Civil Service hearing to address collective bargaining salary formulas that differ from state rules

TRENTON – The Civil Service Commission will hold a hearing concerning raises set forth in collective bargaining agreements when they differ from those in the state administrative code.

The hearing, scheduled for 3 p.m. May 10 at the Commission at 44 S. Clinton Ave., Trenton,  will deal with formulas for raises and salary schedules reached via collective negotiations that differ from what is allowed in the code, and is part of the administration’s ongoing attempt at Civil Service reform.

In March 2010, the Commission received a request from the governor’s Office of Employee Relations for an amendment to the code that would permit a different pay adjustment than provided for in the rule if that adjustment was established by a collective bargaining agreement.

The Commission is considering allowing such an agreement to be implemented so long as the salary that results will not be greater than one provided for in the rule, according to Peter Lyden, a spokesman for the Commission.

The Commission previously had granted a relaxation of the rule in a matter involving the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 174 N.J. Internal Investigation Association, and in an interest arbitration award involving the N.J. Law Enforcement Supervisors Association.

Both of those permitted raises for certain job titles that are different from what the code sets out, the Commission stated.

“To prevent the need for further rule relaxations … similar to those described … the petitioner suggested an amendment … allowing for the calculation of a different salary when a different promotional procedure is established by a collective negotiations agreement,” the Commission stated in a release.

The effect of the proposed change, Lyden explained, “is to put a little more authority back in the hands of the managers as part of the Civil Service reform that is going on.”

The proposed amendment would give the Commission the legal mechanism to make sure negotiated salary formulas are in accordance with the rules.