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Police and Law Enforcement Home  >  Editorials    >    Perth Amboy PBA Attacked Again in Tribune


Police and
Law Enforcement News

Perth Amboy PBA
Attacked Again in Tribune

Wednesday, February 14, 2007 12:00 p.m.

Someone in the Perth Amboy PBA must have done something to a member of the Home News and Tribune editorial staff. 

A traffic ticket?  An arrest?  Perhaps an abrupt response to a request for directions?

They must have done something.  Itís the only explanation we can think of to explain why a respected, regional newspaper no longer even tries to hide its disdain for the Perth Amboy PBA.


Yesterday, for the third time in as many weeks, the Home News and Tribune fired another salvo of shots at the Perth Amboy PBA bosses.  This one was just as nasty as the first two.

Quick review. 

Back in January, the City of Perth Amboy and the PBA were in contract negotiations when the city told the PBA to accept salary concessions or face layoffs.  The PBA stood firm, and the city laid off eight officers.

The Home News and Tribune (THNT) published a crushing editorial entitled Eight Men Out Police Unionís Fault, which blasted the PBA for not giving into the concessions.  It was so nasty that we,, responded with our own editorial.

Then, on February 3rd, THNT published their second editorial Blame Cops for DARE Demise.  You can probably guess the position of the piece from the title.

This brings us to yesterdayís editorial City Got 4 Cop Jobs Back Despite Stubborn Union.

A few nuggets from this one:

Four Perth Amboy police officers who were laid off last month are returning to work this week for no other reason than the determined efforts of Mayor Joseph Vas and his administration. Salvaging the jobs took imagination and perseverance in the face of steep budget cuts. In stark contrast, the heads of the local PBA showed they were less interested in saving the jobs of their brethren than in hard-ball union tactics by refusing to work with the city in any wayÖ

Union heads agreed to a compromise, then soon after backed out ó good neither on their word nor commitment to better law enforcement.

So Perth Amboy was forced to go ahead with its layoff plans ó until, that is, Mayor Joseph Vas announced on Friday that he and a few of the city's biggest companies had come to a deal of their own: Now, corporate donations from Chevron Corp. of $75,000 and from The Morris Cos. of $50,000 have made it possible to reinstate four of the jobs.

Give Vas and the respective company officials credit for understanding the value of strong police numbers and for their innovative solution to the puzzle; the corporate dollars were allowed to be given directly to Perth Amboy because the funds come in the form of a one-time grant to the municipality, an obscure maneuver that required and received the OK of the state Division of Local Government Services.

No similar praise is due the honchos at Police Benevolent Association Local 13. A small concession by them and all eight policemen would be patrolling a beat today. Instead, the city is down four cops. Still, that is four fewer than what might have been, thanks to City Hall.

The best line has to be ďUnion heads agreed to a compromise, then soon after backed out ó good neither on their word nor commitment to better law enforcement.Ē 

Is it us, or does it seem that the author holds a serious disdain for law enforcement or at least some law enforcement from the Perth Amboy police department.

Itís almost comical. 

Almost, but not quite.

Newspapers are very powerful.  They influence and shape the opinions of many.

When those who hold the reigns harbor such ill will toward law enforcement, it leaks into the paper itself and our job approval among those we serve is directly affected.

We, local law enforcement, simply cannot compete with repeated attacks in a publication approaching a daily circulation of 60,000.

Some would argue that weíre making more of this than it is.


But, I donít remember the teachers or the JCP&L workers receiving this kind of treatment when they were going through their contract disputes and/or strikes.

I also canít think of the last time I saw an editorial with a pro-police position.

Newspapers and other media are often more politically aligned with those who support unions and labor.

I guess thatís unless itís the type of labor that wears badges.



I guess the Editors of the newspaper can't relate with Police since they have the right to strike when they are unhappy with their contract. Police have no choice. They are not legally permitted to strike. As for being given the choice of taking a pay cut or losing your job, Unions can never give in. Job security would be directly tied to the constant mismanagement of City officials and their failed budgets. Shame on the Editors for a very unfair opinion.

Lets not forget that Perth Amboy police are in the middle of a contract, they would have had to open up an existing contract in order to entertain a deal from the city- which ultimate would have affected ALL unions state wide...we should be thankful they held strong.


I wouldn't march with him, let him go screw!!!!


donald payne and tom giblin are filthy political sell outs.  

              Tara, wife of a Newark Police Sergeant






Once again, Police and their unions don't seem to understand that They have got to get Their side of the story out to the public, whether it's during contract negotiations or a new ordinance. The "blue wall' of silence does not work in these situations. What the heck, I can't tell if the editorial is Fair & Balanced, but I'd like a neutral "3rd party" to tell me What is True. I don't have that here. And guys, let's not be so thin-skinned about criticism. This was not an anti-law enforcement stance, it was about a bungled contract negotiation strategy. These issues should have been addressed and discussed and reported to the community Way before push came to shove, leading to layoffs. Sure it's a tough job, but you knew that when you joined. What the heck, you can always become a teacher.


I'm sure that prior to have hired officer the municipal government must have allocated the funds to pay them. This is nothing more than an abuse of Municipal government power.


In regards to the Home News Tribune, its a Democratic Political newspaper and Mayor Vas is a big influence.  You don't here about the Police dept being down 9 cops from retirement plus 8 from layoffs.  The 4 that were hired back are just temporary until the new fiscal budget comes out in July 2007 and they'll be laid off again.

If you read that trash of a newspaper you never read anything negative about the city inc. the actual high crime they keep everything quiet.   If it wasn't for Mayor Vas the city wouldn't be in this situation and look at all his cronies getting big raises for non essential jobs.


These reporters use any means necessary to bash cops in this state.  I find that many people are jealous of cops, because of our salaries and benefits.  They see us as lazy crybabies, making too much money for the "amount of work that they think we do!"  Remember, we don't get paid for what we do, we get paid for what we may have to do!!


This is bull. The NJ state PBA office should step in and use its resources to compete with the newspaper and set the record straight with the 60,000 people reading the papers.


A piece of advice, make sure that everyone in these forums, including Woodbridge, Carteret, South Amboy, Sayreville read these postings.  They need to know what is going on in Perth Amboy and how the Home News and newspapers portray our finest. 

Also, this may help the other police officers and their unions when they encounter the same situation.  The PBA in Perth Amboy set an example for other unions to follow. 


The Home News should only be blaming Vas for this financial crisis.  Did they forget the Vas Majal and the budget submitted to the State of NJ without any documentation. The famous letter for a friend child convicted of child molestation" this is really sick".

Let's us not forget the perks that his friends receive.  The lottery for homes now in question! A Failed Insurance Business.  Dear PBA we are so proud that you stood your ground and finally unmask Vas. 

Kudos to the PBA and our police department.


My suggestion hit THNT in their pockets, boycott the newspaper do not buy it. I no longer give them my hard earned money.


What the paper failed to mention is the fact that while the City negotiated a contract which they never intended to fulfill, since they didn't have the resources to pay for it, the Mayor gives his girlfriend and some cronies an 18% pay increase. 

Who has ever heard of an 18% pay increase to "non-essential" employees and at a time when the City is in financial crisis?  

The PBA should not have had to negotiate a contract which was already negotiated and was in full force and effect, period! 

The Mayor negotiated in bad faith to begin with so Kudos to the PBA for standing their ground. Shame on the Homes News Tribune for taking the position they took. 


How about the bashing NJ law enforcement, particularly in Bergen County, took from a reporter from the Bergen Record with regards to our salaries and benefits. Basically he blamed our high salaries for the out of control property taxes. I'm sure he sleeps well at night thanks to the over-paid cops he bashed.


They hire 8 cops and then don't have the money to keep them?


It's funny, a guy in my Dept stopped a car a few days ago and the driver says, "I'm not sure if it means anything, but I work for the Star Ledger."

I guess he doesn't read their paper either.


Wonder if Perth Amboy elected officials get health benefits?  What did other municipal workers give back?  Why am I only reading about public safety workers?

I guess this just brings more questions and never has any most editorials.


First off, I have noticed a lot of papers are very anti-police. Most often a lot of what you read about Police Departments is something negative that they have done. On rare occasions you read about how they did something heroic.

In all honesty the fact that Perth Amboy was in financial trouble is due to the Mayor and the rest of the town government. There is no reason a Police Officer or Firefighter should ever have to defer their raise or be asked to sacrifice their income. These men and women put their lives on the line everyday to protect the people of their community, but yet you ask them to sacrifice.

Well how dare you Mr. Mayor. Put your pay on the line, raise taxes, stop spending money on useless things that are needed in the town. As far as the media goes, sit down and shut up. Lets see what would happen if someone came to you and said our newspaper is in trouble we can either do two would be to take your raise or two let go of a couple of people. What would you say? Why don't you write about that, or write about how you people stick your nose in people's personal lives and don't think about anyone else. Write about that.


 A smaller raise! The P.B.A. was trying to extend an already meager raise one year. Its past practice of the "Administration" to take and never give back. Not this time.


It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that the media doesn't like cops.


Maybe if the police would have just taken a smaller raise, none of this would have had to happen.

-Citizen Kane




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