By Ira W. Mintz, Esq.
Paterson State Operated School District and Paterson Education Association
In P.E.R.C. No. 2014-46, the Commission extended the holding of its recent decision in Atlantic Cty., P.E.R.C. No. 2014-40, to dismiss an unfair practice charge filed after the school district refused to pay automatic salary increments, longevity increases and educational payment for acquisition of an advanced degree in accordance with a schedule in the parties’ expired contract. Abandoning decades of precedent, the Commission stated that requiring the payment of increments serves as a disincentive to the prompt settlement of labor disputes. However, the Commission did not provide the basis for its conclusion that settlements have been longer or harder to achieve.