The NJ State Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled Atlantic County and Bridgewater Township committed unfair labor practices
The NJ FMBA is proud to announce the New Jersey Supreme Court ruling which upheld a PERC hearing examiner decision and an arbitration award in the Atlantic County and Bridgewater cases.
We have been reporting on this for the past couple of years. The crux of the case was continuing step increases upon contract expiration. Where a contract is silent on what happens to step increases during the period between contract expiration and a new agreement, PERC had previously applied the dynamic status quo doctrine in requiring those increments to continue.
Most remember at the last September convention we had the PERC hearing examiner who ruled on Atlantic County, Perry Lehrer, address our members on the merits of the case. Hearing Examiner Lehrer ruled in favor of the unions and PERC wrongfully reversed the decision. The case was taken to the appellate court which upheld the arbitration award and hearing examiner decision and rejected the elimination of the dynamic status quo doctrine. PERC, and the public employers, appealed to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court decision issued today was unanimous and upheld the right to negotiate salary increments beyond the contract expiration. It also noted that absent a contractual provision continuing terms and conditions of employment, such as salary increments, post-expiration, past practices, custom and the viability of the dynamic status quo doctrine would then need to be reviewed.
This court case is another example of the long reaching effects of Governor Christie in his attempts to dismantle organized labor. In the long run, we were victorious and this was nothing more than a misguided attack on labor that cost New Jersey taxpayers an enormous amount of money.