“Today, we pray to St. Patrick to help us rid Atlantic City of the Trenton snakes and the poison venom that they’ve given to our citizens,” said Mayor Don Guardian, responding to the news that a judge had ruled that the state could tear up its collective bargaining agreement with the city’s firefighters union.
State-appointed manager — former Sen. and State Attorney General Jeff Chiesa — drew most of the heat from speakers representing firefighters and police. They took turns bashing Chiesa’s $400-an-hour rate while the state is proposing cuts in salaries and benefits, longer hours, and staff reductions for firefighters and cops.
“It is financially impossible for Atlantic City to continue with the status quo,” said a statement from the state.
The courts gave the state the go-ahead to impose new work rules on firefighters covering schedules, platoon structures, salaries, overtime, health insurance, and other previously negotiated terms.
The police force faces similar cuts to salaries and benefits and threats to job security, including a plan to cut the number of officers from 274 to 250.
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