City police, fire departments assured of no layoffs

25 11 2009

PASSAIC — Despite tough talk of doing more with less during a recession, the city will forgo layoffs in the police and fire departments even though it could face a $1.4 million deficit next year, union leaders say they’ve been assured by Council President Gary Schaer.

At the Police Benevolent Association’s beefsteak dinner last Thursday and the Passaic Fire Department’s Centennial Ball on Sunday, Schaer delivered the same message: There will be no layoffs, said Mauro Farallo, president of the Passaic Policemen’s Benevolent Association Local 14, and Passaic Fire Chief Patrick Trentacost. Each man was present at his respective event when Schaer spoke.

The city has yet to approve this year’s budget, but officials are preparing for a potential $1.4 million deficit next year. At a City Council meeting last month, Business Administrator Anthony Iacono said if that deficit comes to pass, the city would have to cut 14 police officers, 11 firefighters and six Department of Public Works employees.

Schaer made his comments before the city’s two most powerful unions, whose members are paid some of the highest salaries in the city. On Monday and Tuesday, the council president failed to return several phone calls seeking clarification of his comments or an explanation of how he would avoid layoffs.

The city could avoid layoffs next July, the start of the 2010 fiscal year, according to Iacono, if the state allows municipalities to push off pension payments or provides increased state aid. The latter could be a long shot if Governor-elect Chris Christie acts on his assertion that municipalities should not expect an increase in discretionary state aid.

Mayor Alex D. Blanco declined comment through spokesman Keith Furlong. “He’s not going to comment on what Gary’s saying. We’re making sure we do everything that is fair to the residents, taxpayers and the employees.”

Farallo said the issue of laying off any of his members is dead.

“That’s great news,” Farallo said.

Lawrence Dostanko, president of Firemen’s Mutual Benevolent Association Local 13, said he will wait and see.

“What political figure will get up in front of an audience of firefighters, their friends and family and say: ‘Enjoy the party now because as of next year, you’re all gone,’ ” Dostanko said. “He wouldn’t have made it out of the building.”
(News Source – NorthJersey)

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Nurses at St. Mary’s Hospital in Passaic agree to concessions

22 11 2009

Unionized employees at St. Mary’s Hospital in Passaic have tentatively agreed to a new contract that extends pay cuts and other concessions until the hospital begins to recover financially.

More than 500 nurses, technicians and other workers ratified a three-year contract, which goes into effect when the current contract expires on Feb. 28. The new pact continues court-assigned concessions until St. Mary’s reorganization plan is approved, at which time the nurses expect the hospital to begin restoring their pay in increments.

The employees have worked with a 5 percent pay cut — later reduced to a 4 percent cut by the hospital — and other concessions since March, when St. Mary’s declared bankruptcy, citing debts of $100 million.

Attorneys for the non-profit, 292-bed acute-care hospital filed a reorganization plan this month with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Newark and have until Jan. 6 for creditors to accept the plan.

The unions and St. Mary’s, who have been negotiating for months with an independent mediator, were pleased with the settlement.

“We had a mutually agreed upon mediator, who made compromise recommendations that turned out to be fairly reasonable,” said Virginia Tracy, executive director of JNESO, the union that represents 357 nurses and 131 technicians at St. Mary’s.

“It’s not ideal, but it gives them a chance to get back on their feet and us to get back what we lost,” Tracy said.

Another union, Operating Engineers Local 68, represents 20 licensed boiler room workers and other employees.

“Having the support of [the] unions, whose contracts were fully ratified this month, is an important step forward for the hospital,” Vanessa Warner, a spokeswoman for St. Mary’s, said in a statement Friday.

As part of the agreement, St. Mary’s will restore 2 percent of the workers’ wages when the court approves the reorganization plan; then 1 percent more in March, and another 1 percent in June, Tracy said. The hospital would also resume the employees’ annual “step” raise, an average 40 cents per hour increase, she said.

The hospital will not reinstate a paid half-hour lunch for employees, she said. But it will pay time-and-a-half to a 12-hour shift worker who is not relieved by another worker in order to eat, she said.

“The difference between now and when the hospital filed for bankruptcy is that we’re hopeful for the first time in a long time that progress can be made,” Tracy said.

The union was concerned that the hospital would reject its contract altogether if it didn’t agree to temporarily continue the concessions, Tracy said. “If they’re going to make it, they need cash and a few months to get a leg up to be successful,” she said.

“The employees are definitely going to cast their lot with management. The new administration has made some positive changes that we can see,” Tracy said. A new president and new chief financial officer took over St. Mary’s last summer.

A recent report by the court-appointed patient care ombudsman agreed.

“There are no issues at this time with regard to maintaining quality of care provided by St. Mary’s Hospital,” the ombudsman, Daniel T. McMurray, said in court documents.

A hearing on the sale of St. Mary’s former hospital site at 211 Pennington Ave. will be held on Dec. 8.

On Dec. 9, St. Mary’s will hold a public meeting to discuss hospital finances, future plans, services and community benefit programs. It will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the hospital, located at 350 Boulevard.

A hearing on the hospital’s Chapter 11 disclosure statement will be held Dec. 18.

The 114-year old St. Mary’s is the sole survivor of Passaic’s three hospitals.

E-mail: groves@northjersey.com





Honorable Cory A. Booker, Mayor, City of Newark, New Jersey Addressing: “The Future of Black-Jewish Relations”

22 11 2009

Don’t miss it! A huge crowd is expected so please come early!! On Sunday, November 22, 2009, at 7:30 PM, Rinat Yisrael presents:
Honorable Cory A. Booker, Mayor, City of Newark, New Jersey
Addressing: “The Future of Black-Jewish Relations”

Moderated by Gary Rosenblatt, Editor and Publisher of the New York Jewish Week.

Mayor Cory A. Booker is an electrifying speaker with a deep and longstanding connection to the Jewish people.
While at Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship, Mayor Booker served as the
President of the L’Chaim Society, the local chapter of Chabad, and brought together a diverse community there. He became Mayor of New Jersey’s largest city in 2006. Elected with a clear mandate for change, his administration has been working to realize a positive vision for the city – that of setting a national standard for urban transformation by marshaling resources to achieve security, economic abundance and an environment that is nurturing and empowering for individuals and families. Mayor Booker has been cited by
publications like Time, Esquire and the NY Times as a national leader with innovative ideas and bold actions.
Mayor Booker received his B.A. and M.A. from Stanford University, as well as a B.A. in Modern History at Oxford and a law degree from Yale.

The public is invited.

For more info contact djacobow@gmail.com





Examiner Bio Street gangsters trafficked in drugs, weapons, in Teaneck, Hackensack and Englewood

20 11 2009

They came from Teaneck, Hackensack, and Englewood — all reputed gang members arrested on drug and weapons charges. Ranging from 17 to 30, they have ties to either the Crips or Bloods street gangs, said Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli.

Molinelli’s gang unit got the ball rolling in July, gathering information about drug and weapons sales in the county’s three major cities.

An undercover squad of detectives from the County Sheriff Leo McGuire’s department and Teaneck police began making street buys of pot, Ecstasy, cocaine and unspecified weapons.

Then came a flurry of arrests:

Kashawn West (Bloods: Sex Money Murder), DOB: March 23, 1991; 46 Newman Street, Apt A6, Hackensack; drug possession within 1,000 feet of a school and 500 feet of public property;

Anthony Drakeford (Bloods: Sex Money Murder) DOB: March 12, 1981; 195 Central Avenue, Hackensack; drug dealing within 1,000 feet of a school zone;

Michael Feola (Bloods Associate) DOB: March 20, 1988; 56 Genesee Avenue, Teaneck; drug and weapons possession, drug dealing within 500 feet of public property;

Reggie Sowell (Bloods Associate); DOB: June 14, 1989; 13 Newman Street, Apt 1B, Hackensack; drug dealing within 500 feet of public property;

Peter Martinez (Bloods, Sex Money Murder Associate) DOB: October 4, 1986; 22 76th Street, North Bergen; drug dealing within 500 feet of public property;

Brandon Randolph (Crips, Rollin 60s) DOB: December 4, 1979; 515 North Grand Avenue, Englewood; weapons possession, weapons sale without a license;

Ashlin Hayer (Crips Associate) DOB: March 22, 1987; 1277 Beaumont Avenue, Teaneck; employing a juvenile to conduct narcotic offenses;

Also taken into custody and charged with selling drugs within 1,000 feet of a school zone was a juvenile suspected of belonging to the Bloods Fruit Town Piru, Molinelli said.

Detectives in the operation arrested another man with no known gang affiliations, reaching out to downtown North Bergen to find him: Edgar Cabrera, DOB: February 19, 1980;  2508 Cottage Avenue, Apt A, North Bergen; drug dealing within 1,000 feet of a school zone.

Molinelli thanked Teaneck, Hackensack, Englewood, and Ridgefield police, as well as the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office and the U.S. Secret Service.

(News Source CliffViewPilot.com)





Chai Lifeline Dinner Help Save A Life

20 11 2009

 

 





Last Shalom Bayis Lecture

20 11 2009

PCBN





Please show your support for P.T.I.

20 11 2009