June 17, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES I • Page 3 Franklin Lakes Borough seeks reform of arbitration process by Frank J. McMahon The Franklin Lakes Council has approved a resolution urging the New Jersey State Legislature to pass legislation containing substantial reforms to the binding arbitration process. A copy of the resolution has been forwarded to elected state officials and the New Jersey League of Municipalities. The New Jersey Employer-Employee Relations Act of 1977 requires negotiations and binding arbitration between fire and police department representatives and their employers because strikes are not permitted by those public employees. Both sides must meet at least 120 days before a current contract expires, and if negotiations reach an impasse, either side can notify the Public Employment Relations Commission, which can invoke fact finding with a recommendation for a settlement, or either party can petition the commission for arbitration. If the two sides in the dispute cannot agree on a final settlement within 10 days, an arbitrator will make a decision in the dispute and determine an agreement using nine criteria set forth in the statute. Those criteria include the interest and welfare of the public, the wages and salaries of the employees involved in the arbitration, similar private and public employees - including those in similar comparable jurisdictions, the overall compensation presently received by the employees, any stipulations put forward by both parties, the legal authority of the employer, the financial impact on the governing unit and its residents and taxpayers, the cost of living, the continuity and stability of employment including seniority rights, and the state’s four percent property tax levy cap. According to the borough’s resolution, the binding arbitration process was intended to support local government aims by arriving at award decisions that are equitable to all involved parties, including the municipalities, the police and fire department personnel, and the taxpayers. But it highlights the fact that while municipalities are bound by strict fiscal controls embodied in the expenditure limit and tax levy cap laws, it is normal for state approved arbitrators to award raises for police salaries at the rates that exceed those annual caps. The resolution claims that binding arbitration awards in excess of the caps force municipalities to cut other critically needed municipal services in order to fund those salary increases, which are compounded by pension increases to police and fire personnel, and the costs for police and fire services which continue to rise at “an unacceptable rate.” “The state approved binding arbitration process is inconsistent with the state cap laws and is unfair to municipalities attempting to control property taxes through fiscal (continued on page 31) Chiropractic Wellness Center It Takes One To Know One! ��������������������������������������������������� � �������������������������������� ������������������������������������������ ������������������������������������ ������������������������ Wardrobe 911 ������������������������ ������������������������ � �������������� ����������������������� �������������������������������������������� �������������������������������������� ��������������� ���������������������������� ������������������ ������������������� ������������������� �������������������������������������������������������������� ��������������������������������������� ������������   6-17-09 Pat from Janine DrMilazzo2x2(6-17-09) You won’t be in 2 col waiting room the x 2” long The office is open 7 days a week We use state-of-the-art equipment with electronic medical records Open House Meet & Greet Back By Popular Demand! You’re Invited! 6-17-09 pat/janine You can reach your doctor 24 hrs./day Wardrobe911_2x2(6-17-09) 7days/week 2 x 2”  Come see what the buzz is all about! 6-3-09 ester/janine DietCtr2xColor(6-3-09) 2 x 3.5” meet and greet/open house Time: Saturday, June 27th 11AM - 4PM Sunday, June 28th 11AM - 4PM Place: 810 Franklin Avenue, Franklin Lakes Food: Catered by the Market Basket We’d like to meet you and your family. Please feel welcome to stop by and introduce yourself to the practice. RSVP is not required, but would be appreciated. Call (201) 485-7557 or email emichaels@milestonespediatrics.com We are accepting new patients from newborns to age 21. Call (201) 485-7557 to schedule an appointment 810 Franklin Avenue Franklin Lakes, NJ 07417 www.milestonespediatrics.com