ASSEMBLY, No. 4192

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

214th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED JUNE 27, 2011

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  GARY R. CHIUSANO

District 24 (Sussex, Hunterdon and Morris)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Makes various changes to civil service; permits institution of temporary layoffs; permits government entities to opt-out of civil service; requires civil service examinations be offered on continual basis.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning civil service and amending various sections of the statutory law and supplementing Title 11A of the New Jersey Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    N.J.S.11A:4-1 is amended to read as follows:

     11A:4-1.  Examinations.  The commission shall provide for:

     a.     The announcement and administration of examinations on a continual basis, where practicable, which shall test fairly the knowledge, skills and abilities required to satisfactorily perform the duties of a title or group of titles.  The examinations may include, but are not limited to, written, oral, performance and evaluation of education and experience;

     b.    The rating of examinations;

     c.     The security of the examination process and appropriate sanctions for a breach of security;

     d.    The selection of special examiners to act as subject matter specialists or to provide other assistance.  Employees of the State or political subdivisions may be so engaged as part of their official duties during normal working hours with the approval of their appointing authority. Extra compensation may be provided for such service outside normal working hours; and

     e.     The right to appeal adverse actions relating to the examination and appointment process, which shall include but not be limited to rejection of an application, failure of an examination and removal from an eligible list.

     The commission shall provide for the completion and submission of an application for an examination on the website of the commission.

(cf: P.L.2008, c.29, s.28)

 

     2.    Section 1 of P.L.1992, c.197 (C.11A:4-1.1) is amended to read as follows:

     1.    a.  Except as provided in subsection b. of this section concerning law enforcement officer and firefighter examinations, the commission shall establish a $25 fee for each application for an open competitive or promotional examination and a $15 fee for each application for an open competitive or promotional examination by a veteran.  Persons receiving public assistance benefits pursuant to P.L.1947, c.156 (C.44:8-107 et seq.), P.L.1973, c.256 (C.44:7-85 et seq.), or P.L.1997, c.38 (C.44:10-55 et seq.) shall not be required to pay this fee if they apply for an open competitive examination.  Receipts derived from application fees established by this subsection shall be appropriated to the commission.  On or after July 1, 2015, and every five years thereafter, the chairperson of the commission shall review the $25 fee established by this subsection and may modify the fee, provided, however, that the fee, along with the $15 fee, shall not exceed the cost of developing, procuring, and administering the examination.

     b.    The commission shall establish a fee for each application for an open competitive or promotional examination for a law enforcement officer or firefighter title.  The fee shall not exceed the cost of developing, procuring and administering the examination. Persons receiving public assistance benefits pursuant to P.L.1947, c.156 (C.44:8-107 et seq.), P.L.1973, c.256 (C.44:7-85 et seq.), or P.L.1997, c.38 (C.44:10-55 et seq.) shall not be required to pay this fee if they apply for an open competitive examination.  Receipts derived from application fees established by this subsection shall be appropriated to the commission for use in developing, procuring and administering law enforcement officer and firefighter examinations.

     c.     In addition to the fees established in subsections a. and b. of this section, the commission shall establish a $15 fee for each application for an open competitive or promotional examination for a position in State service.  Persons receiving public assistance benefits pursuant to P.L.1947, c.156 (C.44:8-107 et seq.), P.L.1973, c.256 (C.44:7-85 et seq.), or P.L.1997, c.38 (C.44:10-55 et seq.) shall not be required to pay this fee if they apply for an open competitive examination.  Receipts derived from the application fee established pursuant to this subsection shall be appropriated annually to the commission for the costs of the displaced workers pool program.  This fee shall not be assessed and collected unless the commission implements a displaced workers pool program.  If the displaced workers pool program is terminated at any time by the commission, the assessment and collection of this additional fee shall also be terminated.

     d.    The commission shall establish a $20 fee for each appeal filed under the provisions of subsection a. or b. of N.J.S.11A:2-6, subsection e. of N.J.S.11A:4-1, N.J.S.11A:8-4, and the rules promulgated thereunder.  Persons who are receiving public assistance benefits pursuant to P.L.1947, c.156 (C.44:8-107 et seq.), P.L.1973, c.256 (C.44:7-85 et seq.), or P.L.1997, c.38 (C.44:10-55 et seq.), or persons who are veterans, shall not be required to pay this fee.

     e.     The commission shall provide for the payment of any fee for an examination application submitted to the commission on the commission’s website.

(cf: P.L.2010, c.26, s.1)

 

     3.    N.J.S.11A:4-13 is amended to read as follows:

     11A:4-13.  Types of appointment.  The commission shall provide for the following types of appointment:

     a.     Regular appointments shall be to a title in the competitive division of the career service upon examination and certification or to a title in the noncompetitive division of the career service upon appointment. The appointments shall be permanent after satisfactory completion of a working test period;

     b.    Provisional appointments shall be made only in the competitive division of the career service and only in the absence of a complete certification, if the appointing authority certifies that in each individual case the appointee meets the minimum qualifications for the title at the time of appointment and that failure to make a provisional appointment will seriously impair the work of the appointing authority.  In no case shall any provisional appointment exceed a period of 12 months;

     c.     Temporary appointments may be made, without regard to the provisions of this chapter, to temporary positions established for a period aggregating not more than six months in a 12-month period as approved by the commission. These positions include, but are not limited to, seasonal positions.  Seasonal positions may be established for a maximum of nine months in a 12-month period when the appointing authority has submitted the applicable list of seasonal titles to the chair of the commission and the chair has approved them.  Positions established as a result of a short-term grant may be established for a maximum of 12 months.  Appointees to temporary positions shall meet the minimum qualifications of a title;

     d.    Emergency appointments shall not exceed 30 days and shall only be permitted where nonappointment will result in harm to persons or property;

     e.     Senior executive service appointments shall be made pursuant to N.J.S.11A:3-3; and

     f.     Unclassified appointments shall be made pursuant to N.J.S.11A:3-4 and N.J.S.11A:3-5.

(cf: P.L.2008, c.29, s.39)

 

     4.    N.J.S.11A:4-15 is amended to read as follows:

     11A:4-15.  Working test period.  The purpose of the working test period is to permit an appointing authority to determine whether an employee satisfactorily performs the duties of a title.  A working test period is part of the examination process which shall be served in the title to which the certification was issued and appointment made.  The commission shall provide for:

     a.     A working test period following regular appointment of four months, which may be extended to six months at the discretion of the commission, except that the working test period for political subdivision employees shall be [three] six months and the working test period for entry level law enforcement, correction officer, and firefighter titles shall be 12 months;

     b.    Progress reports to be made by the appointing authority and provided to the employee at such times during the working test period as provided by rules of the commission and a final progress report at the end of the entire working test period shall be provided to the employee and the commission;

     c.     Termination of an employee at the end of the working test period and termination of an employee for cause during the working test period; and

     d.    The retention of permanent status in the lower title by a promoted employee during the working test period in the higher title and the right to return to such permanent title if the employee does not satisfactorily complete the working test period, but employees removed for cause during a working test period shall not be so returned.

(cf: P.L.2008, c.29, s.41)

 

     5.    N.J.S.11A:8-1 is amended to read as follows:

     11A:8-1. a. A permanent employee may be laid off for economy, efficiency or other related reason.  A permanent employee shall receive 45 days' written notice, unless in State government a greater time period is ordered by the commission, which shall be served personally or by certified mail, of impending layoff or demotion and the reasons therefor.  The notice shall expire 120 days after service unless extended by the commission for good cause.  At the same time the notice is served, the appointing authority shall provide the commission with a list of the names and permanent titles of all employees receiving the notice.  The Civil Service Commission shall adopt rules to implement employee layoff rights consistent with the provisions of this section.  The commission shall consult with the advisory board representing labor organizations prior to such recommendations.

     b.    Permanent employees in the service of the State or a political subdivision shall be laid off in inverse order of seniority. As used in this subsection, "seniority" means the length of continuous permanent service in the jurisdiction, regardless of title held during the period of service, except that for police and firefighting titles, "seniority" means the length of continuous permanent service only in the current permanent title and any other title that has lateral or demotional rights to the current permanent title.  Seniority for all titles shall be based on the total length of calendar years, months and days in continuous permanent service regardless of the length of the employee's work week, work year or part-time status.

     c.     For purposes of State service, a "layoff unit" means a department or autonomous agency and includes all programs administered by that department or agency.  For purposes of political subdivision service, the "layoff unit" means a department in a county or municipality, an entire autonomous agency, or an entire school district, except that the commission may establish broader layoff units.

     d.    For purposes of State service, "job location" means a county. The commission shall assign a job location to every facility and office within a State department or autonomous agency.  For purposes of local service, "job location" means the entire political subdivision and includes any facility operated by the political subdivision outside its geographic borders.

     e.     For purposes of determining lateral title rights in State and political subdivision service, title comparability shall be determined by the commission based upon whether the: (1) titles have substantially similar duties and responsibilities; (2) education and experience requirements for the titles are identical or similar; (3) employees in an affected title, with minimal training and orientation, could perform the duties of the designated title by virtue of having qualified for the affected title; and (4) special skills, licenses, certifications or registration requirements for the designated title are similar and do not exceed those which are mandatory for the affected title.  Demotional title rights shall be determined by the commission based upon the same criteria, except that the demotional title shall have lower but substantially similar duties and responsibilities as the affected title.

     f.     In State service, a permanent employee in a position affected by a layoff action shall be provided with applicable lateral and demotional title rights first, at the employee's option, within the municipality in which the facility or office is located and then to the job locations selected by the employee within the department or autonomous agency.  The employee shall select individual job locations in preferential order from the list of all job locations and shall indicate job locations at which the employee will accept lateral and demotional title rights.  In local service, a permanent employee in a position affected by a layoff action shall be provided lateral and demotional title rights within the layoff unit.

     g.     Following the employee's selection of job location preferences, lateral and demotional title rights shall be provided in the following order:

     (1)   a vacant position that the appointing authority has previously indicated it is willing to fill;

     (2)   a position held by a provisional employee who does not have permanent status in another title, and if there are multiple employees at a job location, the specific position shall be determined by the appointing authority;

     (3)   a position held by a provisional employee who has permanent status in another title, and if there are multiple provisional employees at a job location, the specific position shall be determined based on level of the permanent title held and seniority;

     (4)   the position held by the employee serving in a working test period with the least seniority;

     (5)   in State service, and in local jurisdictions having a performance evaluation program approved by the commission, the position held by the permanent employee whose performance rating within the most recent 12 months in the employee's permanent title was significantly below standards or an equivalent rating;

     (6)   in State service, and in local jurisdictions having a performance evaluation program approved by the commission, the position held by the permanent employee whose performance rating within the most recent 12 months in the employee's permanent title was marginally below standards or an equivalent rating; and

     (7)   the position held by the permanent employee with the least seniority.

     h.     A permanent employee shall be granted special reemployment rights based on the employee's permanent title at the time of the layoff action and the employee shall be certified for reappointment after the layoff action to the same, lateral and lower related titles.  Special reemployment rights shall be determined by the commission in the same manner as lateral and demotional rights.  An employee shall be removed from the special reemployment list when the employee has turned down a reemployment opportunity in a position that is one with the same or substantially similar job duties as, the same title and series as, the same or substantially similar hours of work as, and a location within a 25 mile radius of, the position from which the employee was laid off or demoted in lieu of layoff.

     i.      Notwithstanding the provisions above, at no time shall any person on a military leave of absence for active service in the Armed Forces of the United States in time of war or emergency be laid off.

(cf: P.L.2008, c.29, s.69)

 

     6.    N.J.S.11A:2-13 is amended to read as follows:

     11A:2-13. Opportunity for appointing authority hearing, alternative procedures.

     Except as otherwise provided herein, before any disciplinary action in subsection a.(1), (2) and (3) of N.J.S.11A:2-6 is taken against a permanent employee in the career service or a person serving a working test period, the employee shall be notified in writing and shall have the opportunity for a hearing before the appointing authority or its designated representative.  The hearing shall be held within 30 days of the notice of disciplinary action unless waived by the employee.  Both parties may consent to an adjournment to a later date.

     When the State of New Jersey and the majority representative have agreed pursuant to the New Jersey Employer-Employee Relations Act, section 7 of P.L.1968, c.303 (C.34:13A-5.3), to a procedure for appointing authority review before disciplinary action in subsection a.(1), (2) and (3) of N.J.S.11A:2-6, which would be otherwise appealable to the Civil Service Commission under N.J.S.11A:2-14, is taken against a permanent employee in the career service or a person serving a working test period, such procedure shall be the exclusive procedure for review before the appointing authority.

     A political subdivision of the State that has adopted the provisions of Title 11A of the New Jersey Statutes and the majority representative of its employees may negotiate, pursuant to the New Jersey Employer-Employee Relations Act, section 7 of P.L.1968, c.303 (C.34:13A-5.3), the procedure for appointing authority review before disciplinary action in subsection a.(1), (2) and (3) of N.J.S.11A:2-6, which would be otherwise appealable to the Civil Service Commission under N.J.S.11A:2-14, is taken against a permanent employee in the career service or a person serving a working test period.  Negotiations may result in a determination that the provisions of Title 11A and the regulations promulgated thereto shall be the review procedure.  A provision in a collective negotiations agreement for such a review shall be the exclusive procedure for appointing authority review before disciplinary action is taken.

     This section shall not prohibit the immediate suspension of an employee without a hearing if the appointing authority determines that the employee is unfit for duty or is a hazard to any person if allowed to remain on the job or that an immediate suspension is necessary to maintain safety, health, order or effective direction of public services.  In addition, where a suspension is based on a formal charge of a crime of the first, second or third degree, or a crime of the fourth degree if committed on the job or directly related to the job, the suspension may be immediate and continue until a disposition of the charge.  The Civil Service Commission shall establish, by rule, procedures for hearings and suspensions with or without pay.

(cf:  P.L.2008, c.119, s.10)

 

     7.    N.J.S.11A:2-14 is amended to read as follows:

     11A:2-14.  Notice to employee of right to appeal, alternative procedures.

     Except as otherwise provided herein, within 20 days of the hearing provided in N.J.S.11A:2-13, the appointing authority shall make a final disposition of the charges against the employee and shall furnish the employee with written notice.  If the appointing authority determines that the employee is to be removed, demoted or receive a suspension or a fine greater than five days, the employee shall have a right to appeal to the Civil Service Commission.  The suspension or fine of an employee for five days or less shall be appealable if an employee's aggregate number of days suspended or fined in any one calendar year is 15 days or more.  Where an employee receives more than three suspensions or fines of five or less days in a calendar year, the last suspension or fine is appealable.

     When the State of New Jersey and the majority representative have agreed pursuant to the New Jersey Employer-Employee Relations Act, section 7 of P.L.1968, c.303 (C.34:13A-5.3), to a disciplinary review procedure that provides for binding arbitration of disputes involving disciplinary action in subsection a.(1), (2) and (3) of N.J.S.11A:2-6, which would be otherwise appealable to the Civil Service Commission under N.J.S.11A:2-14, being taken against a permanent employee in the career service or a person serving a working test period, such procedure shall be the exclusive procedure for any appeal of such disciplinary action.

     A political subdivision of the State that has adopted the provisions of Title 11A of the New Jersey Statutes and the majority representative of its employees may negotiate, pursuant to the New Jersey Employer-Employee Relations Act, section 7 of P.L.1968, c.303 (C.34:13A-5.3), the disciplinary review procedure, including binding arbitration, for disputes involving disciplinary action in subsection a.(1), (2) and (3) of N.J.S.11A:2-6, which would be otherwise appealable to the Civil Service Commission under N.J.S.11A:2-14, being taken against a permanent employee in the career service or a person serving a working test period. Negotiations may result in a determination that the provisions of Title 11A and the regulations promulgated thereto shall be the disciplinary review procedure.  A provision in a collective negotiations agreement for the disciplinary review procedure shall be the exclusive procedure for any appeal of such disciplinary action.

(cf: P.L.2008, c.29, s.11)

 

     8.    Section 11 of P.L.2007, c.63 (C.40A:65-11) is amended to read as follows:

     11.  a. When a local unit contracts, through a shared service or joint meeting, to have another local unit or a joint meeting provide a service it is currently providing using public employees and one or more of the local units have adopted Title 11A, Civil Service, then the agreement shall include an employment reconciliation plan in accordance with this section that and, if one or more of the local units have adopted Title 11A, Civil Service, shall specifically set forth the intended jurisdiction of the Civil Service Commission.  An employment reconciliation plan shall be subject to the following provisions:

     (1)   a determination of those employees, if any, that shall be transferred to the providing local unit, retained by the recipient local unit, or terminated from employment for reasons of economy or efficiency, subject to the provisions of any existing collective bargaining agreements within the local units.

     (2)   any employee terminated for reasons of economy or efficiency by the local unit providing the service under the shared service agreement [shall], at the option of the local unit or pursuant to a collective negotiations agreement between the local unit and a majority representative, may be given a terminal leave payment of not less than a period of one month for each five-year period of past service as an employee with the local unit, or other enhanced benefits that may be provided or negotiated.  For the purposes of this paragraph, "terminal leave payment" means a single, lump sum payment, paid at termination, calculated using the regular base salary at the time of termination.  Unless otherwise negotiated or provided by the employer, a terminal leave benefit shall not include extended payment, or payment for retroactive salary increases, bonuses, overtime, longevity, sick leave, accrued vacation or other time benefit, or any other benefit.

     (3)   the Civil Service Commission shall place any employee that has permanent status pursuant to Title 11A, Civil Service, of the New Jersey Statutes that is terminated for reasons of economy or efficiency at any time by either local unit on a special reemployment list for any civil service employer within the county of the agreement or any political subdivision therein.

     (4)   when a proposed shared service agreement affects employees in local units subject to Title 11A, Civil Service, of the New Jersey Statutes, an employment reconciliation plan shall be filed with the Civil Service Commission prior to the approval of the shared service agreement.  The commission shall review it for consistency with this section within 45 days of receipt and it shall be deemed approved, subject to approval of the shared service agreement by the end of that time, unless the commission has responded with a denial or conditions that must be met in order for it to be approved.

     (5)   when an action is required of the Civil Service Commission by this section, parties to a planned shared service agreement may consult with that commission in advance of the action and the commission shall provide such technical support as may be necessary to assist in the preparation of an employment reconciliation plan or any other action required of the commission by this section.

     b.    If all the local units that are parties to the agreement are subject to the provisions of Title 11A, Civil Service, of the New Jersey Statutes, the Civil Service Commission shall create an implementation plan for the agreement that will: (1) transfer employees with current status in current title unless reclassified, or (2) reclassify employees into job titles that best reflect the work to be performed.  The Civil Service Commission shall review whether any existing hiring or promotional lists should be merged, inactivated, or re-announced.  Non-transferred employees shall be removed or suspended only for good cause and after the opportunity for a hearing before the Civil Service Commission; provided, however, that they may be laid-off in accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.11A:8-1 et seq., and the regulations promulgated thereunder. The final decision of which employees shall transfer to the new employer is vested solely with the local unit that will provide the service and subject to the provisions of any existing collective bargaining agreements within the local units.

     c.     If the local unit that will provide the service pursuant to a shared service agreement is subject to Title 11A, Civil Service, of the New Jersey Statutes, but the local unit to receive the service is not subject to that Title, and the contracting local units desire that some or all employees of the recipient local unit are to be transferred to the providing local unit, the  Civil Service Commission shall vest only those employees who have been employed for one year or more in permanent status pursuant to N.J.S.11A:9-9 in appropriate titles, seniority, and tenure with the providing local unit based on the duties of the position.  The final decision of which employees shall transfer to the new employer is vested solely with the local unit that will provide the service and subject to the provisions of any existing collective bargaining agreements within the local units.

     d.    If the local unit that will provide the service is not subject to the provisions of Title 11A, Civil Service, of the New Jersey Statutes, but the local unit that will receive the service is subject to that Title and the parties desire that some or all employees of the recipient local unit are to be transferred to the providing local unit, the transferred employees shall be granted tenure in office and shall only be removed or suspended for good cause and after a hearing; provided, however, that they may be laid-off in accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.11A:8-1 et seq., and the regulations promulgated thereunder.  The transferred employees shall be subject to layoff procedures prior to the transfer to the new entity. Once transferred, they will be subject to any employment contracts and provisions that exist for the new entity.  The final decision of which employees shall transfer to the new employer is vested solely with the local unit that will provide the service and subject to the provisions of any existing collective bargaining agreements within the local units.

(cf: P.L.2008, c.29, s.101)

 

     9.    (New section) a. An appointing authority in State or local service may institute a temporary layoff for economy, efficiency, or other related reasons.  A temporary layoff shall be defined as:  (1) the closure of an entire layoff unit for one or more work days over a defined period; or (2) a staggered layoff of each employee in a layoff unit for one or more work days over a defined period.  A temporary layoff shall be considered a single layoff action even though the layoff of individual employees takes place on different days during the defined period.  The defined period shall be set forth by the appointing authority in its temporary layoff plan; however, in a staggered layoff, the maximum period to stagger one day off shall not exceed 45 days.

     b.    A temporary layoff may, with the approval of the chairperson, be subject to limited exceptions when necessary to ensure continued public health and safety, including but not limited to child welfare, law enforcement, and care for prisoners, patients, and other residents in the care or custody of the State or local government.

     c.     In a temporary layoff, no employee in the layoff unit, whether career, senior executive, or unclassified, shall be paid for any work day that is designated as a temporary layoff day.  Any employee who is designated as exempt from a temporary layoff day pursuant to subsection b. of this section shall be paid the employee’s regular wages for working on that day.

     d.    A temporary layoff plan shall be submitted to the chairperson at least 15 days prior to the issuance of temporary layoff notices, or such other period as permitted by the chairperson. The temporary layoff plan shall describe the implementation of the temporary layoff, including the specific day or days on which the layoff unit will be closed, any exceptions pursuant to subjection b. of this section, and, if staggered, the reasons for not closing the entire layoff unit on a specific day, and the staffing plan for implementing a staggered temporary layoff.  Part-time employees shall be designated for a proportional amount of temporary layoff time, consistent with the ratio of hours worked to full-time employment.  In a staggered temporary layoff, the appointing authority shall be permitted in its sole discretion, to designate as unpaid temporary layoff time any planned or unplanned leave time taken by an employee during the defined layoff period, up to the maximum temporary layoff time for that defined layoff period.  Employees shall not be permitted to substitute any paid leave for an unpaid temporary layoff day.

     e.     For purposes of accrual of leave time, anniversary dates, paid holidays, and seniority, temporary layoff time shall be treated as if the employee is in pay status.  An employee serving a working test period shall have the working test period extended for the time equal to the temporary layoff time.  A leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act or other leave for medical or family reasons shall not be affected by a temporary layoff.  An alternate work week program may be suspended for pay periods in which a temporary layoff is implemented.

     f.     Because a temporary layoff is intended to apply equally to all employees in the layoff unit subject only to the exception and staggered schedules set forth in this section, subsections b. (seniority), d. (job location), e. (lateral and demotional title rights), f. (application of lateral and demotional title rights within job locations), g. (exercise of lateral and demotional title rights), and h. (special reemployment rights) of N.J.S.11A:8-1 shall not be applicable to a temporary layoff.

 

     10.  Section 7 of P.L.1968, c.303 (C.34:13A-5.3) is amended to read as follows:

     7.    Except as hereinafter provided, public employees shall have, and shall be protected in the exercise of, the right, freely and without fear of penalty or reprisal, to form, join and assist any employee organization or to refrain from any such activity; provided, however, that this right shall not extend to elected officials, members of boards and commissions, managerial executives, or confidential employees, except in a school district the term managerial executive shall mean the superintendent of schools or his equivalent, nor, except where established practice, prior agreement or special circumstances dictate the contrary, shall any supervisor having the power to hire, discharge, discipline, or to effectively recommend the same, have the right to be represented in collective negotiations by an employee organization that admits nonsupervisory personnel to membership, and the fact that any organization has such supervisory employees as members shall not deny the right of that organization to represent the appropriate unit in collective negotiations; and provided further, that, except where established practice, prior agreement, or special circumstances dictate the contrary, no policeman shall have the right to join an employee organization that admits employees other than policemen to membership.  The negotiating unit shall be defined with due regard for the community of interest among the employees concerned, but the commission shall not intervene in matters of recognition and unit definition except in the event of a dispute.

     Representatives designated or selected by public employees for the purposes of collective negotiation by the majority of the employees in a unit appropriate for such purposes, by the majority of the employees voting in an election conducted by the commission as authorized by this act or, at the option of the representative in a case in which the commission finds that only one representative is seeking to be the majority representative, by a majority of the employees in the unit signing authorization cards indicating their preference for that representative, shall be the exclusive representatives for collective negotiation concerning the terms and conditions of employment of the employees in such unit. An authorization card indicating preference shall not be valid unless it is printed in a language understood by the employees who signs it.

     Nothing herein shall be construed to prevent any official from meeting with an employee organization for the purpose of hearing the views and requests of its members in such unit so long as (a) the majority representative is informed of the meeting; (b) any changes or modifications in terms and conditions of employment are made only through negotiation with the majority representative; and (c) a minority organization shall not present or process grievances. Nothing herein shall be construed to deny to any individual employee his rights under Civil Service laws or regulations.  When no majority representative has been selected as the bargaining agent for the unit of which an individual employee is a part, he may present his own grievance either personally or through an appropriate representative or an organization of which he is a member and have such grievance adjusted.

     A majority representative of public employees in an appropriate unit shall be entitled to act for and to negotiate agreements covering all employees in the unit and shall be responsible for representing the interest of all such employees without discrimination and without regard to employee organization membership.  Proposed new rules or modifications of existing rules governing working conditions shall be negotiated with the majority representative before they are established. In addition, the majority representative and designated representatives of the public employer shall meet at reasonable times and negotiate in good faith with respect to grievances, disciplinary disputes, and other terms and conditions of employment.  In the case of temporary layoffs, designated representatives of the public employer shall consult with the majority representative of public employees over such temporary layoffs.  Failure to reach an agreement shall not prohibit the public employer, regardless of whether the public employer is subject to the provisions of Title 11A of the New Jersey Statutes, from instituting temporary layoffs as set forth in section 9 of P.L.    , c.   (C.    )(pending before the Legislature as this bill) and the imposition of temporary layoffs shall not constitute a violation of this act.  Nothing herein shall be construed as permitting negotiation of the standards or criteria for employee performance.

     When an agreement is reached on the terms and conditions of employment, it shall be embodied in writing and signed by the authorized representatives of the public employer and the majority representative.

     Public employers shall negotiate written policies setting forth grievance and disciplinary review procedures by means of which their employees or representatives of employees may appeal the interpretation, application or violation of policies, agreements, and administrative decisions, including disciplinary determinations, affecting them, provided that such grievance and disciplinary review procedures shall be included in any agreement entered into between the public employer and the representative organization. Such grievance and disciplinary review procedures may provide for binding arbitration as a means for resolving disputes.  Except as otherwise provided herein, the procedures agreed to by the parties may not replace or be inconsistent with any alternate statutory appeal procedure nor may they provide for binding arbitration of disputes involving the discipline of employees with statutory protection under tenure or civil service laws, except that such procedures may provide for binding arbitration of disputes involving the minor discipline of any public employees protected under the provisions of section 7 of P.L.1968, c.303 (C.34:13A-5.3), other than public employees subject to discipline pursuant to R.S.53:1-10.  Grievance and disciplinary review procedures established by agreement between the public employer and the representative organization shall be utilized for any dispute covered by the terms of such agreement.  For the purposes of this section, minor discipline shall mean a suspension or fine of less than five days unless the employee has been suspended or fined an aggregate of 15 or more days or received more than three suspensions or fines of five days or less in one calendar year.

     Where the State of New Jersey and the majority representative have agreed to a disciplinary review procedure that provides for binding arbitration of disputes involving the major discipline of any public employee protected under the provisions of this section, other than public employees subject to discipline pursuant to R.S.53:1-10, the grievance and disciplinary review procedures established by agreement between the State of New Jersey and the majority representative shall be utilized for any dispute covered by the terms of such agreement. For the purposes of this section, major discipline shall mean a removal, disciplinary demotion, suspension or fine of more than five days, or less where the aggregate number of days suspended or fined in any one calendar year is 15 or more days or unless the employee received more than three suspensions or fines of five days or less in one calendar year.

     In interpreting the meaning and extent of a provision of a collective negotiation agreement providing for grievance arbitration, a court or agency shall be bound by a presumption in favor of arbitration.  Doubts as to the scope of an arbitration clause shall be resolved in favor of requiring arbitration.

(cf:  P.L.2005, c.380, s.1)

 

     11.  (New section) a. A county or municipality operating under the provisions of Title 11A of the New Jersey Statutes may rescind the adoption of the provisions of Title 11A of the New Jersey Statutes upon the clerk of the county or municipality submitting the question of rescinding the provisions of Title 11A of the New Jersey Statutes to the voters of the county or municipality upon the filing of a petition with the clerk requesting the rescission.  The petition shall be signed by the registered voters of the county or municipality equal in number to at least 15% of the valid votes cast in the county or municipality at the last preceding general election. Each name shall be printed and signed and the place of residence indicated by street and number or other description sufficient to identify the place.  At the bottom of each separate page of the petition, there shall be printed an affidavit, which shall be signed by the circulator of that page that the circulatory, and only the circulator, personally circulated the page, that all signatures to the petition appearing on that page were made in the circulator’s presence, and that the circulatory believes them to be genuine signatures of the persons whose names they purport to be.  If a rescission petition is presented to a prospective petition signer by a part print advertisement, paid mailing, or paid solicitor, the petition and any appeal for the signature of such a prospective signer shall disclose prominently (1) the identity of the person paying for the printed or personal solicitation, and (2) that the solicitor is paid.

     b.    Within 10 days from the date of filing the petition, the clerk shall, in conjunction with and with the cooperation of the commissioner of registration of the appropriate county, complete an examination and ascertain whether or not the petition is signed by the requisite number of qualified voters, shall attach to the petition a certificate showing the result of the examination, and in the case of a municipal clerk shall transmit to the county clerk a notice that the question of rescission has been qualified for submission to the voters, including with that notice a copy of the certificate.  The question shall be submitted at the next general election, or alternatively in the case of a municipality in which municipal elections are held the next municipal election, occurring on or after the 60th day following the date on which the clerk shall have issued the certificate.  The municipal or county clerk, as appropriate, shall cause the question to be printed upon the ballots to be used at the election.

     c.     The clerk shall, prior to an election at which the question of rescinding the adoption of the provisions of Title 11A of the New Jersey Statutes is to be submitted to the voters, give public notice of that submission.  Public notice shall include, but need not be limited to, publication in the county’s or municipality’s official newspaper once a week for at least four weeks and posting of the notice in five of the most public places in the county or municipality for at least four weeks before the election.

     d.    If the clerk refuses or neglects to comply with this section, a registered voter of the county or municipality may apply to a judge of the Superior Court in the county in which the political subdivision is located for an order directing and compelling the submission of the question involved in the petition.  The judge shall hear the matter summarily.  If the judge finds and determines that the petition is in accordance with law, an appropriate order shall be issued.  Any clerk failing to comply with the order of the court, or any public official, officer, agent or employee, interfering with, or preventing, a clerk from satisfying an order, shall be guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.

     e.     If the result of the election is favorable to rescinding the adoption of Title 11A of the New Jersey Statutes, the result shall be certified by the governing body of the county or municipality to the chairperson of the Civil Service Commission.  The rescission shall take effect on a date established by the chairperson no less than six months and no greater than one year following the election at which the rescission was approved.  If a majority of the votes cast at the election are against rescission, no new election may be held on the same question before the second general election or municipal election, as appropriate, following the election at which that rejection of rescission was voted.

     f.     A fire district or districts within a municipality that has rescinded Title 11A of the New Jersey Statutes shall be deemed to have rescinded Title 11A of the New Jersey Statutes with respect to its employees.

     g.     All the provisions of this section shall apply to school districts in which the board of education is elected by the voters.  School districts shall, in the submission of the question to the voters, conform to the provisions of this section as nearly as possible.

 

     12.  (New section)  a. The Civil Service Commission shall promulgate regulations providing for the orderly transition, in any county, municipality, fire district, or school district which has adopted the rescission in the personnel system of the county, municipality, fire district, or school district.  Such regulations shall provide that any county, municipality, fire district, or school district that has adopted the rescission shall submit to the chairperson of the Civil Service Commission for approval its ordinance, resolution or manual setting forth personnel policies and procedures to be followed and adhered to after the rescission of the provisions of Title 11A of the New Jersey Statutes.  Such policies and procedures shall, at a minimum, provide for the terms and conditions of employment not otherwise covered by a collective negotiations agreement such as appointment, promotion, leave, employee performance, discipline and other related areas.  Such policies and procedures shall also prohibit all forms of unlawful discrimination, shall include an anti-discrimination policy and a policy concerning local government ethics.

     b.    A county, municipality, or school district which rescinds the adoption of Title 11A of the New Jersey Statutes shall not be permitted to readopt the provisions of that title for a period of at least 10 years from the effective date of the rescission and shall be permitted to readopt the provisions of Title 11A of the New Jersey Statutes only once.

     c.     An employee with permanent status in a title on the date the rescission of Title 11A of the New Jersey Statutes takes effect shall retain only those rights to a Civil Service Commission hearing available to career service employees upon disciplinary removal from government services pursuant to N.J.S.11A:2-13 et seq., or to challenge the good faith of a layoff pursuant to N.J.S.11A:8-4.

     d.    Following the rescission of Title 11A of the New Jersey Statutes, the county, municipality, fire district, or school district may enter into a contract with the Civil Service Commission, in an amount which shall not exceed that permitted by law, for testing, classification, compensation, or other technical personnel services.

 

     13.  N.J.S.11A:9-6 is amended to read as follows:

     11A:9-6.  Adoption of title; elections.  The [method of submitting the question of] procedure for the adoption, rejection or rescission of this title [to] by the voters of a county or municipality shall conform as nearly as possible to the provisions of Title 19 of the Revised Statutes, if appropriate, relating to the submission of public questions and [when submitted] at a school district election shall conform as nearly as possible to the provisions of Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes, if appropriate, relating to the submission of public questions in school districts.

(cf:  N.J.S.11A:9-6)

 

     14.  This act shall take effect immediately, except that sections 1 and 2 shall take effect 180 days following enactment, and except that the Civil Service Commission may take such anticipatory actions as may be deemed necessary and appropriate for the implementation of sections 1 and 2 of this act.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill makes various changes to the laws concerning civil service in this State.

     The bill provides that:

·        civil service examinations be announced and administered on a continual basis, where practicable.

·        applications for such examinations be available using the Internet for completion and for submission, and payments of applicable fees for such examinations also be accepted online.

·        an employee will be removed from a special reemployment list when the employee has turned down a reemployment opportunity in a position that is one with the same or substantially similar job duties as, the same title and series as, the same or substantially similar hours of work as, and a location within a 25 mile radius of, the position from which the employee was laid off or demoted in lieu of layoff.

·        seasonal positions may be established for a period aggregating not more than nine months in a 12 month period.

·        working test period for local public employees be extended to 6 months from 3 months.

 

     The bill also provides that local units of government in the civil service may negotiate with the majority representative of its employees for the procedure for the appointing authority’s review before a disciplinary action is taken against a permanent employee in the career service or a person serving in a working test period, and for the procedure for the appeal of a disciplinary action.  Current civil service law permits the State to negotiate such matters with employee representatives.  In addition, a provision in a collective negotiations agreement will be the exclusive procedure for review or appeal.

     Concerning shared service agreements, the bill provides that any employee terminated for reasons of economy or efficiency by the local unit providing the service under the agreement, at the option of the local unit or pursuant to a collective negotiations agreement between the local unit and a majority representative, may give a terminal leave payment of not less than one month for each 5 year period of past service as an employee of the local unit, or other enhanced benefit that may be provided or negotiated.  Current law requires that such payment or benefit must be provided.

     The bill permits an appointing authority in State or local civil service to institute a temporary layoff for economy, efficiency or other related reasons by closure of an entire layoff unit for one or more work days over a defined period, or a staggered layoff of each employee in a layoff unit for one or more work days over a defined period.  A temporary layoff plan must be submitted to the chairperson of the Civil Service Commission at least 15 days prior to the issuance of temporary layoff notices or as permitted by the chairperson.  The temporary layoff is considered a single layoff action even though it takes place on different days during the defined period.  The maximum period to stagger one day off may not exceed 45 days.  Limited exemptions to temporary layoffs are permitted, with the approval of the chairperson, when necessary to ensure continued public health and safety.  The temporary layoff days will be unpaid and will not affect accrual of leave time, anniversary dates, paid holidays, and seniority or a leave under the federal family and Medical Leave Act or other medical or family leave.  An alternate work week program may be suspended for pay periods during a temporary layoff.  Seniority, job location, lateral and demotional title rights, and special reemployment rights will not be applicable to a temporary layoff.

     The bill amends the New Jersey Employer-Employee Relations Act, specifically N.J.S.34:13A-5.3, to provide that in the case of temporary layoffs, the public employer must consult with the majority representative of public employees, but that failure to reach an agreement will not prohibit the public employer, whether in or not in civil service, from instituting temporary layoffs.  The imposition of such layoffs will not be a violation of the law.

     Finally, the bill provides that a county, municipality or school district may opt out of civil service.  The local governmental unit may rescind the adoption of Title 11A of the New Jersey Statutes (civil service) by the county or municipal clerk submitting the question to the voters of the county or municipality upon the filing of a petition with the clerk requesting the rescission.  The petition must be signed by at least 15% of the registered voters who voted in the county or municipality at the last preceding general election. Within 10 days from the date of the filing of the petition, the clerk must certify the petition in conjunction with the county commissioner of registration.  Thereafter, the question will be submitted at the next general election or next municipal election, as appropriate, on or after 60 days following the issuance of the certificate, and thereafter printed on the ballots.  The clerk must give appropriate public notice, including publication in the county or municipality’s official newspaper.  If the clerk fails to comply, a registered voter of the county or municipality may apply to a Superior Court judge for an order compelling submission of the question, and a hearing will be held summarily.  A noncompliant clerk or public official or other employee will be guilty of a fourth degree crime.

     When the result of the election is for rescission, the result must be certified by the governing body of the county, municipality or school district to the chairperson of the Civil Service Commission, and the rescission will take effect on a date set by the chairperson no less than six months and no greater than one year following the election.  If a majority of the votes cast are against rescission, no new election on the same question may be held before the second general election or municipal election, as appropriate, following the rescission election.  A fire district or districts within a municipality that has rescinded civil service is deemed to have rescinded civil service.

     The commission is directed to adopt regulations providing for an orderly transition in any local governmental unit that has rescinded civil service, that will require the unit to submit to the commission for approval its ordinance, resolution or manual setting forth personnel policies and procedures to be followed after rescission of civil service.  At a minimum, the unit must provide for the terms and conditions of employment not otherwise covered by a collective negotiations agreement.  The policies and procedures must include an anti-discrimination policy and a local government ethics policy. The unit may enter into a contract with the commission for testing, classification, compensation, or other technical personnel services.

     Upon rescission of civil service, a local governmental unit will not be permitted to readopt civil service for at least 10 years from the effective date of the rescission and may readopt only once.  An employee with permanent status in a title on the effective date of the rescission retains only those rights to a commission hearing available to career service employees upon disciplinary removal or to challenge the good faith of a layoff.

     The provisions of the bill requiring the offering of civil service examinations, and the availability of the examination application and payment of fees online, will take effect 180 days after enactment.