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ABC Special Report
Investigation: New Home Heartbreak
Trump - NAHB Homebuilders Shoddy Construction and Forced Arbitration

Property Rights Denied!
Protecting HOA Members' Rights is NOT The #1 Priority
of Managed Communities
The High Price of Managed Living, Books and Records Hidden
gives appearances of impropriety
Editorial Feature: Part One - Are Homeowners' Rights a Myth? 

Part Two: HOA Bureaucrats Overstep Their Authority

Star-Ledger Editorial - Two plus two equals whatever an arbitrator says it equals
Thursday, 16 September 2010

Blind arbitration: A system that ignores reality in setting public worker contracts must change
Just in time for the new school year: the confounding math of binding arbitration, where two plus two equals … whatever an arbitrator says it equals — and taxpayers must make up the difference.  Why are New Jersey taxpayers suffocating? Binding arbitration is Exhibit A. Arbitrators are supposed to weigh taxpayers’ ability to pay, but often don’t. It’s a rigged game, and should be scrapped.

Blind arbitration: A system that ignores reality in setting public worker contracts must change
 Star-Ledger Editorial Board
Essex County Sheriff’s officers will dance to their mailboxes soon because, on average, a $9,648 (pretax) bonus will be awaiting them. It’s Christmas in September, thanks to an arbitrator who awarded a total of 8.1 percent in raises for 2008 through 2010 — from taxpayers already paying the highest property taxes in the nation while living in the county with the state’s top foreclosure and unemployment rates.

Just in time for the new school year: the confounding math of binding arbitration, where two plus two equals … whatever an arbitrator says it equals — and taxpayers must make up the difference.

Why are New Jersey taxpayers suffocating? Binding arbitration is Exhibit A. Arbitrators are supposed to weigh taxpayers’ ability to pay, but often don’t. It’s a rigged game, and should be scrapped.

Here’s how it works: The unions, such as the sheriff’s officers, demand ridiculous pay increases — in this case, 13.5 percent over the length of a three-year contract (that spanned a recession, by the way). Officials insist taxpayers can’t afford that. Plus, a demand for double-digit raises amid a near-zero inflation rate is outrageously greedy. This time, officials suggested a reasonable figure — a 2 percent raise for 2008 and no increases for 2009 and 2010.

The arbitrator, seemingly ignoring people’s ability to pay, awarded 2.85, 2.75 and 2.5 percent increases — which will cost Essex County taxpayers $3.46 million immediately and millions more in ripple-effect costs. Why the unrealistic ruling? Because, among other reasons, Bergen County officers, already making $98,076, received 4 percent raises in 2008.

That’s the binding arbitration gotcha: One silly raise anywhere in the state and everyone eventually pays.

When arbitration means denying economic reality and kicking taxpayers in the groin during the severest economic downturn in 70 years, the system must be changed.

Incredibly, the union isn’t happy, either. “We’re looking to be treated humanely,” said Chris Tyminski, president of the PBA Local 183. His group views an average pay of $74,238 (before the raises) and top-notch benefits as cruel. (Memo to Tyminski: Where should readers send their resumes?)

Don’t blame Essex County executive Joe DiVincenzo. He stonewalled the unions and lobbied the governor and Legislature to dump binding arbitration and pass laws to negotiate contracts regionally or statewide. A similar proposal by The Star-Ledger produced an avalanche of mail. A director of a state workers union called the newspaper guilty of “more pandering than persuasive presentation.”

Our response: 8.1 percent raises are about as persuasive as you can get.
http://blog.nj.com/njv_editorial_page/2010/09/blind_arbitration_a_system_tha.html

 

 
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