Commission Permits Arbitration Over Which Qualified Employee Was Entitled to Additional Compensation for Additional Duty

Borough of Norwood and International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 125

In P.E.R.C. No. 2017-57, the Commission denied a restraint of binding arbitration of a grievance contesting the Borough’s failure to pay additional compensation to the employee qualified in the processing of bio-diesel fuel selected by the Union.  Given the Borough’s admission that all unit members were qualified and absent any evidence that the Borough made an assessment of relative qualifications, the Commission permitted arbitration to proceed.  The Commission mistakenly applied the test for determining whether a grievance filed by a police or fire union is legally arbitrable.  However, the Commission would likely have reached the same result under the proper test.

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Filed under 2017

Commission Declines to Reconsider Decision Permitting Transfer of Unit Work to Non-unit Employee

Ocean Township Board of Education and Waretown Education Association

In P.E.R.C. No. 2017-53, the Commission denied a motion for reconsideration of P.E.R.C. No. 2017-45.  In that decision, the Commission restrained binding arbitration of a grievance challenging the Board’s unilateral transfer of unit work to a confidential employee outside of the Association’s negotiations unit.  The Commission reiterated its finding that the Board had a managerial prerogative to select the employee it deemed best suited for the position and that it did not base its decision on the unit work rule.  The Association has appealed.

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Filed under 2017

Commission Finds That Secret Recording of Meeting with Union Violated the Act

New Jersey Turnpike Authority and IFPTE Local 196 Chapter 1

In P.E.R.C. No. 2017-51, the Commission granted summary judgment in favor of IFPTE and found that the Turnpike Authority violated the Act when a supervisor secretly recorded an “off the record” meeting with Union representatives and an employee.  The Commission found that the supervisor’s interest in having a recording as a memory aid did not overcome the employee’s reliance on the promise that the meeting would be off the record.

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Filed under 2017

Commission Restrains Arbitration Over Alleged Termination Without Proper Notice

Essex County Sheriff’s Office and PBA Local 183

In P.E.R.C. No. 2017-50, the Commission restrained arbitration over a claim that a Sheriff’s Investigator was terminated without a departmental hearing in accordance with the collective bargaining agreement.  The Commission found that Sheriff’s Investigators “serve at the pleasure of the sheriff” and are unclassified civil service employees.  The Commission stated that the PBA did not point to any language in the contract that mentions pre-termination procedures applicable to Sheriff’s Officers.

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Filed under 2016

Commission Restrains Arbitration Over Unit Work Claim

Ocean Township Board of Education and Waretown Education Association

In P.E.R.C. No. 2017-45, the Commission restrained arbitration of a grievance challenging the transfer of two stipended positions to a non-unit confidential secretary.  The Commission found that the Board had a managerial prerogative to assign the duties to the non-unit confidential secretary because the Board had deemed her the most qualified for the positions.  The Commission issued its decision almost one year after an arbitrator issued an award sustaining the grievance.

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Filed under 2016

Commission Restrains Arbitration Over Memoradum Placed in Nurse’s Personnel File

Delaware Valley Regional Board of Education and Delaware Valley Regional Education Association

In P.E.R.C. No. 2017-39, the Commission restrained arbitration over an “evaluative memorandum” placed in a nurse’s personnel file that stated that a corrective action plan would be imposed to address the nurse’s “unacceptable conduct.”   The Commission ruled that the memorandum was not cast in punitive language  and could be fairly classified as a subjective evaluation of the grievant’s performance.  The Commission restrained arbitration over another memorandum that “determined that your actions constitute violations of State statutes and Board Policy.  Such conduct shall not be tolerated in the future and will be met with appropriate consequences.”

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Filed under 2016

Commission Finds No Refusal To Execute Contract Despite Unambiguous MOA

Township of Nutley and PBA Local 33 (Superiors) and PBA Local 33

In P.E.R.C. No. 2017-38, the Commission denied motions for summary judgment filed by two unions alleging the employer violated the Act by refusing to execute draft collective negotiations agreement consistent with the parties’ memorandum of agreement (MOA).  The Commission found that although the MOA “is clear and unambiguous on its face,” final resolution requires a thorough consideration of other evidence.

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Filed under 2016