Monday, March 14, 2016
IN THE MATTER OF COUNTY OF ATLANTIC AND PBA LOCAL 243 AND FOP LODGE 34 AND PBA LOCAL 77/ IN THE MATTER OF TOWNSHIP OF BRIDGEWATER AND PBA LOCAL 174 A-2477-13T4/A-0107-14T1
IN THE MATTER OF COUNTY OF ATLANTIC AND PBA LOCAL 243 AND FOP LODGE 34 AND PBA LOCAL 77/ IN THE MATTER OF TOWNSHIP OF BRIDGEWATER AND PBA LOCAL 174
The Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) abandoned its long-standing dynamic status quo doctrine in an appeal by FOP Lodge 34 and PBA Local 77 alleging unfair practice charges against Atlantic County, thus reversing a hearing examiner's award in favor of the public employees. In reliance on that decision, PERC dismissed Local 174's grievance against Bridgewater Township. PERC held that Atlantic County's failure to pay salary increments during the period of an expired collective bargaining agreement (CNA) was not an unfair labor practice. In the Bridgewater appeal, PERC held that the issue of automatic salary increments after the expiration of a CNA was neither mandatorily negotiable nor legally arbitrable and dismissed the grievance. We reversed, concluding that PERC's abrupt change in adjudicative doctrine was action in conflict with its legislative mandate, which is the implementation of the New Jersey Employer-Employee Relations Act, N.J.S.A. 34:13A-1 to -39.