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  • NJ A2123
  • Makes various changes to interest arbitration procedures; repeals sunset provision.
In Committee
Crossed OverPassedSignedDead/Failed/Vetoed
2016-2017 Regular Session
The two-percent cap on base salary increases in interest arbitration awards in police and fire contract disputes was enacted in 2010 shortly after enactment of the two-percent cap on increases in the property tax levy. The arbitration award cap was one of the most significant tools provided to local governments to keep expenses in check in order to comply with the property tax cap. The Legislature recognized that the arbitration system in place when the two-percent property tax cap was enacted often forced increases of greater than two percent in the largest single portion of many local budgets. Since its enactment, experience has shown that the arbitration award cap is indispensable to the effectiveness of the property tax cap. It is mathematically unsustainable to force a local government to increase its largest budgetary line item by an amount greater than its rate of revenue increase. Therefore, in order for the property tax cap to remain viable, the arbitration award cap must be retained. The bill makes permanent the two-percent cap on base salary increases in interest arbitration awards. This bill also makes various other changes to the State's interest arbitration procedures for settling contractual impasses between public employers and their police and fire departments. Under current law, any time after a collective negotiation agreement between a public employer and a public police or fire department expires, either party may petition the New Jersey Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) for arbitration. Arbitrators in these cases are required to render their decision within 45 days of the case being assigned to them. This bill extends the time to render the decision to 90 days to allow arbitrators sufficient time to consider the disputed issues. Current law allows an aggrieved party seven days to file notice of appeal of the decision. This bill extends this time to appeal to 14 days. The bill also increases the time frame within which PERC has to render its decision in an appeal of an arbitration award from 30 to 60 days and increases the maximum amount arbitrators can be compensated for their services from $7,500 to $10,000. The bill also repeals the "sunset" provision established in P.L.2010, c.105 that provides for the expiration of the two-percent cap on base salary increases in arbitration awards on April 1, 2014. The cap applies to collective negotiated agreements that expire between the effective date of the act, January 1, 2011, and April 1, 2014. The two-percent cap applies to arbitration cases involving agreements that expire during this period, even if the arbitrator's award was not rendered until after the "sunset" date of April 1, 2014. Parties that entered into contracts that expire during the sunset period currently are not subject to the two-percent cap when negotiating future contracts under this current law. This bill repeals the sunset provision set forth in P.L.2010, c.105, effectively making permanent the two-percent cap. Finally, the bill further clarifies that the two-percent cap applies not only to expiring contracts, but also to all police and fire collective negotiations, including those cases in which there was no initial collective negotiations agreement prior to the effective date of P.L.2010, c.105.
Not specified
Motion To Table (41-25-0) (Greenwald)  (on 1/8/2018)
Date Chamber Action Description
1/8/2018 A Motion To Table (41-25-0) (Greenwald)
1/8/2018 A Motion To Relieve from ASL (O'Scanlon)
6/8/2017 A Motion To Table (52-25-0) (Greenwald)
6/8/2017 A Motion To Relieve from ASL (O'Scanlon)
1/27/2016 A Introduced, Referred to Assembly State and Local Government Committee
Date Motion Yea Nay Other
Detail 6/8/2017 Assembly Floor: Table Motion 52 25 3