Monthly Archives: April 2016

Commission Rejects Charter School’s Challenge to Card Check Procedures

Paterson Charter School For Science & Technology and Paterson Charter Education Association

In P.E.R.C. No. 2016-4, the Commission rejected a series of arguments made by the Paterson Charter School for Science & Technology in a request for review of the Director of Representation’s decision certifying a unit of charter school employees.  The Director had found that the Association had submitted a sufficient number of authorization cards to be certified by card check.  The Commission rejected the School’s argument that the Director was required to provide the exact number of valid signed authorization cards constituting her basis for finding that a majority threshold had been reached and certification warranted.  The Commission stated that such an amendment to the representation procedures is more appropriate through formal rulemaking.  The Commission also rejected the School’s argument that the Director should have amended the employer-provided list of eligible employees to reflect changes in employment status.


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Commission Finds Refusal to Negotiate Over Certain Issues But Does Not Order Negotiations

Bellville Education Association and Bellville Board of Education

In P.E.R.C. No. 2015-79, after finding that the Board had a managerial prerogative to install security cameras and require staff to wear radio frequency identification cards, the Commission ordered the Board to cease and desist from refusing to negotiate over the severable impact on the staff from the implementation of security cameras and the use of the radio frequency identification cards.  The Commission’s order is unusual in that it did not order the Board to negotiate.  Both parties have appealed.

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Commission Finds Illegal Retaliation Against Association President

Central Regional Board of Education and Central Regional

In P.E.R.C. No. 2015-77,  the Commission adopted a Hearing Examiner’s recommendation that the Board used criticism and adverse evaluations to illegally retaliate against the Association President for her exercise of protected conduct.

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Furlough Negotiability Update

Borough of Keyport v. International Union of Operating Engineers

Borough of Belmar v. Communications Workers of America, AFL-CIO

Borough of Keyport v. AFSMCE Council 71

Robbinsville Township Board of Education v. Washington Township Education Association

On July 14, 2015, the New Jersey Supreme Court affirmed, with a modification, the decision of the Appellate Division that had reversed three Commission decisions that had held that the employers were required to negotiate before implementing furloughs/layoffs and work hour reductions pursuant to an emergency Civil Service regulation.  That regulation has since been repealed.  The Supreme Court reversed the Appellate Division’s holding that the regulation preempted negotiations, but then held that the three municipalities acted for reasons of economy based on municipal fiscal distress existing at the time, rendering the management choice to use a temporary or permanent layoff solution a managerial prerogative not subject to negotiations.  Justice Albin dissented, writing that “[c]ollective negotiations mean nothing if wages and hours are not on the table for discussion. One can only hope that the damage the majority inflicts on the collective negotiations process will be limited to the period the emergency civil service regulation was in effect.”

While the case was pending before the Supreme Court, the Commission applied the Appellate Division decision to the Robbinsville School Board’s plan to furlough teachers for three days.  P.E.R.C. No. 2014-30.   On August 7, 2015, the Appellate Division affirmed the Commission’s decision, rejecting the Association’s argument that the Civil Service regulation permitting furloughs in Keyport meant that the Supreme Court’s decision was inapplicable in this non-Civil Service school case.  The Supreme Court has granted certification in the Robbinsville case.

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New Jersey Public Employment Conference

This year’s Public Employment Conference will take place on April 29, 2016 at the East Brunswick Hilton.

Below are the details.  Here is a registration link.

Program Coordinators:
Paulette Brown, Esq.
President, American Bar Association
Chair, NJSBA Labor and Employment Law Section
Locke Lord LLP (Morristown)
Steven P. Weissman, Esq.
Program Moderator
Weissman & Mintz LLC (Somerset)
Nancy I. Oxfeld, Esq.
Oxfeld Cohen PC (Newark)
James J. McGovern, III, Esq.
Genova Burns LLC (Newark)
Speakers Include:
Stephen M. Sweeney
President, NJ State Senate
Assemblyman Declan J. O’Scanlon, Jr.
13th Legislative District (Monmouth County)
Edward Barocas, Esq.  
Legal Director, NJ ACLU
Lisa K. Barre-Quick Esq.
Apruzzese McDermott Mastro & Murphy (Liberty Corner)
David B. Beckett, Esq.
Law Offices of David Beckett (Princeton)
David Cohen, Esq.
Associate Vice President and Senior Counsel,
Labor & Employment, Rutgers University (New Brunswick)
Steven R. Cohen, Esq.
Selikoff and Cohen (Mt. Laurel)
James M. Cooney, Esq.
Patrick Duncan, Esq.
Manager, Labor Relations, NJ School Boards Association (Trenton)
Adrienne Eaton, Ph.D.
Associate Dean, Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations
(New Brunswick)
Franceline Ehert
CWA Staff Representative
Melissa Ferrara, Esq.
Goldberg Segalla (Princeton)
Marlene Gold, Esq.
Steven Goldstein, Esq.
Associate Professor, Rutgers School of Law (Newark)
Kathryn Hatfield, Esq.
Bauch Zucker Hatfield LLC (Springfield)
Stephen B. Hunter, Esq.
Detzky, Hunter & DeFillippo, LLC (Somerville)
Gayl R. Mazuco
Director, Unfair Practices and Representation, PERC
Emma Rebhorn, Esq.
Health Professionals and Allied Employees (Emerson)
Richard T. Smith
President, NJ NAACP
Bonnie S. Weinstock
Barbara Zausner


Sponsored by:
• The Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations
• Labor and Employment Law Section, NJ State Bar Association
• The New Jersey State AFL-CIO
• NJ League of Municipalities
• New Jersey Education Association
• New Jersey Association of Counties
• NJ State Policemen’s Benevolent Association
• Fraternal Order of Police
• NJ School Boards Association
• NJ State Firefighters’ Mutual Benevolent Association
• Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey


Program Agenda:
8:45 Welcome
9:00 Recent Developments in Public Employment Law
Gayle R. Mazuco, Esq. (moderator); David Cohen, Esq.; Stephen B. Hunter, Esq.; Kathryn Hatfield, Esq.; David B. Beckett, Esq.
• The payment of automatic increments after contract expiration: The County of
and Bridgewater decisions
• What to expect from the U.S. Supreme Court in the Friedrichs case involving the
constitutionality of agency fees
10:00 Should the Voters Approve a Constitutional Amendment to Fund Public Employee Pensions? Steven P. Weissman, Esq. (moderator); Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney; Assemblyman Declan J. O’Scanlon, Jr.
• Discussion of the NJ Supreme Court’s pension funding decision in Burgos v. State
– What does it mean for the future of public employee pension systems?
– Does it apply to local governments and their employees?
– What does it mean for the enforceability of public sector collective negotiations     agreements with the State?
• Debate: Should the Constitution be amended to Require the Funding and Payment of
Pension Benefits?
11:15 Break
11:30 Social Media, GPS and Electronic Surveillance versus First Amendment and Privacy Rights – James J. McGovern, Esq. (moderator); Steven Goldstein, Esq.; Richard T. Smith; Lisa K. Barre-Quick, Esq.; Emma Rebhorn, Esq.;
Ed Barocas, Esq.

• The negotiability of Social Media Policies
• Posting workplace pictures on Facebook
• Requiring employees to have GPS tracking devices
• Employee Privacy Rights
12:45 Luncheon
1:45 Trends in Public Sector Collective Negotiations
Adrienne Eaton, PhD (moderator); Franceline Ehret; Patrick Duncan;
Steven R. Cohen, Esq.; Melissa M. Ferrara, Esq.

• Health care bargaining after the sunset of Chapter 78
• Bargaining over the Cadillac Tax
• Increment systems, across-the-boards and the 2% property tax cap
2:45 Arbitrator Panel: How Would You Decide? – Nancy I. Oxfeld, Esq. (moderator); Bonnie S. Weinstock; Marlene Gold; Barbara Zausner; James K. Cooney, Esq.
3:45 Q & A
4:00 Wrap Up



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Commission Permits Arbitration of Grievance Challenging Elimination of Engineer’s Accumulated Vacation Leave

City of Millville and Millville Administrators Association

In P.E.R.C. No. 2015-62, the Commission declined to restrain binding arbitration of a grievance challenging the City of Millville’s unilateral elimination of vacation time that the City considered to be in excess of the statutory maximum.  A Civil Service statute and regulation provide that vacation leave not taken in the year earned because of business necessity must be used in the following year.  The Commission found that those limits applied only to employees in the classified service.  The grievant was in the unclassified service and not subject to the limits on the accrual and use of vacation leave.

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Commission Reaffirms Arbitrability of References to Reprimands in Evaluations

North Haledon Board of Education and North Haledon Education Association

Consistent with prior Commission decisions, in P.E.R.C. No. 2015-56, the Commission declined to restrain binding arbitration of a grievance seeking the removal of references on formal evaluations to previously issued disciplinary reprimands.

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