Brigantine Union Contracts and Potential Arbitration

Brigantine

Expert suggest that it’s never good to negotiate through the news media.

It was almost a year ago when a Brigantine public employee union purchased a scathing, full page ad in a local Brigantine Newspaper. Fourth of July Weekend is when the printed attack (see below) on Brigantine’s City manager was published in the Brigantine Times.

Now that 12 months have passed, will the Brigantine public unions finally do a deal with the city? The Brigantine Firefighters contract expired at the end of 2013. The Brigantine Police contract expired at the end of 2012. Maybe it’s time for arbitration?

Many were surprised that a local newspaper would publish such an advertisement, especially during the busiest week of summer. Of course, this is the same newspaper that decided to avoid reporting on a Brigantine public safety employee being arrested for sexual assault a few weeks ago.

See the Brigantine Taxpayer’s Association response to this ad below.7.5.13_Page_35

Here is the rebuttal that followed from the Brigantine Taxpayers Association:

Dear Editor:

We are responding to the July 5th newspaper article submitted by the Brigantine PBA in which the PBA claims that the City manager disrespects City employees.  This is a serious accusation. Before making such a charge in print for the public to read, those making this claim should have knowledge of the law and evidence of wrongdoing.

Let’s look at the law and some of the statements in the PBA’s article. Does the PBA make its case?

The Faulkner Act under which our council/manager form of government operates states that the municipal manager shall be the chief executive and administrative official of the municipality and shall appoint and remove all department heads and all other officers and subordinates, and may authorize a head of a department to appoint and remove subordinates in such department.

This power does not require the manager to recommend such an appointment to Council.  The law says that the manager shall report, not recommend, all appointments or removals at the next meeting thereafter of council.  Nevertheless, and contrary to the above, these following statements appear in the article.

False statement by PBA: “She has no right to recommend to council who is qualified to be Acting Chief”, “She has no right evaluating employees”, and, “She does not possess one credential that qualifies her to recommend to council who is ready to lead these departments.”

This (PBA) ad distorts her legal authority and gives a false impression of her actions to the community.  Such misinformation (by the PBA) does not help to resolve the issue at hand and keep the community informed of the facts.

Following the law and sticking to the facts will produce a positive result without personal ill-will and harm to the efficient functioning of municipal operations.

Sincerely,

Anne H. Phillips, Brigantine Taxpayers Association

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