April 20, 2009
Re: Appeals Court Decision on Civil Service Emergency Rule
On Friday, the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey upheld the March 25 Emergency Rules on public employee temporary layoffs, that were issued by the New Jersey Civil Service Commission. (See our letter at http://www.njslom.org/ml041309-furloughs.html.) The decision, however, stayed the provisions that allow a department to stagger the temporary layoffs, pending review of these provisions by the Public Employee Relations Commission. These provisions had been specifically challenged by the public employee unions. Such staggering is absolutely essential, if cost saving temporary layoffs need to be implemented in the areas of public safety, public health and other essential municipal services.
If you are considering temporary layoffs this year, you should discuss this matter with your municipal attorney and labor relations counsel. The unpublished opinion can be accessed at http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/opinions/a3626-a3627-a3656-a3657-08.pdf.
Also, be aware that several unions have filed or plan to file unfair labor practices complaints against the State with the Public Employment Relations Commission.
We will keep you posted on any salient developments.
Very truly yours,
William G. Dressel, Jr.