An Act requiring public employers to deduct a representation fee in lieu of dues in certain circumstances and amending P.L.1979, c.477.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. Section 2 of P.L.1979, c.477 (C.34:13A-5.5) is amended to read as follows:
C.34:13A-5.5 Representation fee in lieu of dues.
2. a. Notwithstanding any other provisions of law to the contrary, the majority representative and the public employer of public employees in an appropriate unit shall, where requested by the majority representative, negotiate concerning the subject of requiring the payment by all nonmember employees in the unit to the majority representative of a representation fee in lieu of dues for services rendered by the majority representative. Where agreement is reached it shall be embodied in writing and signed by the authorized representatives of the public employer and the majority representative. If no agreement is reached, the majority representative may petition the commission to conduct an investigation. If the commission determines during the investigation that a majority of the employees in the negotiations unit are voluntary dues paying members of the majority representative and that the majority representative maintains a demand and return system as required by subsection c. of this section and section 3 of P.L.1979, c.477 (C.34:13A-5.6), the commission shall order the public employer to institute a payroll deduction of the representation fee in lieu of dues from the wages or salaries of the employees in the negotiationsunit who are not members of the majority representative.
b. The representation fee in lieu of dues shall be in an amount equivalent to the regular membership dues, initiation fees and assessments charged by the majority representative to its own members less the cost of benefits financed through the dues, fees and assessments and available to or benefitting only its members, but in no event shall such fee exceed 85% of the regular membership dues, fees and assessments.
c. Any public employee who pays a representation fee in lieu of dues shall have the right to demand and receive from the majority representative, under proceedings established and maintained in accordance with section 3 of P.L.1979, c.477 (C.34:13A-5.6), a return of any part of that fee paid by him which represents the employee's additional pro rata share of expenditures by the majority representative that is either in aid of activities or causes of a partisan political or ideological nature only incidentally related to the terms and conditions of employment or applied toward the cost of any other benefits available only to members of the majority representative. The pro rata share subject to refund shall not reflect, however, the costs of support of lobbying activities designed to foster policy goals in collective negotiations and contract administration or to secure for the employees represented advantages in wages, hours, and other conditions of employment in addition to those secured through collective negotiations with the public employer.
2. Section 3 of P.L.1979, c.477 (C.34:13A-5.6) is amended to read as follows:
C.34:13A-5.6 Representation fee in lieu of dues by payroll deduction.
3. Where a negotiated agreement is reached, pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1979, c.477 (C.34:13A-5.5), or where the public employer has been ordered by the commission to institute a payroll deduction of the representation fee in lieu of dues, a majority representative of public employees in an appropriate unit shall be entitled to a representation fee in lieu of dues by payroll deduction from the wages or salaries of the employees in such unit who are not members of a majority representative; provided, however, that membership in the majority representative is available to all employees in the unit on an equal basis and that the representation fee in lieu of dues shall be available only to a majority representative that has established and maintained a demand and return system which provides pro rata returns as described in subsection c. of section 2 of P.L.1979, c.477 (C.34:13A-5.5). The demand and return system shall include a provision by which persons who pay a representation fee in lieu of dues may obtain review of the amount returned through full and fair proceedings placing the burden of proof on the majority representative. Such proceedings shall provide for an appeal to a board consisting of three members to be appointed by the Governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, who shall serve without compensation but shall be reimbursed for actual expenses reasonably incurred in the performance of their official duties. Of such members, one shall be representative of public employers, one shall be representative of public employee organizations and one, as chairman, who shall represent the interest of the public as a strictly impartial member not having had more than a casual association or relationship with any public employers, public employer organizations or public employee organizations in the 10 years prior to appointment. Of the first appointees, one shall be appointed for one year, one for a term of two years and the chairman, for a term of three years. Their successors shall be appointed for terms of two years each and until their successors are appointed and qualified, except that any person chosen to fill a vacancy shall be appointed only for the unexpired term of the member whose office has become vacant. Nothing herein shall be deemed to require any employee to become a member of the majority representative.
3. This act shall take effect immediately.
Approved August 1, 2002.