>I don’t have all the facts but according to a friend that attended this afternoon’s special Middletown Township Committee meeting a contract settlement was reached with the Middletown Police Senior Officers Association (SOA) and a settlement with the Middletown PBA is pending union vote of approval scheduled for tomorrow morning.
Details of the settlement between Middletown and the SOA are as follows according to what I have been told:
- 4 year contract with salary increase of with 7.5% during length of contract broken down as follows – 1.5% 2% 2% 2%.
- No demotions or reduced pay for current Senior Officers.
- No layoffs of Senior Officers (thanks to 2 retirements instead)
- Members must contribute 25% of the cost of health plan if they stay with Township’s current health care plan, otherwise they must switch to a HMO based plan that members must contribute a percentage of salary to participate in (details of this however are a little sketchy and more clarification is needed.
As for the terms of the contract settlement between the Township and the members of the Middletown PBA, terms were not announced officially because the PBA union will be holding a meeting with it’s members Saturday morning (tomorrow) for ratification (terms are believed to be similar). Once the contract is ratified details will be released at Monday night’s (May 2nd) Township Workshop meeting.
It was stated however, that if this contract between the PBA and the Township is ratified only 4 of the 10 planned police layoffs will take place , saving 6 positions.
More details as they become available over the next few day…
In our current economic crisis it is safe to say that everyone is suffering right now with tens of thousands of job losses and pay freezes nationwide. When times are tough, our elected representatives must make difficult decisions by taking the finances of our town seriously and helping those that need the most help. The taxpayer. What better way to lead in these trying times than by setting a good example and taking charge of what they were elected to do.
Therefore I would like to applaud the Middletown Township Committee for deciding to forgo their pay. They should go one step further by eliminating the stipend and health benefits of all Committee appointees, namely the sewer authority. A request should go out to ask the appointed professionals, like lawyers and engineers, to accept a reduction in the contracts that were negotiated in December. This is the example that should be set and is being suggested by Committeemen Patrick Short and Sean Byrnes,
There are some that report that Committeemen Short and Byrnes criticize insignificant savings, when in reality, they are looking to find significant savings in items that are not self-funded so that those that need the most help are not subject to the town helping themselves to your hard earned dollars. As homeowners and taxpayers, we deserve a Township Committee that is going to set the tone for a township budget. This is not what is happening and over 20% of this years budget has already been spent. Committeemen Short and Byrnes are the kind of positive and creative thinkers that are required to lead our town. They are putting the taxpayer first by looking for ways to allow the taxpayer to keep more of what they earn.
I applaud the work that Committeemen Short and Byrnes are doing to drive this budget process. Even the other Committee members recognize the effort and have adopted some of their Ideas. Hopefully, our town can come out of this process on a positive note.
Paul J Jansen