The membership of Local 55 are sensitive to the economic crisis facing the residents of our
city. We are all New Jersey residents, many of us living in the City of Summit, and therefore are
not immune to the struggles brought on by the current economic crisis. We are committed to
working with the city to provide the most professional, accessible police services but are
disheartened by misinformation and shortsighted political wrangling at the local and state level.
Below we attempt to inform and despel some popular misrepresentations.
Myth 1: Summit has too many police officers.
Fact: Based on the nationally accepted ratio of 2.4 officers
per 1000 residents, the Summit Police are understaffed.
Myth 2: Police officers receive free health benefits
upon retirement until death.
Fact: Although some bargaining agreements may offer this,
the current agreement between this PBA and city has no
Myth 3: Police essentially recieve a free pension upon
Fact: Members of the PFRS (Police and Fire Retirement
System) pay 8.5% of their pay into thier pension fund. This
contribution is currently the highest in the country.
Myth 4: The PFRS fund is currently underfunded due
to its members not making required contributions.
Fact: Members have continued to make all necessary
contributions, however, municipalities have not as they
enjoyed a 7+ year "deferment".
Myth 5: Police enjoy a "golden parachute", where they
are paid for accumulated sick and vacation time upon
Fact: Again, the bargaining agreement between this local
and city allows for no such benefit.
Myth 6: Binding arbitration awards in favor of
police unions have resulted in crippling
contractual obligations that cities must accept.
Truth: Through true cooperation and responsible
negotiation, the city and local have never been forced
to submit to arbitration.
Myth 7: Police unions refuse to assist in these
crisises instead hiding behind thier collective
Truth: Local 55, on its own accord, opened a dialog
with the city which of this date has resulted in the
presentation of THREE INDIVIDUAL OFFERS to the
common council. These proposals offered a savings
with regard to members' compensation, health
benefits and opportunity for the city to collect revenue
for officers' extra duty work. Of this process,
councilwoman Nuris Portuondo stated in council
meeting that the unions are negotiating in good faith.
As I write this, these offers were either summarily
rejected or resulted in no response from the council.
Myth 8: Summit Police Officers working traffic
control for construction and security jobs (such
as Overlook Hospital) cost the city money and
deplete police resources.
Truth: These jobs are worked on the officer's own
time, with all compensation paid by the contracting
company including any adminstrative costs.
MAKE YOUR VOICE
CLICK HERE to email
the mayor and council in
support of your police.
Next Common Council Meeting:
Tuesday, June 15th
COMMUNITY LEADERS ARE WEIGHING IN
Click here to read Mayor Glatt's reaction
Click here to read Councilman Vernotico's reaction