By DUSTIN RACIOPPI
For nearly four years, Rumson officials and its police union have been at loggerheads on a new contract. Earlier this week, a state arbitrator delivered a decision that has the council shocked and disappointed.
The governing body will appeal the decision given by arbitrator James Mastriani, said Mayor John Ekdahl. The terms Mastriani proposed, he said, create a “privileged class” of employees.
The award calls for 3.5-, 3.5- and 3.25-percent pay increases retroactive to when the union’s contract expired at the end of 2006. For 2010, officers would get increases of 3 percent, and 2.75-percent next year if Mastriani’s award holds up.
But given the state’s economic turmoil plus a pending 2-percent tax cap Ekdahl finds the terms of the police contract unfair to the borough and its taxpayers.