Worker reps storm PERC conference

Union workers today leafleted the annual conference of the Public Employee Relations Commission (PERC) in response to what leaders say is the politicization of PERC and Gov. Chris Christie’s effort to use the agency to undermine the collective bargaining process and basic worker rights.

As the Republican governor refuses to negotiate health benefits at the bargaining table, the NJ AFL-CIO, AFSCME, CWA, NJEA, and others descended on East Brunswick this morning specifically to protest Christie’s appointment of PERC Chair Kelly Hatfield.

CWA Regional Leader Hetty Rosenstein said that since Hatfield’s appointment last year, she has fired Ira Mintz, PERC’s general counsel for 25 years.

The workers also objected to Hatfield’s decision to take the Atlantic City increment case away from commission staff, ignoring “decades of legal precedent,” acccording to their leaflet, and issuing her own decision “denying interim relief because the payment of automatic increments would be ‘inefficient’ and ‘inexpedient.'”

Rosenstein also said workers protested Hatfield’s decision in the Belmar furlough case that the commission would not file a brief to support its own decision that furloughs are subject to collective bargaining.

Worker reps storm PERC conference