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Professional Firefighters
Association of New Jersey

International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) State Association

Always on the Front Line Protecting "New Jersey's Bravest"
Established 1929
Member of the New Jersey State AFL-CIO
The
PFANJ
Plug
Volume 17 - Issue 6
March 6, 2017
Follow the PFANJ online:
@PFANJ.IAFF
@PFANJ_IAFF
@pfanj.iaff
www.pfanj.org
media@pfanj.org
UPCOMING EVENTS
 
IAFF Alfred K. Whitehead Legislative Conference
March 5-8, 2017
Washington, DC
Registration info

PFANJ State Delegate Meeting
March 15, 2017, 11am

Middlesex County Fire Academy
1001 Fire Academy Drive, Sayreville, NJ  08872

North Plainfield Firefighters St. Baldrick's Day Event
March 18, 2017
North Plainfield, NJ

PFANJ State Delegate Meeting
April 12, 2017, 11am

Middlesex County Fire Academy
1001 Fire Academy Drive, Sayreville, NJ  08872


PFANJ Valor Awards
April 20, 2017
Lakeside Manor
Hazlet, NJ


PFANJ State Delegate Meeting
May 10, 2017, 11am

Middlesex County Fire Academy
1001 Fire Academy Drive, Sayreville, NJ  08872

PFANJ's Bravest Annual Golf Invitational
May 30, 2016 - Noon shotgun start
Atlantic City Country Club
Northfield, NJ

2017 PFANJ 77th Annual Convention

May 30 - June 2, 2017
Tropicana Hotel
Atlantic City, NJ
For discounted hotel rates:  http://tropac3.net/offercode/HPFFA17
***Note this location is subject to change pending
labor situation in Atlantic City***

The 4th Annual 5 Alarm 5K Run / Walk
June 13, 2017
Asbury Park, NJ
PENSION NEWS

SWEENEY INTRODUCES CONTROVERSIAL
BILL TRANSFERING MANAGEMENT OF PFRS
Last Monday, New Jersey State Senate President Sweeney (D-Gloucester) introduced bill S3040 that would transfer management of the Police and Firefighters Retirement System (PFRS) to a newly expanded board of trustees.  The bill would transfer the management of PFRS from the state treasury's pensions and benefits division  to an expanded 12 member board of trustees whose balance of power favors union members by a ratio of 7 to 5.

The PFANJ and IAFF continue to oppose the bill.

Link to NJ.com article about the bill announcement.

Link to full bill.
PENSION NEWS

PRESIDENT MARINO SENDS LETTER TO ALL STATE SENATORS URGING REJECTION OF S3040

"March 3, 2017

Re: Senate Bill 3040 - Transfers management of PFRS to Board of Trustees of PFRS

In November, on behalf of the Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey, I advised you to a proposed piece of legislation with respect to having the “unions” take control of the Police and Firefighters Pension System. On Monday, Senator Sweeney has introduced such legislation. The Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey is opposed to this legislation and any legislation that removes the responsibility from the State. The PFRS is the most important benefit to our members and it is our obligation to ensure that we proceed with the interest of our members and to ensure the solvency and protection of their pension fund.

S3040 does not address the most important aspect of the PFRS; outstanding contributions owed to the pension system, and it does not provide the necessary protections that the current retirees so deserve. The changes that S3040 suggest would open the system to discrimination liabilities.

The legislature, you or your predecessor, has taken steps over the years to address the concerns of all the pension systems with legislation that was sent to the governor but the governor’s action was to veto the efforts of the legislature.

The Governor has conceded and signed into law legislation that would give quarterly payments to the pension system. This will undoubtedly have a positive effect on the pension system. The State Investment Council (SIC) has adjusted their Asset Allocation Campaign with respect to – Reducing High-Cost, High-Risk, Low- Performing Hedge Funds and Alternative Investments. The SIC approved a reduction in hedge fund investments from 12.5% to 6%, and a corresponding overall reduction in Alternative Investments from over 30% to 26%. The number of hedge fund investments will drop from 40 to less than 25 and there is an estimated cost savings on fees of about $125 million. With these changes, NJ is aligning closer to the national average of hedge and alternative exposure for public funds, but our alternatives are still higher than most. These are perhaps the largest single-year changes in asset allocation. The above changes are not reflected in the most current report on the Annual Valuation of the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System, which was prepared on July 1, 2016. Nor does it reflect the most notable rise in the level that the stock market is at presently. These above facts occurred recently within the last 3-4 months.

S3040 includes the quarterly payments but removes the Police and Fire Pension System (PFRS) from the SIC. The ability/power to invest will be greatly inhibited with only the assets of the PFRS. The investment returns are derived on the amount of the investment. A smaller investment would mean a smaller return.

Let us not forget the issue and how the pension funds got to where they are today; the inadequate funding by the State of New Jersey and municipalities beginning in 1996 and the explicit ill-fated pension holiday the League of Municipalities, Legislature and Governor gave themselves back in 2001! We were opposed to the pension scheme in 2001 and we are adamantly opposed to this new scheme today. Beginning in 1996 and continuing to this day the pension system was funded by the state and municipalities well below actuarial recommendations. Not making the full payment is like paying the bare minimum on a credit card; you never catch up and continue to increase your debt.

Our opposition to S3040 is based on an extensive analysis done by the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) and experts within the realm of pensions.

As much as we have issues and concerns with the State of New Jersey and its current handling of our pension system and the other pension systems, it is still our position that steps have already been put in place to strengthen the pension system.

Releasing the State of New Jersey of its responsibility is not the way to address the pension issue.

We still belief there are many pitfalls to the notion of the “unions” taking over the responsibility of the PFRS. The simple notion that four distant groups can overnight work in unison for the good of their respective members on their most important benefit is unrealistic. History has shown that the groups will not be able to work together. There are too many unforeseen issues that could arise. The fact that the number of representatives with respect to the “unions” was increased in the final bill is evident that an organization is looking for a leg up on the other organizations.

It would be a better avenue to address the issues through various legislative initiatives that will strengthen the pensions. The SIC, PFRS Trustee board and the investment rules all can be legislated to accommodate the intent of S3040 without releasing the State of New Jersey from its responsibility.

On behalf of the members the PFANJ represents, I convey to you that the 4000+ members of the PFANJ are opposed to S3040 and we ask that you do not sign onto this legislation. We also ask that you support our position and oppose S3040.

Respectfully,
Dominick Marino
President
Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey, I.A.F.F.-AFL-CIO www.pfanj.org
(609) 396-9766
dmarino@pfanj.org"

PENSION NEWS


PUBLIC PENSIONS ARE IN BETTER SHAPE THAN YOU THINK

By:  Ryan Cooper, TheWeek.com

The beleaguered condition of state and local pension plans is one of those ongoing disaster stories that crops up about once a week somewhere. The explanation usually goes something like this: Irresponsible politicians and greedy public employee unions created over-generous benefit schemes, leading to pension plans which aren't "fully-funded" and eventual fiscal crisis. That in turn necessitates benefit cuts, contribution hikes, or perhaps even abolishment of the pension scheme.

But a fascinating new paper from Tom Sgouros at UC Berkeley's Haas Institute makes a compelling argument that the crisis in public pensions is to a large degree the result of terrible accounting practices. (Stay with me, this is actually interesting.) He argues that the typical debate around public pensions revolves around accounting rules which were designed for the private sector — and their specific mechanics both overstate some dangers faced by public pensions and understate others. (READ FULL ARTICLE)

PENSION NEWS


INFO VIDEO ABOUT "UNIONS" PFRS TAKEOVER
PLAY VIDEO

CRISIS IN ATLANTIC CITY

 
JUDGE TO CONSIDER ATLANTIC CITY FIREFIGHTER LAYOFFS
By:  Christian Hetrick, Press of Atlantic City

The city’s firefighters and state overseers will be in court Tuesday for a legal battle over proposed deep cuts to the Fire Department.

Superior Court Judge Julio Mendez will hear arguments on whether he should block the state from imposing 100 layoffs and making unilateral changes to the firefighters’ union contract.

The hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. at Atlantic County Civil Courthouse in Atlantic City.

State officials in charge of the city’s finances plan to cut the Fire Department’s staff nearly in half this fall, from 225 to 125, and create a new work schedule and platoon structure to make remaining firefighters work more days. (READ FULL ARTICLE)

CRISIS IN ATLANTIC CITY

 
THE IMPERIAL AGENDA
By:  The Howler, rforty.com

It’s more than 100 days since the Great Atlantic City Takeover began, and Jeffrey Chiesa does not have an adequate nickname.

Officially, he is the “Designee of the Director of Local Government Services” but, you know, they create these strings of gobbledygook on purpose. So you won’t be able to talk about them. I’m proposing “Boardwalk Emperor” as an alternative.

The Boardwalk Emperor, Jeffrey Chiesa, has not been spotted publicly in Atlantic City since November, but we have a clearer picture of his majesty’s ambitions here, in our Queen of Resorts, courtesy of his attorney Ronald Israel who casually revealed some of the details before a Superior Court Judge on Tuesday.

Under something called the Municipal Stabilization and Recovery Act (see?), the Boardwalk Emperor has a wide-ranging mandate in Atlantic City. How wide? That was the question before Judge Julio Mendez, and Mr. Israel’s position was: very wide indeed. At times he seemed to be arguing that Jeffrey Chiesa could ceremonially disembowel Lucy the Elephant on the steps of the Taj Mahal at high noon if it would “assist” Atlantic City in its Stabilization and Recovery.

In fact, the Emperor wants only to cut the number of firefighters in the city by 44%. (!) He wants those firefighters who get to keep their jobs to work longer, more dangerous shifts. And he wants them to accept a 19% pay cut for the privilege. (READ FULL ARTICLE)

FROM AROUND THE STATE

 
PFANJ LOCAL LEADERS SUPPORT ASSEMB.
QUIJANO FUNDRAISER
Elizabeth Fire Officers Local 2040 Sec/Treas Bruce Stevens, President Steve McConlogue and Newark Fire Officers Local 1860 President Tony Tarantino supporting Assemblywoman Annette Quijano (D-UNION) at her annual Carnival fundraiser.

FROM AROUND THE STATE

 
PFANJ 4TH DISTRICT HOSTS FIRST EVER DISTRICT-WIDE MEETING
Before a good crowd in Cherry Hill, the PFANJ 4th District, lead by District VP Ali Cooper (Camden City Firefighters Local 788) and Trustee Tim Shannon (Cherry Hill Professional Firefighters Local 2663), hosted its first ever district-wide meeting on February 15th.  PFANJ 2nd VP Joe Maguire was also in attendance.

FROM AROUND THE STATE

 
FIREFIGHTERS ACROSS NJ TAKE PART IN "READ ACROSS AMERICA" TO CELEBRATE THE BIRTHDAY OF DR. SUESS

Englewood Firefighters Local 3260 and
Fire Officers Local 3263

Brigatine Firefighters Local 2657

Hackensack Firefighters Local 2081and
Fire Officers Local 3172

Perth Amboy Firefighters Local 286 and
Fire Officers Local 4070

FROM AROUND THE STATE

 
PLEASANTVILLE FIREFIGHTERS LOCAL 2616 AND OFFICERS LOCAL 4928 HELP LOCAL FOOD PANTRY
By:  Vincent Jackson, Press of Atlantic City

Volunteers with the Oasis United Methodist Church food pantry received a break Tuesday when city firefighters helped unload a truck full of food from the Community FoodBank of New Jersey.

Last month, Anton Brown, a city fire inspector, happened to be doing an inspection on the day the food arrived from the Community FoodBank. He saw about 10 women taking the food from the truck and putting items into boxes and bags.

“I was here for an hour by myself,” Brown said.

Brown told the women he would see if he could convince some of his fellow firefighters to help out this month.

On Tuesday morning, about 16 on-duty and off-duty firefighters arrived at the church on Martin Luther King Avenue. They unloaded a truck full of food, took items out of boxes and reorganized them so a variety of food could be given to each family.

On the last Wednesday of every month, an average of 80 families stop by the church’s food pantry, said Norma Fisher, a church volunteer.

“We are so happy,” said Fisher, 57, of Egg Harbor Township. “I didn’t break a nail today. I was playing supervisor.”

Instead of it taking the women four hours to unload the truck and organize all the food, Fisher estimated it would take half that time.

Firefighters plan to help out every month moving forward. If the on-duty firefighters have to respond to a call, the off-duty employees can still assist the volunteers at the food pantry.

The Oasis United Methodist Church food pantry opens at 10 a.m. Wednesday and will be open until 2 p.m., or until they run out of food.
(READ ORIGINAL ARTICLE)

IAFF NEWS
 
PFANJ IN ATTENDANCE AT ALFRED K. WHITEHEAD LEGISLATIVE CONFERENCE
Multiple PFANJ representatives are in Washington, DC this week for the IAFF's annual Alfred K. Whitehead Legislative Conference.  Speakers include IAFF General President Harold A. Schaitberger, US Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao (R), DNC Chair Tom Perez (D), Fox News' Tucker Carlson, Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), Senator Cortez Masto (D-NEVADA),    Mayor Megan Barry (D-NASHVILLE), Governor Roy Cooper (D-NC), and more.  Photos courtesy Anthony Tarantino, Newark Fire Officers Union IAFF Local 1860.
IAFF NEWS
 
IAFF CENTER OF EXCELLENCE OPENS MARCH 5

Another critical benefit of being a member of the largest union representing Firefighters and EMS personnel in North America - The IAFF Center of Excellence, located in Upper Marlboro, MD, is intended for IAFF members only and will offer treatment for recovery from post-traumatic stress and co-occurring addictions in hopes to help members return to the job. The center also will serve to train and educate peer support members in the treatment of post-traumatic stress and substance abuse in the Firefighter population.

More info from Yahoo! Finance

More info from IAFF

RIGHT TO WORK LAWS
 
NEW MEXICO RIGHT TO WORK BILL DEFEATED

by:  Daniel Wiessner, Reuters

Democrats in New Mexico's House of Representatives have voted down a proposal to prohibit mandatory union dues, the second loss this month for advocates of so-called right-to-work laws as they push a nationwide proposal.

The House's Labor and Economic Development Committee voted 6-5 along party lines on Saturday to defeat the bill, which would have prohibited employers from requiring workers to pay union dues as a condition of employment. (READ FULL ARTICLE)

MAJOR INCIDENT RECAP


2-YEAR OLD KILLED IN FAST MOVING UNION CITY FIRE - NORTH HUDSON LOCALS 3950 & 3951 AND MORE RESPOND TO 4-ALARM BLAZE

By: MaryAnn Spoto, NJ.com
 

A 2-year-old was killed and his father was seriously injured in a fire that ripped through at least three buildings before spreading to a nearby church early Saturday morning in Union City, authorities said.

The fire started around 1 a.m. in a residential building on Summit Avenue, spread to two more residential buildings and then the embers ignited the steeple of Sts. Joseph and Michael Parish across the street, said Union City Police Chief Richard Molinari.

Molinari said police received multiple calls about a fire at 1404 Summit Ave. at 1:02 a.m. and about people trapped inside the building. Encountering heavy smoke when they arrived at the scene, emergency responders helped get people out of the building, he said.  (READ FULL ARTICLE)

HEALTH AND WELLNESS


HEALTHY LIVING TIPS FROM DEBORAH:  A HEART-TO-HEART ABOUT STRESS
Stress—it’s that dirty little six-letter word associated with daylong coffee binges, nail-biting and anxiety.

 

In some cases, stress isn’t a bad thing. You might find the added pressure helps you get more done at work or increases your energy levels. Still, extended periods of stress may be harmful to your health, because it leaves your heart exposed to high levels of stress hormones known as catecholamines.

 

Left unchecked, stress can help trigger a host of problems, including:

 

·      Increased heart rates and high blood pressure

·      Abnormal heart rhythms

·      Artery damage, including coronary artery disease

·      Bad habits such as smoking, overeating,
   and drug & alcohol abuse

·      Problems breathing

·      Heart failure and stroke

 

Harvard researchers found that women with highly stressful jobs were 40% more likely to develop heart disease than colleagues facing less stress.

 

Sending stress on its way

When you’re facing a stressful situation, managing it may seem like an impossible task. But for the sake of your heart, try these tips:

 

Figure out the cause of the stress and address it. Is it your desk buried under piles of work? Take a chunk of time out of your workday to relax, such as a leisurely stroll on your lunch break—and make sure you take that break!

 

Be good to your body. Don’t turn to greasy, high-calorie, high-fat fast food—focus on healthy fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Exercise on most days, don’t drink alcohol in excess or take drugs; and establish a regular sleep routine (get at least 7-8 hours’ sleep a night).

 

Bend an ear. Talk about your problems with a loved one, or find a trusted friend who can lend support and give practical counsel.

 

Learn the art of relaxation. Techniques include slow, deep breathing and focused imagery (pushing stress aside in favor of a relaxing image).

 

It is possible to win the battle with stress—and to the victor goes a healthy, more balanced and enjoyable life!

HEALTH AND WELLNESS


ASK THE PHYSICIAN: 
MICHAEL NOLLEDO, M.D., FASM

DIRECTOR, INSTITUTE FOR SLEEP MEDICINE 
DEBORAH HEARTY AND LUNG CENTER

 
I try to get enough sleep, somewhere between 7-8 hours most nights, but I’m still waking up exhausted and drag myself through the day.  I’ve always been a snorer, but my wife says it’s gotten much worse.  What could be the problem? - Tim H., Flemington, NJ
 
Tim, there could be a number of problems for your daytime fatigue. One of the most common sleep problems is “sleep apnea,” which is an abnormal breathing pattern at night, and may involve shallow breathing or even pauses in breathing.
 
When you don’t get enough oxygen while you’re sleeping at night, it can make you tired during the day, and over time this can have a number of other health consequences, including high blood pressure and cardiac arrhythmias.
 
At Deborah Heart and Lung Center we have a full-service Institute for Sleep Medicine, at which we perform comprehensive sleep studies to evaluate a whole range of sleep disorders—and sleep apnea is among them.
 
If you are concerned about your daytime fatigue, a sleep study may be beneficial and I would recommend it!
 
For an appointment or more information about how Deborah Heart and Lung Center’s leading-edge technologies can improve your quality of life: 800.555.1990 or request info/an appointment: www.demanddeborah.org
HEALTH AND WELLNESS
UPCOMING EVENTS
TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES

Fully Involved Leadership Seminar

Featured speaker:  Mark vonAppen, Capt. - Palo Alto, CA FD

Special guest speaker: Jeff Dill - Founder/CEO of Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance
 
Hosted by Evesham Fire-Rescue and Evesham Professional Firefighters Foundation

Sat, March 25, 2017

9:00 AM – 4:00 PM EDT

MORE INFO AND TICKETS

FROM THE PFANJ STORE

PFANJ CAR SHIELDS

PFANJ car shields are once again available. $40.00 plus $5 shipping per order. Checks payable to PFANJ Store. Order must be placed through PFANJ website (PFANJ.org).

Must be in good standing with both PFANJ and IAFF.

Questions? Email Jeff Holtz at jholtz@pfanj.org

CORPORATE PARTNER INFO
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Copyright © 2017 Professional Firefighters of New Jersey, All rights reserved.


To contact us:

24 West Lafayette Street
Trenton, New Jersey 08608
Phone: (609) 396-9766
Fax: (609) 396-0891
Email: pfanj@pfanj.org


 






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Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey · 24 West Lafayette Street · Trenton, Nj 08608 · USA

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