SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — The New Jersey Firefighters Mutual Benevolent Association and the New Jersey Policemen's Benevolent Association have issued separate letters to the public with one common message: They are unhappy with both the process and the result.

"Although our issues might be slightly different, as outlined in these letters, the NJFMBA and NJPBA stand united with our brothers and sisters," Edwin Donnelly, president of the NJFMBA, told TAPinto SOMA, explaining why there are two letters issued now, considering that they issued a joint statement several weeks ago. 

The letters are in response to the June 1 South Orange Board of Trustees vote to authorize the Township to proceed with civil service paperwork for furloughs, demotions, and layoffs in the three unions which did not agree to the 2 percent base pay freeze asked of them by the Board of Trustees for the 2020 and 2021 budget years. The two other unions agreed to the pay freeze, and non-union employees did not have a choice.

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Although each step in the budget process has been approved by unanimous vote of the Board of Trustees, the letters are aimed at Village President Sheena Collum. The board spent time offering public support for the decision, and Collum, at the May 27 meeting.

UPDATE: Village President Sheena Collum has responded via email to the Village Board of Trustees and local and state fire and police union representatives.


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