ASSEMBLY RESOLUTION No. 177

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

215th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED JUNE 6, 2013

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman  LINDA STENDER

District 22 (Middlesex, Somerset and Union)

Assemblyman  HERB CONAWAY, JR.

District 7 (Burlington)

Assemblyman  JOHN S. WISNIEWSKI

District 19 (Middlesex)

Assemblyman  JOHN F. MCKEON

District 27 (Essex and Morris)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblymen Gusciora, DeAngelo and Benson

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Objects to establishment of proposed job banding program by Civil Service Commission.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

 


An Assembly Resolution objecting to establishment of the proposed job banding program by the Civil Service Commission.

 

Whereas, The civil service system in New Jersey, once a statutory creation, gained permanence through its inclusion in the New Jersey Constitution, which provides that appointments and promotions in the civil service must be made according to merit and fitness, to be ascertained, as far as practicable, by competitive examination; and

Whereas, In recognition of the advantages of a fair and efficient civil service system, the “Civil Service Act” was enacted, finding that the people of New Jersey benefit most from public service that is based on the selection and advancement of employees on the basis of their relative knowledge, skills, and abilities, the guarantee of equal employment opportunities, and the protection of public employees from political coercion and the iniquities of arbitrary rule, unlawful discrimination, and political cronyism; and

Whereas, On March 18, 2013, the New Jersey Register published rule changes proposed by the Civil Service Commission to establish a new job banding program for positions in both State and local service; and

Whereas, The proposed job banding program gives substantial discretion to civil service employers, potentially imperiling or curtailing veterans’ preference and advancement opportunities for women, minorities, those with disabilities, and those vulnerable to discriminatory practices; and

Whereas, The appeal process, which has served as a check on the discretion of an employer by permitting civil service employees to challenge non-selection for a promotion, will be unavailable to employees who have not been selected for an advancement appointment under the proposed job banding program and instead a less protective grievance appeal procedure will be used; and

Whereas, There has been no meaningful discussion of the legitimate questions and concerns presented by members of the public and the Civil Service Commission has held only a single hearing to consider such questions and concerns; and

Whereas, Regulatory changes of questionable constitutionality that erode the longstanding safeguards provided by the civil service system of this State should be done in a straightforward and transparent manner that fosters earnest and constructive discussion for the good of the regulators, employers, employees, and members of the public; and

Whereas, The Civil Service Commission has proposed rule changes that are substantively problematic, in a manner that is procedurally unsettling; now, therefore,

 

     Be It Resolved by the General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

     1.    This House objects to establishment of the job banding program as proposed by the Civil Service Commission.

 

     2.    Duly authenticated copies of this resolution, signed by the Speaker of the General Assembly and attested by the Clerk thereof, shall be transmitted to the Chairman and members of the Civil Service Commission.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This resolution objects to establishment of the job banding program as proposed by the Civil Service Commission.  The civil service system was included in the New Jersey Constitution by delegates of the 1947 constitutional convention in order to give the system permanent status.  The Constitution requires that appointments and promotions in the civil service be made according to merit and fitness, to be ascertained, as far as practicable, by competitive examination.  The requirement of appointments and promotions being made according to merit and fitness as determined by an objective examination has protected civil service employees from unfair discrimination and political coercion while also guaranteeing that the public receives services provided by knowledgeable, skilled, and able employees.

     The proposed job banding program erodes those protections by giving substantial discretion to civil service employers to make an advancement appointment, without examination, within a broad band of job titles while also providing a less protective appeal procedure for employees seeking to challenge an advancement appointment.  This not only threatens advancement opportunities for women, minorities, those with disabilities, and those vulnerable to discrimination but also imperils veterans’ preference.

     In light of the magnitude of the changes being proposed to the civil service system, the procedural steps that the commission has taken in consideration of these proposed changes have been inadequate.  Regulatory changes of questionable constitutionality, such as those proposed, that erode the longstanding safeguards provided by the civil service system of this State should be done in a straightforward and transparent manner that fosters earnest and constructive discussion for the good of the regulators, employers, employees, and members of the public.