SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — The Village Board of Trustees unanimously approved moving forward with their plan for possible layoffs, demotions, and furloughs for those municipal unions who did not agree to the equivalent of a 2 percent pay freeze for the 2020 and 2021 budgets during a special board meeting yesterday. Memorandums of understanding were adopted with those unions who did agree to the two-year freeze.
The Police Superior Officers Association 12A and the Teamsters Local 125 have agreed to the pay freeze, requested as the Board scaled back their 2020 budget to offset municipal revenue lost to the coronavirus quarantine.
The resolution allows the Village to “achieve a similar savings” from the three unions in the police and fire departments who did not agree to the 2 percent pay freeze on base pay, said Village President Sheena Collum. She pointed out that the freeze was only on base salary, and would not affect any other compensation such as health care or pension payments.
Resolution 2020-123 reads, “RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE TOWNSHIP OF SOUTH ORANGE VILLAGE TO EFFECTUATE THE NECESSARY REDUCTION IN OPERATING EXPENSES INCLUSIVE OF FURLOUGHS, DEMOTIONS AND LAYOFFS AND PROVIDE ANY NECESSARY PAPERWORK AND SUPPORTING MATERIALS TO THE NEW JERSEY CIVIL SERVIICE [sic] COMMISSION (NJCSC).”
“To the individuals impacted by this, I send our apologies from the board,” said Collum after the vote. “I don't think any of us expected that any of our unions would not be willing to participate in a shared sacrifice.... I'm just sorry that it ended up this way.”
The next meeting of the Board of Trustees will be June 8 at 8 p.m.
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