New Jersey Revised Statutes § 27:25-14 - Employer-employee Relations

27:25-14. Employer-employee relations
a. As used in this section:

"Employee" means:

(1) An employee of the corporation, or

(2) An employee of any public or private entity acquired, owned or operated by the corporation.

"Employee" does not include an employee of a public or private entity, other than as provided in subsection g. and paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection, which provides public transportation services pursuant to operating rights granted by a regulatory body or pursuant to authority arising from contractual agreements entered into with the corporation pursuant to section 6 of this act. Except as provided in subsection h. of this section, "employee" does not include a supervisory employee as defined under the "Labor Management Relations Act, 1947" (29 U.S.C. 141 et seq.) or a managerial executive or confidential employee as defined under the "New Jersey Employer-Employee Relations Act," P.L.1944, c. 100 (C. 34:13A-1 et seq.).

"Employer" means an employer of an employee.

"Acquisition by the corporation of a public or private entity which provides public transportation services," or words of like import, means an acquisition effected by a purchase or condemnation of all of or a controlling interest in the stock or other equity interest of the entity, or purchase or condemnation of all or substantially all of the assets of the entity.

b. In accordance with law, employees of the employer shall have and retain their rights to form, join or assist labor organizations and to negotiate collectively through exclusive representatives of their own choosing.

c. The enforcement of the rights and duties of the employer and employees shall be governed by the "New Jersey Employer-Employee Relations Act" P.L.1944, c. 100 (C. 34:13A-1 et seq.) and shall be within the jurisdiction of the Public Employment Relations Commission (Commission) established pursuant to that act. In carrying out this function, the Commission shall be guided by the relevant Federal or State labor law and practices, as developed under the "Labor Management Relations Act, 1947" or under the "Railway Labor Act," (45 U.S.C. 151 et seq.), provided however that employees shall not have the right to strike except as provided by the "Railway Labor Act." Whenever negotiations between the employer and an exclusive representative concerning the terms and conditions of employment shall reach an impasse, the Commission shall, upon the request of either party, take such steps as it may deem expedient to effect a voluntary resolution of the impasse, including the assignment of a mediator. In the event of a failure to resolve the impasse by mediation, the Commission shall, at the request of either party, invoke fact finding with recommendations for settlement of all issues in dispute. Fact-finding shall be limited to those issues that are within the required scope of negotiations. In the event of a continuing failure to resolve an impasse by means of the procedure set forth above, and notwithstanding the fact that such procedures have not been exhausted, but not later than 30 days prior to the expiration of a collectively negotiated contract, the procedures set forth in paragraph (2) of subsection d. of Section 3 and Sections 4 through 8 of C. 85, P.L.1977 (N.J.S.A. 34:13A-16(d)(2) through 34:13A-21) shall be the sole method of dispute resolution unless the parties mutually agree upon an alternative form of arbitration; provided however, that the cost to the State of the first year portion of any arbitration award shall not exceed the appropriations permitted within the provisions of the "State Expenditures Limitation Act" , P.L.1976, c. 67 (C. 52:9H-5 et seq.) and the arbitrator, in determining such award, should consider pending supplemental appropriation bills, any pending salary negotiations for State employees and any sums which have not yet been appropriated, which would be necessary to fund any recently concluded agreements.

d. The majority representative of employees in an appropriate unit shall be entitled to act for, and negotiate successor agreements covering, all employees in the unit and shall be responsible for representing the interests of those employees without discrimination. It shall be the mutual obligation of the employer and the majority representative of any of its employees to negotiate collectively with respect to mandatorily negotiable subjects which intimately and directly affect the work and welfare of employees. These subjects include wages, hours of work, the maintenance of union security and check-off arrangements, pensions, and other terms and conditions of employment. The obligation to negotiate in good faith encompasses the responsibility to meet at reasonable times and to confer on matters properly presented for negotiations and to execute a written contract containing an agreement reached, but the obligation does not compel either party to agree to a proposal or require the making of a concession.

e. In acquiring, operating, or contracting for the operation of public transportation services, the corporation shall make provision to assure continuing representation for collective negotiations on behalf of employees, giving due consideration to preserving established bargaining relationships to the extent consistent with the purposes of this act. Such relationships may be changed only in accordance with the principles established under the "Labor Management Relations Act, 1947" and the "Railway Labor Act."

f. Upon acquisition by the corporation of a public or private entity which provides public transportation services, the corporation shall assume and observe all existing labor contracts of such entity for their remaining term. All of the employees of the acquired entity, as defined in subsection a., shall be transferred to the employment of the employer and appointed to comparable positions without examination subject to all the rights and benefits of this act, and these employees shall be given sick leave, seniority, vacation, and pension credits in accordance with the records and labor agreements of the acquired entity.

g. For purposes of this subsection:

(1) "Employee" means an employee employed, as of the date of the first acquisition by the corporation, by any entity acquired, owned or operated by the corporation or by any other entity which provides motorbus regular route or paratransit services, but does not mean supervisory employees, managerial executive and confidential employees;

(2) "Action by the corporation" mean acquisition, contracts for motorbus regular route or paratransit services, mergers, consolidations, coordination and rearrangements of services and work forces, but does not mean:

(a) The setting of fares by contract or otherwise unless such action results in a substantial diversion of riders; or

(b) The discontinuance of motorbus regular route service by the corporation to the extent that substantially similar public transportation service does not continue to be provided; or

(c) A failure or refusal, by the corporation, to enter into a contract for all or a portion of an entity's motorbus regular route service to the extent that substantially similar public transportation service does not continue to be provided.

Except as provided herein, employees whose positions are worsened with regard to wages, hours, seniority and other terms and conditions of employment, shall be protected for a period of 5 years from the date of the first acquisition by the corporation. This time limitation does not apply to protections afforded to employees whose positions are worsened as a result of acquisitions or contracts which transfer responsibility for the provision of substantially similar motorbus regular route or paratransit service from one entity, including the corporation, to another. With regard to any acquisition or contract transferring service responsibility, only claims arising from actions taken within 18 months therefrom shall be eligible for protection.

Protections and procedures to implement such protections shall be provided in accordance with the terms of the agreement entered into between the Commuter Operating Agency and Amalgamated Transit Union on March 2, 1976; except that no protective allowances or other benefits shall exceed 3 years duration. Pursuant to this agreement, the employer of the employee shall be considered the "assisted carrier" and actions of the corporation shall constitute the "project" .

h. For purposes of this subsection, "employees" means individuals, including supervisory employees, management executives and confidential employees, who

(1) Have terminated their employment with an acquired entity with vested retirement benefits, or

(2) Are employed by the corporation or a subsidiary after accruing retirement benefits, whether or not vested, while employed by an acquired entity.

The corporation as a condition of acquiring a public or private entity which provides public transportation services, shall ensure that employees' retirement benefits which have accrued on the basis of service to the date of the acquisition are provided for and paid as they come due. These benefits shall be provided for and paid either by the entity so acquired, the former owner or owners of the entity, an affiliate of the entity, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, another public instrumentality, the corporation itself, any other reasonable means, or any combination of the foregoing. These benefits may be provided for either through existing plans, new plans, mergers or consolidations of plans, or other appropriate or reasonable means.

L.1979, c. 150, s. 14, eff. July 17, 1979.

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Last modified: October 11, 2016