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May 13, 2008

S-1137 Expands Scope of Negotiation



Dear Mayor:

This Thursday, May 15th, the Senate Labor Committee will consider S-1137 which seeks to expand the scope of negotiable items under which public union groups could bargain collectively. Specifically, this far-reaching proposal requires that all terms and conditions of employment are mandatory subjects for the bargaining table unless specifically prohibited by State law.

Under the bill, mandatory subjects shall include work to be performed; compensation and benefits; hours and time of work; employee transfer; job security and retention; discipline and grievances; contracting; assignment; and outsourcing; to name a few.

S-1137 would re-define the New Jersey Public Employee Relations Commission (PERC) law by adding new mandatory subjects.  PERC is statutorily empowered to determine the scope of negotiations and decides whether an issue is prohibited, mandatory or permissive.

This bill could not come at a worse time! We are all grappling with the fiscal crisis in our State; most especially, the Governor’s proposed cut of $190 million in aid to municipalities. We seriously question the wisdom of advancing this legislation at this time.

The League opposes S-1137. It will severely impair the ability of municipalities to manage their employees.  It will increase the time and cost of negotiations.  Prolonged negotiations over a greater number of subjects could lead to further dispute. Such dispute could potentially result in litigation.  And, not to be overlooked, S-1137 advances potential encroachment by the unions.

We urge you to immediately contact members of the Senate Labor Committee and your senate representative and vociferate your opposition to S-1137.

For further information, contact Helen Yeldell at (609)695-3481 ext. 112 or

Thank You.


                                                                        Very truly yours,


                                                                        William G. Dressel, Jr.
                                                                        Executive Director





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