Jersey City municipal workers union suing for double time pay for brief 2018 state of emergency

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Local 245, a Jersey City municipal employees union, is suing for double time pay they believe they are owed for working during a week-long state of emergency declared by Gov. Phil Murphy (D) back in 2018.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

According to the complaint, filed in Hudson County Superior Court on May 6th, Local 245 says their memorandum of understanding with the city says they are entitled to 200 percent, or double time pay, for working during a state of emergency between March 6th and March 13th in 2018.

Murphy issued executive order No. 14 on due to “severe weather events” that occurred on March 2nd and March 7th, 2018, which was lifted a week later.

On March 19th, 2018, Local 245 says they filed a grievance, the same day the city allegedly sent an email indicating that only employees who worked snow detail would receive double time pay.

Their grievance was then subsequently denied on March 26th, 2018, eventually leading to an independent arbitrator, Richard C. Gwin to decide the grievance on September 12th, 2019.

He ruled in the favor of the city, though the union contends in the lawsuit that Gwin “exceeded his authority and decided matters that were outside the scope of the submission.”

As a result, they are seeking his opinion and reward to be vacated, their double time pay from 2018, and any other relief the court deems just and equitable.

A city spokeswoman declined to comment on ongoing litigation.

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