[Second Reprint]

SENATE, No. 3810

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

219th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED MAY 20, 2021

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  STEPHEN M. SWEENEY

District 3 (Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem)

Senator  DAWN MARIE ADDIEGO

District 8 (Atlantic, Burlington and Camden)

Senator  LINDA R. GREENSTEIN

District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Senators Rice, Pou, Turner, Gill and Diegnan

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     “Responsible Collective Negotiations Act.”

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As amended by the Senate on June 21, 2021.

  


An Act concerning public employment relations, amending P.L.1967, c.310 and P.L.2018, c.15, and supplementing Title 34 of the Revised Statutes.

 

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

 

     1.    (New section)  This act shall be known and may be cited as the “Responsible Collective Negotiations Act.”

 

     2.    (New section)  It is hereby declared as the public policy of this State that the public interest is best served in the prompt settlement of labor disputes and in achieving cost effective and creative solutions to ensure the efficient delivery of public services and that policy is best achieved by entrusting democratically elected  government officials with broad authority to negotiate over the terms of employment of their employees; that the constitutional mandate that public employees have the right to organize and present grievances to their employers will be promoted by the establishment of an system of collective negotiations between public employers and the representatives of public employees that includes all matters that intimately and directly affect employee work and welfare, unless a negotiated agreement would prevent government from carrying out its statutory mission; and that when public employers and employee representatives agree upon subjects of collective negotiations, it is in the public interest that those agreements are enforceable by both public employee organizations and public employers and that the parties to a collective negotiations agreement respect and abide by their mutual promises and agreements.

 

      3.   (New section)  Notwithstanding any provisions of the “New Jersey Employer-Employee Relations Act,” P.L.1941, c.100 (C.34:13A-1 et seq.), or any other law to the contrary, as used in sections 1 through 9 of P.L.      , c.      (C.      ) (1[now]1 pending before the 1[legislature] Legislature1 as this bill):

      a.   The term “commission” means the New Jersey Public Employment Relations Commission.

      b.   The term “employer” means the State of New Jersey, or the several counties and municipalities thereof, or any other political subdivision of the State, or any special district, or any county college, or any authority, commission or board, or any branch or agency of the public service, except that the term does not include any local or regional school district, or board or commission under the authority of the Commissioner of Education or the State Board of Education.

      c.   The term “employee” means an employee of an employer as defined by subparagraph b above, but does not include firefighting employees of public fire departments or employees engaged in performing police services for public police departments as those terms are defined by section 2 of P.L.1977, c.85 (C.34:13A-15)1, except that, for the purposes of sections 6 through 9 of P.L.   , c. (C.  ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), the term “employee” also includes firefighting employees of public fire departments or employees engaged in performing police services for public police departments as those terms are defined by section 2 of P.L.1977, c.85 (C.34:13A-15)1.

      d.   2[“Terms and conditions of employment" are all matters that intimately and directly affect the work and welfare of public employees. Examples of terms and conditions of employment include, but are not limited to: compensation; hours and schedules of work; fringe benefits; layoffs; subcontracting and privatization; criteria and procedures for promotions, performance evaluations and hiring; transfers of employees; assignments and reassignments of employees; transfer of negotiations unit work; and job security, discipline disputes and disciplinary review procedures.

      e.   “Disciplinary review procedures” are procedures to review all forms of discipline, including but not limited to, oral and written reprimands, written warnings, suspensions with and without pay, fines, terminations, non-renewals, non-reappointments, demotions, disciplinary transfers and all other adverse personnel actions based on employee performance or conduct.

      f.]2 The terms “employee organization” and “majority representative”, unless otherwise specified, means the “exclusive majority representative” either certified by the commission or recognized by the public employer.

 

      14.  (New section)  Notwithstanding any provisions of the “New Jersey Employer-Employee Relations Act,” P.L.1941, c.100 (C.34:13A-1 et seq.), or any other law to the contrary:

      a.   2[Mandatory] Permissive2 subjects for collective negotiation 2[in public employment] involving the several counties and municipalities, and any authorities, boards, commissions or other instrumentalities of the several counties or municipalities,2 shall include 2all2 terms and conditions of employment 2[of public employees]2 that are not 2otherwise mandatorily negotiable and that intimately and directly affect employee work and welfare, unless those subjects are2 specifically exempted from collective negotiations by State statute, 2or2 unless a negotiated agreement would prevent government from carrying out its statutory mission.  2Mandatory subjects for collective negotiation involving public employers other than the several counties and municipalities, and any authorities, boards, commissions or other instrumentalities of the several counties and municipalities, shall include terms and conditions of employment that intimately and directly affect the work and welfare of public employees and that are not specifically exempted from collective negotiations by State statute, unless a negotiated agreement would prevent government from carrying out its statutory mission.2  Statutes and administrative regulations that set terms and conditions of employment or that grant public employers authority over terms and conditions of employment do not preempt collective negotiations and do not supersede the provisions of any negotiated agreement, except that terms and conditions of employment set by statutes and regulations shall not be diminished by a negotiated agreement. 

      b.  2Parties may agree to submit disputes about whether a matter is within the scope of collective negotiations to the commission, pursuant to the authority vested in it by subsection d. of section 1 of P.L. 1974, c.123 (C.34:13A-5.4).

      c.2  Grievance 2[and disciplinary review]2 procedures shall provide for binding arbitration as 2[a] the means for resolving disputes over the application, interpretation or violation of the terms of a collective negotiations agreement entered into by the parties. With respect to the discipline of employees without statutory protection under tenure or civil service laws, binding arbitration shall be the final dispute resolution mechanism of any dispute regarding whether there is just cause for a disciplinary dispute, including, but not limited to, reprimands, withholding of increments, termination or non-renewal of an employment contract, expiration or lapse of an employment contract or term, or lack of continuation of employment, irrespective of the reason for the employer’s action or failure to act.  In arbitration, the burden of proof shall be on the employer.  Parties may negotiate alternative disciplinary review procedures that may provide for binding arbitration as the2 means for resolving disputes involving 2[mandatory subjects for collective negotiations] discipline of employees with statutory protection under tenure or civil service laws.  For any collective negotiations agreement in effect on the effective date of P.L.  , c.   (C.   )(pending before the Legislature as this bill), subsection c. of this section, shall become effective upon the expiration of that collective negotiations agreement2.

      2[c.] d.2  Notwithstanding the expiration of a collective negotiations agreement, an impasse in negotiations, an exhaustion of the commission’s impasse procedures, or the utilization or completion of the procedures required by of P.L.      , c.      (C.      )(pending before the Legislature as this bill) to resolve disputes involving collective negotiations, and notwithstanding any law or regulation to the contrary, no public employer, its representatives, or its agents shall unilaterally impose, modify, amend, delete or alter any terms and conditions of employment as set forth in the expired or expiring collective negotiations agreement, or unilaterally impose, modify, amend, delete, or alter any other negotiable terms and conditions of employment, without the specific written agreement of the majority representative.  Following contract expiration, and notwithstanding any law or regulation to the contrary, absent express language in a collective negotiations agreement providing that a specific term of the agreement will not continue after the expiration of the collective negotiations agreement, all terms and conditions of the agreement, including, but not limited to the payment of salary increments, shall remain in effect following the agreement’s expiration until the parties reach agreement on a successor collective negotiations agreement.1

      2e.  Notwithstanding any provision of this section, the Legislature retains the right to exempt from collective negotiations subjects that would otherwise be mandatory subjects of negotiations.

     f.     Notwithstanding any provision of this section, the resolution of disputes concerning negotiations over terms and conditions of employment shall not be subject to compulsory interest arbitration as set forth in P.L. 1995, c. 425 (C.34:13A-14a et seq.).2

 

     15.   (New section)  The communications between a majority representative of employees and its unit members regarding collective negotiations, the administration of collective negotiations agreements, the investigation of grievances, other workplace related complaints and issues, or any other matters that are within the scope of a majority representative’s duty of fair representation, and internal union matters involving the governance or business of the union, shall be treated as confidential communications and shall not be subject to disclosure under the discovery rules of New Jersey administrative agencies, including, but not limited to the Office of Administrative Law and the Commission, or pursuant to section 17 of P.L.2003, c.95 (C.2A:23B-17), and other applicable state laws authorizing arbitrators, presiding at labor arbitrations, to issue subpoenas.1

 

     1[4.] 6.1     (New section)  Notwithstanding any provisions of the “New Jersey Employer-Employee Relations Act,” P.L.1941, c.100 (C.34:13A-1 et seq.), or any other law to the contrary, if an employee who does not pay dues to a majority representative requests that the majority representative represent the employee in arbitration proceedings to enforce the terms of the collective negotiations agreement between the majority representative and the public employer, including arbitration proceedings involving the resolution of disciplinary disputes, the majority representative may charge an employee for the cost of representing the employee in the arbitration proceedings, and may decline to represent an employee in the arbitration unless the employee agrees to pay for the cost of the representation.

 

     1[5.] 7.1     (New section)  Only the parties to a collective negotiations agreement shall have the authority to invoke the arbitration procedures of the agreement and the public employer and the employee organization shall be the only parties to the arbitration proceeding invoked pursuant to the collective negotiations agreement.

 

     1[6.] 8.1     (New section)  An authorization card or petition submitted to the Commission for purposes of conducting an election to select a majority representative or certifying an employee organization as the exclusive majority representative based on a majority of employees in the unit signing authorization cards or a petition, may bear the electronic signature of the employee, as the term electronic signature is defined in section 2 of P.L. 2001, c. 116, (C. 12A:12-2).

 

     1[7.     (New section)  Notwithstanding any provisions of the “New Jersey Employer-Employee Relations Act,” P.L.1941, c.100 (C.34:13A-1 et seq.), or any other law to the contrary:

     a.     Mandatory subjects for collective negotiation in public employment shall include terms and conditions of employment of public employees that are not specifically exempted from collective negotiations by State statute, unless a negotiated agreement would prevent government from carrying out its statutory mission.  Statutes and administrative regulations that set terms and conditions of employment or that grant public employers authority over terms and conditions of employment do not preempt collective negotiations and do not supersede the provisions of any negotiated agreement, except that terms and conditions of employment set by statutes and regulations shall not be diminished by a negotiated agreement. 

     b.    Grievance and disciplinary review procedures shall provide for binding arbitration as a means for resolving disputes involving mandatory subjects for collective negotiations.

     c.     Notwithstanding the expiration of a collective negotiations agreement, an impasse in negotiations, an exhaustion of the Commission’s impasse procedures, or the utilization or completion of the procedures required by of P.L.      , c.      (C.      )(now pending before the legislature as this bill) to resolve disputes involving collective negotiations, and notwithstanding any law or regulation to the contrary, no public employer, its representatives, or its agents shall unilaterally impose, modify, amend, delete or alter any terms and conditions of employment as set forth in the expired or expiring collective negotiations agreement, or unilaterally impose, modify, amend, delete, or alter any other negotiable terms and conditions of employment, without the specific written agreement of the majority representative.  Following contract expiration, and notwithstanding any law or regulation to the contrary, absent express language in a collective negotiations agreement providing that a specific term of the agreement will not continue after the expiration of the collective negotiations agreement, all terms and conditions of the agreement, including, but not limited to the payment of salary increments, shall remain in effect following the agreement’s expiration until the parties reach agreement on a successor collective negotiations agreement.]1 

 

     1[8.    (New section)  The communications between a majority representative of employees and its unit members regarding collective negotiations, the administration of collective negotiations agreements, the investigation of grievances, other workplace related complaints and issues, or any other matters that are within the scope of a majority representative’s duty of fair representation, and internal union matters involving the governance or business of the union, shall be treated as confidential communications and shall not be subject to disclosure under the discovery rules of New Jersey administrative agencies, including, but not limited to the Office of Administrative Law and the Commission, or pursuant to section 17 of P.L.2003, c.95 (C.2A:23B-17), and other applicable state laws authorizing arbitrators, presiding at labor arbitrations, to issue subpoenas.]1

 

     9.    (New section)  Complaints issued based on a violation of paragraph (3) of subsection (a) of section 1 of P.L.1974, c.123 (C.34:13A-5.4) shall be scheduled for hearing within 60 to 90 calendar days from date of complaint issuance, unless the parties agree to extend the time for complaint issuance.  Within 60 calendar days of the filing of an unfair practice charge alleging the violation the commission shall decide whether or not to issue a complaint.  The commission shall promulgate rules to provide for discovery prior to the commencement of a hearing.

 

     10.  Section 5 of P.L.2018, c.15 (C.34:13A-5.15) is amended to read as follows: 

     5.    a.  All regular full-time and part-time employees of the public employer who perform negotiations unit work shall be included in the negotiations unit represented by the exclusive representative employee organization.

     b.    Negotiations unit work means work that is performed by any employees who are included in a negotiations unit represented by an exclusive representative employee organization without regard to job title, job classification or number of hours worked, except that employees who are confidential employees or managerial executives, as those terms are defined by section 1 of P.L.1941, c.100 (C.34:13A-3), or elected officials, members of boards and commissions, or casual employees, may be excluded from the negotiations unit.  Casual employees are employees who work an average of fewer than four hours per week over a period of 90 calendar days.

     c.     Every 120 calendar days beginning on January 1 following the effective date of P.L.      , c.      (C.      )(now pending before the legislature as this bill), public employers shall provide to an exclusive representative employee organization in an Excel file format or other format agreed to by the exclusive representative employee organization, the following information for all employees not represented by any exclusive representative employee organization: name, job title, worksite location, work email and work phone number.  Within 30 days of a request by an exclusive representative employee organization, a public employer shall provide a job description for each non-represented employee, including the names and job titles of all employees supervised by the employer subject to the request.

     d.    Employees who are performing negotiations unit work and who are not included in a negotiations unit because they did not meet the threshold of hours or percent of time worked as set forth in a certification of representative, recognition clause or other provision in a collective negotiations agreement, shall be included in the negotiations unit by operation of this act, within 90 calendar days from the effective date of this act.

     [d.] e.  The Public Employment Relations Commission shall promulgate rules to implement this section, including rules to resolve disputes over the inclusion of employees performing negotiations unit work in the appropriate negotiations unit.  The rules promulgated by the commission shall provide for the resolution of disputes that arise under this section, within 60 calendar days from the submission of the dispute to the commission by either the exclusive representative employee organization or the public employer.

(cf: P.L.2018, c.15, s.5)

 

     11.  Section 1 of P.L.1967, c.310 (C.52:14-15.9e) is amended to read as follows:

     1.    Whenever any person holding employment, whose compensation is paid by this State or by any county, municipality, board of education or authority in this State, or by any board, body, agency or commission thereof shall indicate in writing, including by electronic communications, and which writing or communication may be evidenced by the electronic signature of the employee, as the term electronic signature is defined in section 2 of P.L.2001, c.116 (C.12A:12-2), to the proper disbursing officer his desire to have any deductions made from his compensation, for the purpose of paying the employee's dues to a bona fide employee organization, designated by the employee in such request, and of which said employee is a member, such disbursing officer shall make such deduction from the compensation of such person and such disbursing officer shall transmit the sum so deducted to the employee organization designated by the employee in such request.

     Employees who have authorized the payroll deduction of fees to employee organizations prior to the effective date of the “Workplace Democracy Enhancement Act”, P.L. 2018, c.15 (C.34:13A-5.11 et seq.), may revoke such authorization by providing written notice to their public employer consistent with the terms of the authorization by the employee to have any deductions made from the employee’s compensation for the purpose of paying the employee's dues to a bona fide employee organization, as those terms are set forth on the writing signed by the employee authorizing the payroll deduction of dues, provided the writing was consistent with the law at the time the authorization was given.  If the writing was not consistent with law, the revocation of authorization shall be effective on the dates provided by law at the time the authorization was given.

     Employees who have authorized the payroll deduction of fees to employee organizations on or after the effective date of the “Workplace Democracy Enhancement Act”, P.L, 2018, c.15 (C.34:13A-5.11 et seq.), may revoke such authorization by providing written notice to their public employer [during the 10 days following each anniversary date of their employment].  Within five days of receipt of notice from an employee of revocation of authorization for the payroll deduction of fees, the public employer shall provide notice to the employee organization of an employee's revocation of such authorization.  An employee's notice of revocation of authorization for the payroll deduction of employee organization fees shall be effective on the 30th day after the anniversary date of employment.

     Within five days of receipt of notice from an employee of revocation of authorization for the payroll deduction of fees, the public employer shall provide notice to the employee organization of an employee’s revocation of such authorization.

     Nothing herein shall preclude a public employer and a duly certified majority representative from entering into a collectively negotiated written agreement which provides that employees included in the negotiating unit may only request deduction for the payment of dues to the duly certified majority representative.  Such collectively negotiated agreement may include a provision that existing written authorizations for payment of dues to an employee organization other than the duly certified majority representative be terminated.  Such collectively negotiated agreement may also include a provision specifying the effective date of a termination in deductions as of the July 1 next succeeding the date on which notice of withdrawal is filed by an employee with the public employer's disbursing officer.

     This authorization for negotiation of exclusive dues deduction provisions shall not apply to any negotiating unit which includes employees of any local school district or county college.

     As used in this section, dues shall mean all moneys required to be paid by the employee as a condition of membership in an employee organization and any voluntary employee contribution to a committee or fund established by such organization, including but not limited to welfare funds, political action committees, charity funds, legal defense funds, educational funds, and funds for donations to schools, colleges, and universities.

(cf: P.L.2018, c.15, s.6)

 

     12.  This act shall take effect immediately.