ASSEMBLY CONCURRENT RESOLUTION No. 155

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

216th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED MAY 22, 2014

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman  LINDA STENDER

District 22 (Middlesex, Somerset and Union)

Assemblyman  DANIEL R. BENSON

District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex)

Assemblyman  GORDON M. JOHNSON

District 37 (Bergen)

Assemblyman  WAYNE P. DEANGELO

District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex)

Assemblyman  REED GUSCIORA

District 15 (Hunterdon and Mercer)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblywomen Spencer, Lampitt, Watson Coleman, Assemblyman Wisniewski, Assemblywoman Mosquera and Assemblyman Conaway

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Declares that Civil Service Commission’s new rule concerning job banding is not consistent with legislative intent.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


A Concurrent Resolution concerning the review of certain Civil Service Commission regulations by the Legislature pursuant to Article V, Section IV, paragraph 6 of the Constitution of the State of New Jersey.

 

Whereas, On March 18, 2013 the Civil Service Commission proposed a new rule, N.J.A.C.4A:3-3.2A, entitled “Job Banding Program” and on May 7, 2014 it adopted that rule with amendments; and

Whereas, The new rule will have the effect of eliminating promotional examinations for thousands of State government positions, excluding job titles in the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System, that are currently subject to a formal examination process; and

Whereas, The civil service examination process reduces discrimination and patronage in the selection of candidates for promotions; and

Whereas, Article VII, Section I, paragraph 2 of the New Jersey Constitution provides that appointments and promotions in the civil service of the State, and of such political subdivisions as may be provided by law, shall be made according to merit and fitness to be ascertained, as far as practicable, by examination, which, as far as practicable, shall be competitive; except that preference in appointments by reason of active service in any branch of the military or naval forces of the United States in time of war may be provided by law; and

Whereas, Title 11A of the New Jersey Statutes, the “Civil Service Act,” provides that it is the public policy of this State to: select and advance employees on the basis of their relative knowledge, skills and abilities; ensure equal employment opportunity at all levels of public service; and protect career public employees from political coercion.  N.J.S.A.11A:1-2; and

Whereas, Pursuant to Title 11A, it is the responsibility of the Civil Service Commission to establish and maintain a classification system that establishes titles, assigns titles to appropriate positions and provides a specification for each title.  N.J.S.A.11A:3-1; and

Whereas, Pursuant to Title 11A, it is the responsibility of the Civil Service Commission to provide for the announcement and administration of examinations, which shall test fairly knowledge, skills and abilities required to satisfactorily perform the duties of any title or group of titles.  N.J.S.A.11A:4-1; and

Whereas, Pursuant to Title 11A, it is the responsibility of the Civil Service Commission to administer promotional examinations and certify the three eligibles who have received the highest ranking on a promotional list for purposes of filling vacant positions.  N.J.S.A.11A:4-8; and

Whereas, Article V, Section IV, paragraph 6 of the New Jersey Constitution provides that upon a finding that an existing or proposed rule or regulation is not consistent with legislative intent, the Legislature shall transmit this finding in the form of a concurrent resolution to the Governor and the head of the Executive Branch agency which promulgated or plans to promulgate, the rule or regulation; now, therefore,

 

     Be It Resolved by the General Assembly of the State of New Jersey (the Senate concurring):

 

     1.    Pursuant to Article V, Section IV, paragraph 6 of the Constitution of the State of New Jersey, the Legislature may review any rule or regulation of an administrative agency to determine if the rule or regulation is consistent with the intent of the Legislature as expressed in the language of the statute that the rule or regulation is intended to implement.

 

     2.    The new Job Banding Rule, N.J.A.C.4A:3-3.2A, as adopted by the Civil Service Commission on May 7, 2014, is contrary to the spirit, intent, and plain meaning of the provision in the New Jersey Constitution that requires that promotions be based on merit and fitness to be ascertained, as far as practicable, by examination, which, as far as practicable, shall be competitive.

 

     3.    The fact that the new rule would eliminate competitive promotional examinations for multiple positions for which such exams have been administered for decades is compelling evidence that it is practicable to continue to determine the merit and fitness of candidates for such promotional positions by competitive examination in accordance with the New Jersey Constitution.

 

     4.    The new rule is not consistent with the legislative intent that the public policy of this State is to select and advance employees on the basis of their relative knowledge, skills and abilities, ensure equal employment opportunity at all levels of public service, and protect career public employees from political coercion.

 

     5.    The new rule is not consistent with the legislative intent that a competitive promotional examination process be established, maintained, and administered by the Civil Service Commission to ensure that promotions are based on merit and fitness and are not based on patronage or discriminatory reasons.

 

     6.    The new rule is not consistent with the intent of the Legislature as expressed in the language of the Civil Service Act, including the spirit, intent, or plain meaning of N.J.S.A.11A:3-1, N.J.S.A.11A:4-1, or N.J.S.A.11A:4-8.

     7.    Any amended rule that contains a job banding provision or elimination of competitive promotional examinations shall be deemed by the Legislature as violating Article VII, Section I, paragraph 2 of the Constitution of the State of New Jersey and the Civil Service Act, including the spirit, intent, or plain meaning of N.J.S.A.11A:3-1, N.J.S.A.11A:4-1, or N.J.S.A.11A:4-8.

 

     8.    Copies of this resolution, as filed with the Secretary of State, shall be transmitted by the Clerk of the General Assembly or the Secretary of the Senate to the Governor and the Civil Service Commission.

 

     9.    The Civil Service Commission, pursuant to Article V, Section IV, paragraph 6 of the Constitution of the State of New Jersey, shall have 30 days following transmittal of this resolution to amend or withdraw this new rule or the Legislature may, by passage of another concurrent resolution, exercise its authority under the Constitution to invalidate the regulations in whole or in part.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This concurrent resolution specifies that a new rule adopted by the Civil Service Commission on May 7, 2014 concerning a job banding program is not consistent with the legislative intent of the “Civil Service Act,” P.L.1986, c.112 (C.11A:1-1 et seq.), or the supplementary statutes thereof.