D.R. No. 80-38
The Director of Representation adopts the findings and recommendations of a Hearing Officer that the detective-sergeant may be included in a negotiations unit comprised of Police Department nonsupervisory personnel. The record reveals that the detective-sergeant, who functions primarily as a investigator, but who also is second in command of the eleven man department, is not a supervisor within the meaning of the New Jersey Employer-Employee Relations Act and that any conflict of interest between the detective-sergeant and other unit members is de minimis.
D.R. No. 80-38, 6 NJPER 305 (¶11146 1980)
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D.R. NO. 80-38
STATE OF NEW JERSEY
PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT RELATIONS COMMISSION
BEFORE THE DIRECTOR OF REPRESENTATION
In the Matter of
BOROUGH OF MERCHANTVILLE,
-and- Docket No. CU-78-55
MERCHANTVILLE POLICE ASSOCIATION
(FOP GARDEN STATE LODGE #3),
For the Public Employer-Petitioner
Jubanyik, Varbalow & Tedesco, attorneys
(Frank V. Tedesco of counsel)
For the Employee Representative-Petitioner
Florio & Maloney, attorneys
(Michael P. McCafferty of counsel)
On June 7, 1978, a Petition for Clarification of Unit was jointly filed with the Public Employment Relations Commission (the A Commission @ ) by the Borough of Merchantville (the A Borough @ ) and the Merchantville Police Association (FOP Garden State Lodge #3) (the A Association @ ) raising a question concerning the composition of a recently recognized collective negotiations unit. The Petition was filed for the purpose of resolving a dispute between the parties as to whether the detective-sergeant may appropriately be placed in the recognized nonsupervisory unit.
Pursuant to a Notice of Hearing, a hearing was held before Commission Hearing Officer Bruce D. Leder on December 27, 1979, in Merchantville, New Jersey, at which time all parties were given an opportunity to examine and cross-examine witnesses, to present evidence and to argue orally. The parties filed statements in lieu of briefs by April 22, 1980. The Hearing Officer issued his Report and Recommendations on April 15, 1980, a copy of which is attached hereto and made a part hereof. Neither party has filed exceptions to the Hearing Officer = s Report and Recommendations.
The undersigned has reviewed the record, including the transcripts and the Hearing Officer = s Report.
The detective-sergeant functions primarily as an investigator and, secondly, performs administrative work. He is second in command of the Police Department. The police force consists of ten police officers and one chief.
The Hearing Officer found, and the record supports the finding, that the detective-sergeant is not a supervisor since he does not have the authority to hire, fire, or discipline or to effectively recommend the same. The Hearing Officer concluded, in the context of this small police department, that a possible conflict of interest between the detective-sergeant and other members of the negotiations unit was de minimis. In re Borough of Rockaway, E.D. No. 43 (1972) In re Township of Hanover, E.D. No. 41 (1971); and In re Borough of South Plainfield, D.R. No. 78-18, 3 NJPER 349 (1977). The Hearing Officer noted that there was no evidence shown that the detective-sergeant had ever been placed in a position where he had to compromise his loyalty to his public employer.
Accordingly, the undersigned, finding that the Hearing Officer = s findings of fact and legal conclusions are amply supported by the evidence in the record, and in the absence of exceptions to the Hearing Officer = s Report, adopts the findings and recommendations of the Hearing Officer. The undersigned determines that the recognized collective negotiations unit includes the detective-sergeant.
BY ORDER OF THE DIRECTOR
Carl Kurtzman, Director
DATED: May 21, 1980
Trenton, New Jersey
***** End of DR 80-38 *****