TRENTON – An official with one of the state’s main public worker unions said she hopes the appellate court’s pro-labor decision today will not generate further legal action.
Hetty Rosenstein, New Jersey State Director of the Communications Workers of America, said she hopes the administration will not pursue further appeals.
The courts this morning reversed the state Civil Service Commission’s adoption of a rule that governed vacation leave for state workers.
Rosenstein said this afternoon that the CWA during the Corzine administration negotiated a memorandum of understanding in which workers agreed to furlough days and deferred wage increases for 18 months.
In exchange, workers received seven additional leave days, which could be carried over from one year to the next, Rosenstein explained.
“We reopened the contract,’’ she said. “We did it because the state was in trouble. We prevented layoffs.’’
But the Christie administration disagreed with the provision of carrying the days over.
The court sided with the CWA.
According to Rosenstein, the reality is that in many state departments, staffing is so low because of attrition that it is difficult for workers to take vacations or leave anyway.
At this point, she estimated, the CWA represents about 36,000 workers in all state departments and covering numerous jobs: nurses, social workers, supervisors, clerks, and more.