Dear Brothers & Sisters,
Today, as we celebrate today's momentous 100th anniversary of the founding of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) across the United States and Canada, we wanted to update you on critical legislation here in New Jersey that affects our hard-earned retirements.
As you are well aware, the PFANJ was against the plan to have unions take control of the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System (PFRS). Unfortunately, momentum supporting the legislation pushed the PFANJ to either stand by and let Senate Bill S5 – the pension take-over legislation - go forward as initially drafted, or to join the process and negotiate changes that would better protect the hard-earned retirements of our members. After negotiating to get several critical changes made to the bill, the PFANJ signed onto the legislation.
From the outset, a major PFANJ concern regarding this legislation was that it could morph into something much different than the unions originally pushing it intended.
Unfortunately, it's become increasingly apparent that we're now entering that territory.
S5 was posted for a vote in the NJ State Senate on Monday, February 26, 2018. Before a vote could be held, word spread that the Assembly and Governor’s office had changes to S5. The Senate then removed S5 from the agenda. No changes were discussed with the PFANJ or with any other stakeholder of the PFRS.
We have reached out to Governor Murphy, Assembly Speaker Coughlin, and other stakeholders for updates and to reiterate our concerns. We will not support S5 if changes are made to grant more control of the PFRS to municipalities over the unions. Senate President Sweeney has committed to us that he will not move legislation that undermines the intent of the original draft of S5.
This legislation affects the hard-earned benefits of our current and future retirees. The PFANJ will fight to ensure those benefits remain as secure as possible. With that, we also remind all members to members to vote for PFANJ 5th District Vice President and Newark Fire Officers Union Local 1860 Anthony Tarantino for PFRS Pension Trustee.
Fraternally and united,
Dominick Marino, President
Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey