NJ FMBA Endorses Governor Phil Murphy

When was the last time you heard the whispers of arbitration caps?  Chapter 78 being reintroduced?  The Governor’s budget address and the state of the State address targeting public employees?  I will tell you.  It’s been almost 4 years.  While reflecting back on the last administration nauseates me, it is imperative to never forget.  We had zero relationships and contacts with the Governor’s office and most State agencies that affect our member’s lives were ordered not to take our calls.  We were on the defensive more times than not with Legislation.   Life was different and extremely challenging for our union during those times.

Lets look at some accomplishments our union has seen under Governor Murphy and this Legislature: 

  • The most important piece of Legislation in our time.  Chapter 55.  The accompanying statute to our pension carve out.
  • A state Fire Marshall from the career side.
  • Legislation to provide a Fire/EMS lifeline with funding that has been defunct for a decade.
  • Bill Ricci legislation to provide retirement benefits to members “off duty” who responded to World Trade Center.
  • Presumptive cancer legislation.
  • Immediate presumptive legislation passed for Covid-19.
  • Access and the ability to be at the table with the Governor’s office.
  • NJ FMBA has direct access to the State agencies that affect our lives daily,  DCA, Civil Service, PERC, etc.
  • A Governor that truly cares and respects our profession and our collective bargaining rights.
  • Pension payments being made.

For those reasons and more our Union has voted to endorse Phil Murphy for Governor.  To be clear, when the legislative committee and executive board decide to recommend endorsing it is for reasons like those stated above.  It is our job to vet the candidates that will be most receptive to public safety.  They must realize the importance of collective bargaining, pensions, health benefits, adequate staffing and the need for resources to safely do our jobs.  

Social issues come into the conversation for many members.  As you know, it is your right to vote as you see best lines up with the important issues that matter most to you.  

I have heard time and time again, “I hate politics” or “ I don’t like getting involved in politics”.  And to that you will always hear me say, Politics plays a role our careers.  From the day you were hired, promoted and ultimately retire it plays a part.   Every right we have bargained for has been granted by elected officials, every right that has been taken from us has been taken by elected officials, and every right we fight to get back will be given back by the political process.

I write this article to lend some clarity on why your Union engages in the political arena.  Your executive board and legislative committee are in place to advocate on your behalf.  It is vitally important to have the backing of our members and families when the time comes to voice our concerns and positions.  

This November’s election will see all 120 seats in the legislature up as well as the Governor.   I encourage each of you to register your families to vote.  It is a hard fought right that should be utilized by our collective voice.  

- Eddie Donnelly

New Jersey Firefighters Mutual Benevolent Association