I was saddened to read Mayor Fried's bald-face lies concerning negotiations between his office and the union I represent.
At no time, under no circumstance was there any offer or request by Robbinsville Township for the members of L3786 to renegotiate or discuss any contractual item prior to the layoff notices delivered to two of my members on December 16, 2009. Telling us to come up with 175K after laying off two members does not constitute negotiation.
I offered my assistance to the mayor on December 11, 2009 at a meeting he assembled with the leadership of all bargaining units. At this meeting, Mayor Fried announced his unilateral change in health benefits. I told the mayor that L3786 could not concede to a unilateral change in health care benefits without knowing what other concessions may be needed. I offered in good faith to have a dialogue concerning potential concessions. Four days later, two of our members received pink slips.
L3786 was the first bargaining unit within the township to agree to health care contributions. This agreement took place during contract negotiations in 2008.
L3786 recognizes that we work for the taxpayers of Robbinsville. We are keenly aware of the fiscal crisis our state is under. L3786 will continue to stand up to the anti-union tactics deployed by Mayor Fried. L3786 expects additional retaliation from the mayor for exercising our rights as a labor organization. The real loser will be the citizens of Robbinsville who depend on us.
Robbinsville Professional Firefighters Association
IAFF Local 3786