New Jersey Governor, Legislature agree on arbitration reform

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December 9, 2010

By Kyle Maichle

TRENTON, New Jersey: Governor Chris Christie and Democrat leaders of the New Jersey Legislature agreed to legislation that reforms arbitration for police and fire fighters.[1]

Under the deal, there will be new standards in determining arbitration for police and fire fighters. The new arbitration standards are in part of an effort to reduce the state's budget deficit. Also, the Governor touts that arbitration reform will help local governments balance their budget and keep property taxes in check. A key provision of the reforms is that non-economic provisions cannot be arbitrated over set caps in current contracts. Under the current system, arbitrators can add non-economic items, which may drive up the cost of labor when settling new contracts.[1]

The agreed legislation is one of many proposals that Christie is asking to be approved by the Legislature into 2011. New Jersey Newsroom has reported that the Governor has received assurances from legislative leaders that pension reform will be brought up in 2011.[1]

Both houses of the Legislature are expected to vote on the deal by December 21, 2010.[1]

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