During the coronavirus pandemic, New Jersey residents relied on workers in the public sector to keep essential services, including life-saving ones, operating. We must not abandon them now. Public sector workers deserve the same protections as their counterparts in the private sector.
The “Responsible Collective Negotiations Act” (S.3810/A.5862) expands “The Workplace Democracy Enhancement Act,” which the New Jersey legislature passed in 2018. This legislation would enhance public sector unions’ right to information under the WDEA and give public sector workers the same rights and protections as workers in the private sector.
Why do workers in every other hospital in the state deserve greater protections than those who care for us in our public hospitals? Help level the playing field for public healthcare workers. The right to bargain does not compel agreement, just a seat at the table. What exactly would this update do? The Responsible Collective Negotiations Act would:
- Expand the Scope of Negotiations to all matters that affect the work and welfare of public employees, including compensation; hours and schedules of work; fringe benefits; layoffs, disciplinary review procedures etc.,;
- Allow Electronic Signature on Authorization Cards or Petitions submitted to the Commission for purposes of conducting an election;
- Require Binding Arbitration for grievance and disciplinary review procedures as a means for resolving disputes involving mandatory subjects for collective negotiations;
- Not Allow Unilateral Imposition on Contract Expiration or Continuation of Status Quo. In New Jersey, police, firefighters and school board employees all have non-imposition. Only civilian, non-school board employees are denied non-imposition.
- Require Employer to Notify Union of Revocation within five days of an employee’s revocation of authorization for the payroll deduction of fees.
These are fair, essential protections for essential workers who risked all, including their own health and the health of their families to keep us all safe during a once-in-a-lifetime coronavirus pandemic.
Call NJ Legislators to Urge them to VOTE YES on S.3810/A.5862!