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Will Non-Uniformed City Workers Get New Contracts in 2013?

For the past five years, Hoboken's municipal employees — not police and fire — have been working without a contract. When will negotiations be completed?

One of the issues that will likely come in front of Hoboken's City Council this year will be an agreement between the city and the non-uniformed city workers.

But when?

For the past five years, Hoboken's non-uniform municipal employees have been working for the city without a contract and thus, without raises.

Fire and police contracts were settled in 2011, after the employees worked without contracts for the three years prior. The city is still paying back pay to fire fighters and police officers.

It's still unclear what the settlement with the municipal workers will be and how much backpay the employees will receive.

Business Administrator Quentin Wiest told council members that negotiations are still ongoing.

City officials indicated at Wednesday night's meeting, however, that an agreement might come to fruititon in the first few months of the year.

The city budgeted in a sum of money to potentially start paying out some of the raises and back pay in a temporary budget that was presented to the council on Wednesday night.

The temporary budget needed five votes to pass, which it did not.

Councilman Michael Russo said he was not comfortable putting in a large sum of money into a temporary budget, without being sure when and if those payments will be made.

Councilman David Mello countered that it's "irrational" to not free up extra in case of an agreement with Hoboken's municipal workers.

demosthenes January 04, 2013 at 07:14 PM
Claire, instead of reporting that Councilman Russo said he was "not comfortable" perhaps you could have thought about why he was "not comfortable" and evaluate whether the answer makes sense after you take the time to understand the actual issue. If the appropriation isn't needed during the first 3 months it will still be there when it is needed. If it is never needed (though Councilman Russo knows full well it will in fact be needed) it will eventually recycle into surplus. Including an appropriation in a budget doesn't put money at risk as Councilman Russo pretends, so Councilman Russo's lack of "comfort" seems more than a little contrived. Its a shame that Councilman Russo is once again playing politics with the genuine needs of our City's workers. Perhaps if the press were to take the time to understand the issues reported on and to explain them properly in their stories, the Councilman would find attempting to mislead the public to be less productive exercise and would instead consider doing his job.
demosthenes January 04, 2013 at 07:22 PM
You also seem to have failed to notice that the temporary budget did not pass due to the politically based knee jerk opposition of the once and soon to be again Council minority. Since the BA indicated that the result was that the city might not be able to pay its bills this would seem to be a bigger story than whether a union contract might or might not be settled over the next three months. Councilman Russo voted against the budget because of the faux "discomfort" that you refer to in your story. Will we be seeing a story soon about the rejection of the budget, the implications for our City and whether the reasons given for rejection were real or contrived?
recallbethmason January 04, 2013 at 11:52 PM
Why is mike Russo still a council person and why does patch continue to quote this individual who everyone considers a crook? He has no credibility with the Hoboken community. When his term is up, it will be his last term now that elections are held in November. The old guard have no ability to reduce voter turnout and all future election cycles will see the end of old guard representation in city politics.
Outofcontrol January 07, 2013 at 03:33 AM
demosthenes you said " the once and soon to be again Council minority". Do you have inside information about the outcome of pending lawsuits? If you do, please share. If you don't, then please indicate that you are merely speculating.

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