Association of Fire Fighters State Association
on the Front Line Protecting "New Jersey's Bravest"-- --Established 1929--
of the New Jersey State AFL-CIO
to the home page of the Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey, proudly
representing the interests and concerns of New Jersey's Bravest and their loved
encourage our membership to periodically, if not several times daily, review the
contents of this web site and it's various departments, in order to remain up
to date and conversant on the issues facing our profession in the 21st century.
In the event you need more specific or additional information,
we further encourage you to submit your inquiry or commentary via e-mail to email@example.com.
We will endeavor to provide any needed information or address any concern in a
Make Your Voice Heard:
What's New at the PFANJ:
Update on S1778 and A1196 - "Thomas P. Canzanella Twenty First Century First Responders Protection Act" Concerns Workers' Compensation for Public Safety Workers
To all members:
On May 20, 2013, the legislation to protect first responders and their families was passed in the assembly by a vote of 53-19-4.
The bill was recently approved by the Senate with a vote of 21-13.
The legislation is now on the governor’s desk. We are not quite done yet. We are two-thirds of the way to our goal.
We need everyone to contact the governor and ask him to sign the legislation into law. It would also help for you to contact republican legislators and ask them to ask the governor to sign the legislation into law.
The public safety workers covered by the bill include paid or volunteer emergency, correctional, fire, police and medical personnel.
New Jersey is not the first state to enact a presumption law; it is one of the LAST states. About 70% of the states have a Cancer presumption law.
Many people have stated time and time again, that they understand the sacrifices that first responders go through and that first responders are “domestic” soldiers who protect New Jersey and its citizen’s day in and day out. This bill is the way to show New Jersey First Responders how you support them and their families.
National EMS Week
5/19/13 through 5/25/13
“One Mission, One Team”
On behalf of the PFANJ and all our members we recognize our fellow Union members on their dedicated service to the citizens and visitors of New Jersey.
NJPF Bravest Relief Fund is a charitable fund supported by tax deductible gifts and contributions established to aid the surviving families of career professional firefighters who make the Supreme Sacrifice in the performance of their sworn duties protecting the lives and property of the Citizens of the Great State of New Jersey.
Contributions are also accepted that will benefit members of the Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey who have suffered a catastrophic loss of their residence or have suffered significant damage do to sever weather or natural disaster.
Gifts and contributions that will benefit the widows and children of our firefighters who pass in the line of duty are profoundly appreciated and rewarded depending upon the type and amount thereof. Special events, plaques, certificates of appreciation, ads in our journals and signs at our events are typically employed to recognize the generosity of individuals or concerns making significant endowments.
For further information relative to making a contribution, please contact: New Jersey Professional Firefighters Bravest Emergency Relief Fund, 24 W. Lafayette St., Trenton, NJ 08608
-Event Sponsorships Available-
LEGISLATIVE ADVISORY U.S. House Passes “Comp Time” Bill
Undermining Overtime Pay
The “Working Families Flexibility Act of 2013” also known as “comp time” legislation, passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 223 to 204 mostly along party lines on May 8, 2013. We thank all members of the New Jersey House delegation who voted against this anti-worker bill and are proud that of the eight Republicans throughout the nation who opposed this bill, three were from New Jersey.
While this bill is unlikely to gain traction in the Senate and the President has promised to veto the legislation, it is alarming that such a bill could be passed by the House. This deceptively named legislation takes a significant step backwards for employees because it dilutes their ability to earn overtime pay while also undermining the 40-hour work week.
This legislation provides employers with a financial incentive to establish a “comp time” system that shortchanges workers both financially and logistically in regard to work-week hours and scheduling. Under this bill, the benefit of flexibility would be granted only to employers – at the cost of employees.
Please find a vote breakdown for New Jersey’s House delegation below:
New Jersey House Delegation vote on H.R. 1406
Rob Andrews (D-01)
Frank LoBiondo (R-02)
Jon Runyan (R-03)
Chris Smith (R-04)
Scott Garrett (R-05)
Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-06)
Leonard Lance (R-07)
Albio Sires (D-08)
Bill Pascrell (D-09)
Donald Payne, Jr. (D-10)
Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-11)
Rush Holt (D-12)
N.J. Gov. Sends Back EMS Overhaul Bill, Again For the second time, state legislators have tried to overhaul emergency medical services in New Jersey. And for the second time Gov. Chris Christie has told them to go back to the drawing board.
The bill (S-1650) would have increased state supervision of EMS, giving officials the authority to license paramedics and emergency medical technicians; require background checks on emergency workers; and establish minimum EMS standards for response times.
But Christie wrote in his veto message that the bill failed to address a series of issues that he raised when he vetoed an earlier version, including its effect on property taxes and EMS volunteers.
The law is widely viewed as the most historic overhaul of the U.S. health care system since the inception of Medicare and Medicaid.
While the law’s primary goal is to increase the number of insured Americans, there are other provisions within the law that also have implications for IAFF members.
In order to help IAFF members better understand the law the IAFF has developed a What You Need to Know About the Affordable Care Act online resource of information, including an overview of the Affordable Care Act, answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs), an educational video about the ACA, strategies on negotiating health care and links to both government and industry sources such Healthcare.gov, the AFL-CIO and the Kaiser Family Foundation.
April 19, 2012, Trenton, NJ – The Professional Firefighters of New Jersey (PFANJ) is outraged over the elimination of the Survivor Tuition Benefit Program from Governor Chris Christie’s proposed higher education budget for Fiscal Year 2014, and is demanding that he put the program back into the budget immediately.
The New Jersey State AFL-CIO is pleased to inform our affiliates of a new AFL-CIO/Union Plus “Dreams of Jobs and Freedom Scholarship” program to help talented high school seniors from families in need – including union families and those in the community – to help pay for the costs of higher education. The program plans to provide $5,000 scholarships to a minimum of 50 students.
The scholarship program was authorized at the February AFL-CIO Executive Council meeting to commemorate the Fiftieth Anniversary of the March on Washington where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. The national AFL-CIO has partnered with the Union Privilege program to offer the scholarships.
We encourage you to circulate this information to your members and others who might be interested in the scholarship.
Over the past few years, New Jersey has consistently trailed the rest of America when it comes to jobs. In fact, under Governor Chris Christie and his policies, the state’s unemployment rate reached its widest distance from the national average since the 1970s. Right now, New Jersey has the country’s 7th highest unemployment and is the worst state in the region when it comes to joblessness.
While Christie’s policies have surely warmed the hearts of right-wing think tanks, they’ve had a chilling effect on New Jersey’s families.
Protecting tax cuts for multi-millionaires, but vetoing an increase to the minimum wage reveals a backwards set of priorities.
Property taxes skyrocketed some 20% on Christie’s watch, while services are slashed. Fiscal pain is pushed along to municipalities, while local residents are paying more and receiving less from local government. New Jersey also became home to the 2nd highest percentage of mortgage loans in foreclosure in America, even though rates nationally are falling to their lowest levels since 2008.
Governor Christie Says: “Unions are the Problem”
“Unions are the problem.” These were the words that Governor Christie used in response to a question posed by a teacher at a recent town hall meeting.
The Governor has clearly taken a page out of the union busting playbook, by trying to brand the union as a self-interested third party, but the teacher sensibly corrected the Governor, stating that “teachers are the union.”
Christie’s egregious statement should alarm every sector of the labor movement, since he has essentially called unionism a problem in New Jersey. This only reinforces the fact that if Christie gains any more political power, there would be little to stop his all-out anti-labor agenda. A Governor who views unions as the problem would not hesitate to pass Right-to-Work (for Less) laws, to eliminate project labor agreements and prevailing wage laws, and to further chip away at collective bargaining rights.
The Governor’s statement should immediately dispel any myth that he is a moderate politician. With only a handful of words, Christie made it clear that he has no respect for the labor movement and the workers who make up the union. For the Governor to make this anti-labor statement, in a state that was built by hard-working union men and women, is simply outrageous.
The Governor’s message is one that every union member and union family in New Jersey needs to hear, and a position for which the Governor must be held accountable.
CLICK HERE for a story from the Star-Ledger covering Christie’s anti-union remarks at his town hall meeting.
“Over the last three years we’ve lost thousands of firefighters in the name of shared sacrifice … while demanding nothing from millionaires,” said Buono.
Today’s event comes on the heels of the union’s announcement last month that it was endorsing Buono for governor. Union president Dominick Marino said it was an easy decision to back Buono because of her support of issues that are crucial to firefighters.
“She has been supportive of our pension and health benefits. … Those are core things for firefighters,” said Marino.
Another core issue for firefighters is collective bargaining. Buono was met by applause when she reiterated her support for it saying, “The art of negotiation is fundamental to democracy.”
Buono also has the support of the CWA which represents about 35,000 state workers. And she recently qualified for state matching funds so she’ll have more than $500,000 in her war chest.
But Christie still has a commanding lead over Buono in the polls. A recent PublicMind poll showed 58 percent of respondents favor Christie compared to 22 percent for Buono. Despite this, Buono is confident her campaign will gain momentum as voters get to know her better.
“My message is resonating and the gap will close in the polls. Why? Because we still have the highest property taxes in the nation … and people are living paycheck to paycheck and he won’t dignify them with an increase in the minimum wage. He’s just tone deaf to the middle class,” said Buono.
PFANJ Endorses Senator Barbara Buono for New Jersey Governor
Some of you may or may not have been aware that there was a “public” hearing yesterday at the Civil Service Commission. This hearing was to take testimony on the proposed CSC rule change to “band” job titles together. What this would mean is that related job titles throughout State, County and Municipal government will be placed into “broad bands”. Instead of promotions, management would select who would “advance” in title through the broad bands.
The 96 page proposal is not a clear definitive document. There are many questions that need to be answered and resolved prior to this rule change going into effect.
On behalf of the PFANJ, I testified at the public hearing against this broad measure to circumvent the civil service testing process. I went into this hearing prepared to ask specific questions to the commission with respect to this proposal and how it would affect firefighters, EMS and police officers. Unfortunately, there were NO members of the Commission present. There was just a hearing officer and a tape recorder. The hearing officer was just there to hear the testimony and was not there to answer ANY questions.
For the CSC to hold only ONE public hearing in a very small room, at 3pm on a work day and with no member of the commission present tells us that this hearing was just a formality, a sham and the CSC does not appear to be concerned nor willing to discuss the proposal with the unions.
Subsequently I have learned that the CSC commissioner has stated, in writing, that the “banding” will not affect every title, and it will NOT affect fire and police titles.
Although the titles in fire and police are not affected, at this time, we will be very much involved in the process with our brothers and sisters from the other unions who are going to be adversely affected.
Dmininck Marino, President
Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey
April 10, 2013 –Results were released today of a new federal government study conducted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) that scientifically documents the effects of crew size in responding to fires in high-rise buildings.
Information and materials are now available online to help affiliates better understand the study and potential ways to use it with local press and decision makers based on their jurisdiction and situation. The toolkit includes sample press releases and sample op-ed that can be modified/customized to submit to local newspapers, radio stations and television stations.
Whether your jurisdiction is contemplating cuts to crew sizes or you need additional evidence to document why crew sizes need to be increased for public safety and fire fighter safety, this groundbreaking study is an invaluable resource for IAFF affiliates to use to educate policy and decision makers about why having too few fire fighters on each apparatus can cost lives and property in high-rise building fires.
Additional information, including a video description of this landmark high-rise fire study is available here.
Trenton-April 4, 2013-The Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey (PFANJ) and New Jersey Firefighters Mutual Benevolent Association (NJFMBA) today expressed concern over the impact on public safety and the safety of first responders following the governor’s decision to conditionally veto
Assembly Bill 2593.
The bill, which had broad bipartisan support, would have ensured that fire departments know who is in charge during a mutual aid response.
Beginning May 1, 2013, fire fighters who responded to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks at the Pentagon and Shanksville, Pennsylvania, crash sites will be eligible to enroll in the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP).
PFANJ and NJFMBA Statement on the NJCFC Association’s Endorsement Made on March 27, 2013:
“The PFANJ and NJFMBA view the NJCFC’s endorsement as a non-event. An endorsement made by a group that has been silent while the fire service in New Jersey is diminished and demonized by our governor and have been silent while civilian and firefighter safety is undermined should not be considered newsworthy” stated President William Lavin, NJFMBA and President Dominick Marino, PFANJ who represent the Professional Fire Fighters of New Jersey.
Federal Firefighters work 144 hours per pay period. Only 106 hours are used to calculate overtime. This is due to 38 hours being titled as " overtime". But these overtime hours are part of the schedule worked each and every two weeks; they are not an option. This is a 26% difference. All they are asking for is a fair calculation. They earn it.
Our Federal Firefighter Brothers & Sisters need your help! H.R. 471 (Federal Firefighter Pay Equity Act) was recently re-introduced in the House. Passage of this Bill would finally correct a huge inaccuracy in their retirement calculations.
Please help our Federal Firefighters get the 100,000 signatures needed to get a response from President Obama on this issue.
Links to the NJ Division of Pensions and Benefits Health Benefits Handbooks may be found here
In the NJ Direct Handbook those preventative services which are mandated by the National Health Reform to be covered without co-payment are listed on pages 76, 77, and 81.
Page fourteen of the Prescription Drug Handbook has a chart of those preventative medications that are now provided without co-payment.
NJ State Health Benefits Mobile Phone Applications Aetna, CIGNA, and Horizon have developed applications for the iPhone, smartphones, and other web-enabled mobile devices to provide State Health Benefits Program (SHBP) members with plan information "on the go."
Medco Health Solutions, Inc. has also developed the Medco Pharmacy mobile app for its Prescription Plan, now available at no cost on BlackBerry® and Android™ smartphones using the Verizon Wireless network.
In order to help IAFF members better understand the effects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), the IAFF has developed this "What You Need to Know About the Affordable Care Act" online information resource about the law and what it means for IAFF members.
This new resource includes:
• An overview of the Affordable Care Act
• Answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs)
• An educational video about the Affordable Care Act
• Strategies for negotiating health care coverage
• Links to both government and industry sources
Firefighters represented by the Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey strongly disagree with the governor’s agenda and his decisions because they threaten public safety.
The governor failed to take advantage of a federal grant program that would improve public safety and create jobs.
While the governor argues forcefully that he is doing what’s best for New Jersey residents, the reality is that he continues to do what’s best for himself, using his so-called reforms to promote himself on a national stage.
He also is spreading misinformation.
In his speech last week, the governor took credit for the improved funding level of the Police and Firemen Retirement System in New Jersey. But the reason the PFRS pension fund is doing better is because local municipalities are finally meeting their financial obligations and paying what they are required to pay into the system – just as the firefighters in this state have always done.
He also inferred that when the state pension funds reach 80 percent a state-established board of government officials and firefighters can vote to raise annual cost of living adjustments to pensions. While that’s technically possible – and would be a welcome change – it has not happened, and benefits won’t increase until harsh restrictions on the state board are loosened.
The governor shouldn't take credit for something he didn't’t do, but that hasn't’t stopped him in the past. Once again, the governor’s statements need careful fact-checking. Once again, his credibility has been damaged because he has climbed atop his bully pulpit to spread falsehoods.
He is not our state’s savior. He is merely a politician angling for his next job in public office – and he has a public employee pension, too.
Rather than constantly oppose public employees or hammer away at our rights and benefits, the governor should sit down with us to discuss public safety and the wages, rights and benefits of those sworn to protect communities throughout our state. But to this day the governor still has not met with the Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey.
And that’s no lie.
NJTV Interview with PFANJ President Marino -
October 2, 2012
Click the Play Button to Run the Video
Double Click on the Video Image for Full Screen
**Note: A High Speed Internet Connection is Recommended**
-Attention Safari Browser users - CLICK HERE to view video-
Grant Applicants: Get Bid Specifications Ready Early
Review your grant application's requirements and get your bid specifications ready now. If you receive an award, this early preparation will help you to implement your grant as soon as possible and help ensure you are able to complete your project within the period of performance.
Start to draft a bid solicitation that encourages competition by not using proprietary vendor specifications. By avoiding the use of proprietary vendor specifications, you encourage competition, which may decrease your overall costs. For example, you can request bids for a new pumper and specify that it have an "independent front suspension." But specifying that the pumper have a particular name-brand independent front suspension would be a proprietary specification that would limit competition to those vendors that build trucks containing those particular items.
Avoid any real or apparent conflicts of interest in your procurements. Remember that no employee, officer, or agent of your organization, who has a real or even apparent conflict of interest (potential for personal gain), may participate in the selection of the contractor or vendor that will supply the grant-funded items or services. They cannot accept gifts, favors, or anything of monetary value from potential contractors.
Maintain written procurement procedures. Become familiar with and keep on file the written procurement procedures and standards for your organization. If you are unsure, check with your local or state government for procedures. All grantees must have procurement procedures that follow local or state procurement procedures AND meet Federal procurement law as outlined in 44 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 13.36.
Have a record system set up for the grant. Make sure that you have system established that will maintain your grant records accurately and securely while still being accessible. All Federal awards are subject to a possible audit or desk review.
To All IAFF Local Leaders:
Contact Information for IAFF 1st District Vice
(631) 893-9116 (Office)
(917) 834-1414 (Cell) firstname.lastname@example.org
Talking points with respect to S1913 and A3074:
The biggest point is that the legislature should reverse the Richardson Case from 2007. This case changed the criteria for what constitutes an accidental disability thus opening the door for a much easier avenue for members of a pension system to claim a job related disability.
If this were to be repealed, it would go a long way to correcting the issues with the disability pensions.
Other areas of issue:
1. A committee of 26 will not get anything done! Each system already has a board that oversees the system, there is no need to add an additional board.
2. Each system should be responsible for themselves. PERS should not be determining a disability pension for PFRS and likewise.
3. Any reference to Social Security Benefits must be removed, since Firefighters do not pay into social security therefore are not eligible to receive social security benefits.
4. Changing the eligibility years from 4 to 10 for an ordinary disability does a disservice to the firefighter workforce. If a member suffers an injury with prior to completing 10 years and it is not a traumatic injury that member would get no pension. Our profession puts us at harms way every time we go to work. The legislation should not change the number of years.
5. Reducing the disability pension of a firefighter who is no longer able to perform firefighting duties because he or she was able to supplement their income in other ways is disrespectful and unwarranted.
It's a slap in the face to those dedicated firefighters who were injured while serving the public because this legislation would decrease their disability pension if they were to go out and get extra income to provide for their families.
6. The one size fits all about the legislation is wrong. A firefighter or EMS workers level of risk is much greater than a teacher or office worker. The Pension systems must be treated different and separate. If our job functions weren't different, there wouldn't be different systems. Financial Balance From Our Corporate Partner - C & A Financial Group
To NJ PERC Constituents, Labor Relations Professionals and Interested
Parties: PERC has modified the Unfair Practice Charge Form, and asks parties to utilize the new form immediately. The changes to the form include hyperlinks, space for a second respondent, and details about the status of negotiations, if any. Additionally, the form seeks more specific information about matters at PERC or other forums that are based upon the same facts alleged in the charge. We hope the new form will expedite
processing of charges.
here for a downloadable and printable IAFF document
and Demonstration of Interest"
for those individuals wishing to learn
and affiliate with the International Association of Fire Fighters...
Kindly fill out the form and then mail it to the
State Association Office