Monday, January 25, 2010

Fire Union fires back

As requested, MSV is printing in its entirety a letter just received from the Hoboken Uniformed Fire Fighters Association, Local 1078:

Ms. Tripodi is lying right through her teeth with that statement!!!!!  The fire dept is scheduled to meet within a couple of days and we were just advised that she is on vacation in Puerto Rico.  When seeking to see if she was back, no one could confirm that.  We attempted to meet with the city several times as the letter in the Reporter states and it has been the city who has cancelled.  The union was even willing to meet under difficult circumstances (death to union members immediate family)  a few weeks ago and she cancelled anyway.  FURTHERMORE, a couple of years ago, the city and its powers to be switched Prescription Plans for all city employees through a broker agreement with Brown and Brown.  That resulted in massive problems and employees paying full price for they're prescriptions and those which were on long term care pharmaceuticals had their health care jeopardized.  All this because the city NEVER sent a letter, memorandum or anything to notify the city employees the prescription plan they had is changing.  Today, I received in the mail notification from our NEW company, NOT THE CITY.  It seems the city again changed the plan with out any prior warning to its employees.    I called the new company and a representative had stated she has received NUMEROUS calls from individuals who were unaware of the change, which according to the contract must be equal to or better.  The representative stated many of the callers had many questions which were surprising to him/her because a general practice is most covered members are aware of changes to the health plans from  the respective towns.  The city of Hoboken would like to change health care plans (which the Fire Department is still open to) for all its employees going forward, yet, when the unions are apprehensible to do so, they wonder why.  Maybe this is a wake up call for the city.  Try to communicate better with the people who depend on such things as health care, long term care with prescriptions, etc etc. and perhaps there wouldn't be so many problems or costs associated by not advising the work force you are changing plans and creating panic and mounting questions.    


Vincent Depinto, President Local 1078
Andrew Frey, State Delegate Local 1078

Education Battle

There's been some fire on both sides of a contract issue but here's the complaint filed by Mr. Petrosino submitted by a reader.  We're not going to conclude anything on either side, since MSV is not sure on the status of the complaint or its possible conclusion.  So we consider this informational:

Hoboken Fire: Let's go to arbitration

Mile Square Exclusive

The Hudson Reporter published a letter making it official what had been circling about for a spell: Hoboken's Fire union has tossed its hat for arbitration stating in part:

Dear Hoboken residents:
Recently, the Hoboken Fire Department and its local bargaining union have attempted to negotiate a fair deal to benefit our members and also put forth a substantial savings for the city. In the last couple of attempts to meet and put forth an honest effort to secure such a deal, the city has canceled on us with no reason given. In fact, several “good faith” letters have been sent to the City of Hoboken in order to secure a date and time to no avail.

Judy Tripodi, the state fiscal monitor for Hoboken countered via email to MSV stating: "We had several dates planned, but the fire cancelled several times...No union was or is forced.  We never really started the negotiation off the ground.  I'd be willing to discuss a fair contract with them as I did the police."

MSV will update as this develops. 

And then there were two...

The Jersey Journal reports the search for a superintendent is now down to two candidates:

School board member James Farina, also the city clerk, said a search that started with 21 or 22 candidates has come down to Frank Romano of the Fort Lee school district and Gayle Griffin of the Newark school district. 

The finalists will participate in a Q&A with Hoboken citizens tomorrow at 7:00 pm in the auditorium at Hoboken High School at Ninth and Clinton Streets.

All residents of Hoboken are invited to interact with the two finalists for the position of Superintendent of the Hoboken Schools. Each candidate will spend approximately 45 minutes with the public, and after giving some background information will respond to questions. NJSBA Search Consultant, Susan McCusker, will facilitate the meeting.
Those in attendance will be able to share their impressions of the candidates with the board, which has the responsibility for making the final decision.

Handing over the loot to Midtown Authentic

Haiti contributions after the devastating earthquake in the troubled nation is a noteworthy cause and the Hoboken community is certainly coming together to provide aid.  One particular effort noted by Hoboken Patch is raising eyebrows.  Although the process may have been improved, the initial call to give money to Rory Chadwick of Midtown Authentic drew some strong concerns among readers at MSV.  We received more than one email questioning the very concept of handing over cash to a third party when direct aid via the efforts of many well known organizations was easily available via the internet and your mobile phone.  We noted such efforts by President Clinton and encouraged such as the need to get money into the pipeline was essential in saving lives.

With that, we're not sure how individuals track their taxable contributions giving cash to a third party.  We're going out on a limb that City Hall won't be encouraging such an unregulated enterprise.

By all means support local businesses making direct donations from their sales, but in terms of individual contributions, do what you can directly and indirectly where appropriate.

Godspeed to all our reader's efforts on behalf of Haiti.

Photo: Recent fundraiser at the MLK celebration All Saints on Washington Street.
Courtesy Claire Moses /

Update: Some of the exchange with Rory Chadwick over at Patch.

The green and white

Amid the gloom unbeknownst to those who retain memory far less than the fallen at the hands of Elway and Mile High Stadium; there is yet a clearing sky in yonder distance. In its touch of glory repeateth the downfall of the second half, know ye the beacons and truest holders of the green and white, the flag still flies across the swamp, looking toward the future of a new stadium rising.  There lies the dreams of Ryan future, the green and white still prevails through the mist.

Verily, I say peace be upon you, the Jets shall rise again!

Photos: Hoboken last night after the valiant Jets lost to the Indianapolis Colts.
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