Monthly Archives: July 2012

Commission Refuses to Issue Complaint on Charge of Bad Faith Negotiations

By Ira W. Mintz, Esq.

State of New Jersey Kean University and Council of New Jersey State College Locals, AFT, AFL-CIO

In P.E.R.C. No. 2012-69, the Commission affirmed a decision of the Deputy Director of Unfair Practices who had refused to issue a complaint based on an unfair practice charge filed by the Council of New Jersey State College Locals, AFT, AFL-CIO against the State of New Jersey Kean University.  The decision means that the AFT will not be able to try to prove its case in an unfair practice hearing.  Among other things, the charge alleges retrograde negotiations – that the University put an offer on the table and when, after trying to negotiate changes, the AFT agreed to the University’s proposal, the University then made substantive changes to its proposal.  All of the decisions cited by the Commission that found no bad faith negotiations were issued after the union had been given an opportunity to present its case at hearing.  In this case, the Commission stated that it made its decision “[c]onsidering the totality of the circumstances” and that AFT’s assertions with regard to the University’s bad faith are “unsupported.”  However, the Commission’s rules provide that a complaint will issue and a hearing will be conducted when the allegations, if true, may constitute unfair practices.  The rules contemplate that it is at a hearing that a union will get to support its allegations.

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Commission Interprets Change in Definition of Managerial Executives for State Executive Branch Employees

By Ira W. Mintz, Esq.

New Jersey State (Division of State Police) and New Jersey State Trooper Captains Association

In P.E.R.C. No. 2012-71, the Commission affirmed a Hearing Officer’s recommendation that a majority of the State Police captains are not managerial executives and are eligible for inclusion in a collective negotiations unit.  Managerial executives are excluded from the definition of public employees eligible for inclusion in collective negotiations units.  Before 2010, the managerial executive exclusion was the same for all public employees — persons who formulate management policies and practices, and persons who are charged with the responsibility of directing the effectuation of such management policies and practices.  In 2010, the Legislature amended the definition of managerial executives for employees of the Executive Branch of the State of New Jersey in two ways.  The definition no longer includes employees who simply direct the effectuation of management polices and practices.  In addition, the new definition specifies that managerial executives shall include only personnel at or above the level of assistant commissioner.

In this decision, the Commission made clear that the revised definition requires a determination that a managerial executive in the Executive Branch must formulate policy and be at or above the level of assistant commissioner, i.e. employees who do not formulate policy are not managerial executives even if they are at or above the level of assistant commissioner.  The Commission also found that assistant commissioners are at the third level of a State department and that most State Police captains are at least the fourth level and therefore can be included in a collective negotiationis unit.

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Senate Confirms New Public Member of the Commission

By Ira W. Mintz, Esq.

The Commission has seven members appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate.  Two are representative of public employers, two are representative of public employee organizations, and three are representative of the public.  One of the public members is the Commission Chair.   On June 28, the Senate confirmed the nomination of Paul Boudreau as a public member.  Mr. Boudreau is the President of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce and replaces Sharon Krengel.

Commissioners are appointed for three-year terms.  The chart below shows the current Commissioners and when their terms expire.  Commissioners continue to serve until their successors are appointed and qualified.

P. Kelly Hatfield Chair – Public Member 6/3/2012
David Jones Employee Organization Member 3/13/2014
Richard Wall Employee Organization Member 2/10/2014
John Bonanni Public Employer Member 2/14/2011
Paul Boudreau Public Member 1/7/2015
Paula B. Voos Public Member 9/10/2012
John Eskilson Public Employer Member 2/10/2011

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