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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

PATERSON POLICE PBA LOCAL 1, ET AL. VS. CITY OF PATERSON

PATERSON POLICE PBA LOCAL 1, ET AL. VS. CITY OF
PATERSON, ETC.
 A-1263-11T1

The parties engaged in compulsory interest arbitration
after N.J.S.A. 40A:10-21(b) required public employees to
pay a contribution of 1.5 percent of base salary toward
their health benefits and the resulting award made specific
reference to this requirement. However neither the statute
nor the award defined "base salary." Defendant City of
Paterson interpreted the term as base pensionable salary
and made deductions accordingly. Plaintiffs initiated this
action, contending that "base salary" meant base
contractual salary and excluded additional items of
compensation such as longevity, educational incentives, and
night and detective differentials. Because "base salary"
was defined in a subsequent statute applicable to the award
here, N.J.S.A. 34:13A-16.7, we assume that, absent any
statement to the contrary, the arbitrator used the term
"base salary" as directed by the Legislature. Therefore,
we reverse the judgment entered in plaintiffs' favor. 11/27/13