Jersey State FMBA · United States

FMBA 21 Picnic 2016 at The NJ Jackals

FMBA 21 Picnic 2016 Flyer

COLA- NJ Courts- Very Important Info For Retirees or Soon-To-Be Retirees

 banner_topLeft.gif

 

Very important to our retirees and soon to be retirees.

Thanks, Billy McMahon- FMBA 21 Delegate

Follow this link to listen to the COLA Oral Arguments from the NJ Court System:

The next Supreme Court Webcasts are scheduled for March 14, 2016 and March 15, 2016 beginning at 10 a.m.

http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/webcast/

Elect Mike Caposella PFRS Trustee – A message from the NJ FMBA

As you have heard, you will soon be receiving your ballot to elect a new Trustee to the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System (PFRS) Board. You know the importance of this election, and we need your full participation in it.

Vote_Mike.JPG

I was proud to serve in this position from 2004 to 2012, to provide our members with a strong voice on the important issues that affect our pensions. I can’t emphasize enough how critical it is that the NJ FMBA have strong representation on this Board, especially now as our pensions continue to come under attack.
The NJ FMBA has offered our unanimous endorsement to Mike Caposella of Paterson FMBA Local 202. Mike, currently a Captain, has served the Paterson Fire Department for over twenty years, and has served as Treasurer for both Local 2 and now Local 202. He is a member of Local 202’s negotiating team and has developed extensive experience dealing with management representatives. Mike will bring this, and his experience as a thirty-year small business owner to bear on this position.
I have had the privilege of knowing Mike for a number of years. His work ethic and dedication to the fire service is second to none. When elected, I know that Mike will continue to be a tireless advocate for us, do all that he can to protect the integrity of our retirement system, and fight against efforts to break the ‘sacred trust’ that is meant to exist between us and the State of New Jersey when it comes to our retirement security.
Your Local President and Executive Delegate have likely already heard from your NJ FMBA District Vice President, and should be prepared to answer any questions you may have on this issue.
It has become clear in recent months that support for Mike among our members is overwhelming, but it’s your vote that counts. Without taking the steps necessary to cast your ballot, the support he has already earned means very little.
If any questions remain, or if you would like to know more about why this position is so important, please don’t hesitate to call me directly at 732-499-9250.
In Solidarity,

Rich Mikutsky, VP NJ FMBA
http://www.njfmba.org/

 

Update of COLA Litigation – NJ FMBA

Update of COLA litigation from NJFMBA Chief State Counsel

 

On March 27, 2012, the NJFMBA and other public sector labor organizations filed a declaratory judgment action alleging that Chapter 78 is unconstitutional because, effective June 28, 2011, it suspended COLAs for all pension funds including active and retired members of PERS, TPAF and PFRS.  On May 25, 2012, the lower court dismissed the action on the basis that COLA funding was subject to legislative appropriations and one legislature could not bind another.

The parties appealed the decision to the appellate court and oral argument was heard by the Appellate Court on January 28, 2014.

On June 26, 2014, the appellate court issued its decision in the COLA lawsuit.   The court found that the statute created a contractual, non-forfeitable right to pension benefits, inclusive of COLA.  Since the appeals court found that current and future retirees have a contractual right to COLA, and the lower court did not address whether the 2011 statute impaired that contractual right in violation of the Constitution, the case was sent back to the lower court to make that determination.

On July 16, 2014, the State filed a cross-petition for certification to the NJ Supreme Court appealing the decision of the Appellate Division disputing whether Chapter 78 created a contractual right to the receipt of COLA.

On July 14, 2014, one of the pro se plaintiffs, Charles Ouslander, filed a petition for certification to the NJ Supreme Court to review the federal Contracts Clause and equitable estoppel claims which were dismissed by the appellate court.

On July 31, 2015, the Supreme Court granted the Ouslander petition and State cross-petition for certification.  The NJFMBA continues to be actively participating in the case.  Oral argument will be scheduled shortly.  The Court hears oral argument 2-5 times per month beginning in September and ending in April.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact the State office.

Donnelly: Christie didn’t live up to his end of the deal

donnelly[1]

Ed Donnelly, president of the New Jersey Fireman’s Mutual Benevolent Association (NJFMBA), reacted this afternoon to this morning’s ruling by the New Jersey Supreme Court on the pension suit brought against Gov. Chris Christie.

One of the plaintiffs in the case, Donnelly bitterly absorbed the news.

“We share in the disappointment over the Supreme Court’s ruling, and are even more disappointed that we have to continue having this fight with Governor after Governor to get them to do what’s right,” said Donnelly. “Our members take their jobs knowing the dangers they are going to face, and time after time they rise to the occasion, putting their lives on the line to save others. In return, all that we ask is that the sacred vow we made with our employers, that after years of risking our lives and facing unspeakable tragedy, we have healthy and secure retirements, be kept.

“This Supreme Court ruling is another obstacle on the way to finding a path forward towards guaranteeing the health of the of the New Jersey public pension system as a whole,” the firefighter added. “What has worked for the PFRS, the portion of the pension system our members are enrolled in, can work across the entire system, but only if those obligated to make their contributions do so. History will show what many of us already know, Governor Christie has done nothing to preserve the New Jersey pension system. In fact, he continues to put the pensions of tens of thousands of loyal firefighters, police officers, teachers and others at risk.  His calls of coming to the table for meaningful dialogue ring empty, for despite our requests there has never been dialogue, only a steady stream of misguided attacks on men and women like those of the FMBA risking their lives to keep New Jersey safe.

“Governor Christie has failed to live up to his end of his deal, and our members, as well as the State of New Jersey, are suffering. We’d ask the Governor for a commitment to do his part, but we know that he is incapable of keeping his word. He has built his legacy on lies and broken promises, something you can be sure our members, and those that care about integrity not just in New Jersey, but across the US, will stand up and take notice of.”

 

Source:

By |

http://politickernj.com/2015/06/donnelly-christie-didnt-live-up-to-his-end-of-the-deal/

 

Fallen Heroes Memorial 5K

Fallen Heroes Memorial 5K

Facts about the Police and Fire Retirement System

PFRS Facts

PFANJ FMBA Merger Results

NJ FMBA Merger Results

Bloomfield Firefighter Ron Fusaro Needs Our Support

Dear Members,

Bloomfield Firefighter Ron Fusaro could use our help. His home was completely destroyed by fire a couple of days ago, luckily while nobody was home.

Below is a link to the funding page where we can all chip in to support our brother in need.

Please pass the link along to our membership and let’s do what we can.

“Nobody can do everything, but everybody could do something.”

http://www.gofundme.com/u2pshc

In Solidarity,
Kyle Hughes

Ask The Governor: Police and Fire Pension System

Please watch these videos regarding YOUR PENSION!

Ask The Governor Part 1

Ask The Governor Part 2

Assembly Speaker Vincent Pietro

Senate President Stephen Sweeney

 

Use Police and Firemen’s Retirement System as a model that works!

A Message from the NJ State FMBA Office:

Use Police and Firemen’s Retirement System as a model that works!

 

I would like to bring some clarity to the extremely confusing make-up of the New Jersey pension system.

The system consists of five separate and distinct parts. In addition to the Police and Fireman’s Retirement System (PFRS), school employees are members of the Teachers Pension and Annuity Fund (TPAF), Troopers are members of the State Police Retirement System (SPRS), judges are members of the Judicial Retirement System (JRS) and all other public employees are members of the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS). Each system has specific funding formulas and retirement benefits.

In 2011, the Legislature enacted Chapter 78, which consisted of reforms to all five parts of the pension system. Among those reforms included higher contributions from employees, reductions to benefits for active and future employees and the elimination of cost-of-living adjustments (COLA).

Another important piece of the legislation was the creation of local and state distinctions between the systems. What that means is firefighters, police, EMTs, dispatchers and other local government employees do not receive funding from the state for their pensions; they rely solely on payments from the employees and their municipalities. Local government budgets fund the employer portion of the system.

Currently, the police and fire (PFRS) system is funded to 77 percent. Actuaries consider 80 percent to be healthy. Since 2010, PFRS members contribute 10 percent of their salary toward their pension, which is an increase from 8.5 percent. No other workers covered by the New Jersey public employee pension system contributes to that level.
Unfortunately, the state has continued its actuarial practice of using the increased contributions of career firefighters and police officers to offset other items in the state budget outside of the pension fund. Last year, more than $54 million of increased employee contributions were pilfered from the PFRS system.

The police and fire pension system’s unique characteristics must be considered. PFRS is funded at a higher level, because municipalities and police and firefighters have been contributing their share. The other four parts of the pension system, however, require the state to contribute to them, but it has continuously shortchanged them.

Local governments are making their payments. If the monies from the system stay in the system and strict funding practices are followed, our system will grow even stronger and healthier without further amendments or restructuring. Why would we restructure part of a system that is working?

It is expected that the Pension and Benefit Study Commission formed by Gov. Christie will recommend further reform. There have been back-room conversations in regard to implementing a 401(K) for current and future members along with other reforms. The PFRS needs to be analyzed separately. The healthiest plan in the system should be carved out, preserved and used as a model for what works. With the distinct differences in the systems, it would be unjust to use a “broad stroke” approach for all funds. Such an approach should not be considered, let alone implemented.

The governor and Legislature should be diligent and demand that before any further changes to public employee pensions are proposed, objective information should be gathered and dialogue with the leaders of the unions representing the pensioners should be conducted.

***Eddie Donnelly is president of the New Jersey State Firefighters Mutual Benevolent Association, which represents more than 5,000 active and retired career firefighters, EMTs and dispatchers.