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Christie administration pushes on in labor dispute over public worker pay increases



Posted on September 3, 2017 at 7:20 AM

By Samantha Marcus,

NJ Advance Media for

TRENTON — Gov. Chris Christie’s administration is digging in on a labor dispute in which it refuses to pay public employees’ step increases after their contracts expired, despite state court rulings that have largely upheld the practice.

The administration has asked the Public Employment Relations Commission to block the union’s request to go to arbitration to argue that the state should pay their step increases.

Tens of thousands of state employees have missed one or more of these longevity pay bumps as the state froze salaries for workers whose contracts expired June 30, 2015. The state relied on a decision from PERC that upended a four-decades-old custom of step increases outliving the term of a contract.

Hetty Rosenstein, state director of the Communications Workers of America, New Jersey’s largest state employee union, said that despite a state Supreme Court ruling in August rebuking PERC, Christie’s administration is still seeking to freeze employees on the salary guide.

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N.J. Supreme Court enters fray over pay hikes for public workers


By Samantha Marcus | NJ Advance Media for
on March 14, 2017 at 7:45 AM, updated March 14, 2017 at 8:32 AM

TRENTON — Public employee unions and government officials clashed Monday in a case before the state Supreme Court that could determine whether workers across New Jersey will get pay raises.

The state’s highest court heard oral arguments over the whether “step” increases — raises in pay when workers reach annual milestones in years of service — should be granted after a contract has expired.

Atlantic County, Bridgewater Township and the Public Employment Relations Commission asked the court to reverse an appellate court ruling, which found PERC overstepped its authority when it upended a four-decades-old doctrine that says step increases outlive the term of a contract.

The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 34 and Policemen’s Benevolent Association Local 77 charged Atlantic County with unfair labor practices, alleging the county violated that “dynamic status quo” doctrine during contract negotiations and arbitration.

Police officers who were not yet at the top of the pay scale were due 5 percent or 6 percent step increases.