HEALTH, CARE AND REHABILITATION SERVICES UNIT
ARTICLE TITLE PAGE NO.
Preamble . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . 1
1 Recognition and Special Circumstances . . . 1
A. Recognition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
B. Special Circumstances . . . . . . . . . 2
C. Notification of Union . . . . . . . . . 2
2 Management Rights . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
3 Merit System Regulations . . . . . . . . . 3
4 Non-Discrimination . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
5 Policy Agreements . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
6 Union Rights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
A. Dues Deduction . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
B. Representation Fee (Agency Shop) . . . 6
C. Notifications Concerning Employees .. . 7
D. Bulletin Boards and Distribution of Literature . . . 8
E. Access to Premises .. . . . . . . . . . 8
F. Membership Packets .. . . . . . . . . . 8
G. Aid to Other Unions . . . . . . . . . . 9
H. Printing of Contract . . . . . . . 9
I. Union Privileges . . . . . . . . . . . 9
J. Union Activity with Pay . . . . . . . . 10
K. Union Stewards and Representation
L. Reassignment (for Union Officers and Stewards) .11
7 Grievance Procedure . . . . . . . . . . . 11
A. Definition of Grievance . . . . . . 11
B. Purpose . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . 11
C. Employee and Union Rights . . . . . . 11
D. General Rules . . . . . . . . .. . . . 12
E. Scope of Grievance Procedure .. . . . 12
F. Procedure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
G. Filing Time Limits . . . . . .. . . . 15
H. Decisions and Appeals . . . . . . . 16
I. Grievance Investigation - Time Off . . 16
J. Grievance Hearings - Time Off . . . 16
8 Discipline . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . 17
9 Seniority .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
10 Salary Program . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
A. Salary Program - Administration .. . . 24
B. Special Payment Program . . . . . . . 24
C. Prescription Drug Program . . . . . . 28
D. Eye Care Program . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
E. Pay Practices . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
F. Dental Care Plan . . . . . . . . . . 29
G. Deferred Compensation Plan . . . . . 29
H. Co-Operative Effort . . .. . . . . . . 29
11 Performance Evaluation System .. . . . . 30
12 Access to Personnel Folders and Evaluations 32
13 Leaves of Absence . . . . . . . . . . . . .32
A. Administrative Leave . . . . . . . . . 32
B. Leave of Absence Due to Injury .. . . 33
C. Leave of Absence for Union Activity . . 34
D. Pregnancy - Disability Leave (Maternity Leave) . .35
E. Military Service Leave . . .. . . . . . 35
F. Sick Leave . . . . . . . . . . . . .35
G. Special Leave . . . . . . . . . . . . .38
H. Vacation Leave . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38
14 Leave of Absence Without Pay . . . . . . . 40
15 Holidays and Personal Preference Days . . . 40
A. Holidays . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40
Personal Preference Days . . . . . . 41
16 Special Time Off . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
17 Hours of Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42
18 Overtime . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
19 Scheduling of Overtime . . . . . .. . . . . 44
20 Compensatory Time Off . . . . . . . . 45
21 Transfer . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . 45
22 Reassignment and Shift Change . .. . . 46
23 Facilities Phase Out/Consolidation of
Services . .. . . .46
24 Job Posting . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . 46
25 Promotion . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
26 Department of Personnel Examinations . .47
27 Out-of-Title Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
28 Position Classification and Evaluation
29 Layoff and Recall . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
30 Safety and Health .. . . . . . . . . .. . . 50
A. Joint Safety and Health Committee . . . 50
B. Local Safety Committee . . . . . . . . 50
C. Employee Safety . . . . . . . . . .. . .50
31 Retirement Benefits . . . . . . . . .. .51
32 Health Benefits . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
33 Unemployment Compensation and Disability . .54
34 Identification Cards . . . . . . . . . . . 54
35 Claims Adjustment . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
36 Liability Claims Indemnification .. . . . . 55
37 Insurance Savings Program . .. . . . . . . 55
38 Meals, Housing and Parking Practices . . . .55
A. Meals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .55
B. Housing .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .56
C. Parking . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . .56
39 Travel Regulations . .. . . . . . . . . . . 56
40 Education Benefits . . .. . . . . . . . . . 56
A. Tuition Aid Program, Scholarships and Financial Assistance . . . . . . 56 B. In-service Training . . . . . . . . .. . 57
C. GED . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
D. Education Review Committee .. . . . . . 57
E. Special Training . . . . . . . . . . .. 57
41 Outside Work . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . 57
42 Preservation of Rights . . . . . . . . . 57
43 Maintenance of Benefits and Effect
of Contract . . . . . . . . 58
A. Maintenance of Benefits .. . . . . . 58
B. Effect of Contract . . . . . . . . . 58
44 Legislative Action and Savings Clause . .58
A. Legislative Action . . . . . . . . . 58
B. Savings Clause . . . . . . . . . . . 58
45 Term of Contract and Negotiations
Procedures . . . . . . . 59
A. Term of Contract .. . . . . . . . . 59
B. Negotiations Procedures . . . 59
46 Complete Contract . . . . . . . . . . . .59
47 Notices . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . .59
Memorandum of Understanding 1 . . . . . . 61
Memorandum of Understanding 2 . . . . 61
Memorandum of Understanding 3 . . . . . . 61
Memorandum of Understanding 4 . . . .62
Memorandum of Understanding 5 . . .. . . .62
Memorandum of Understanding 6 . . . . . .62
Memorandum of Understanding 7 . . . . . .62
Memorandum of Understanding 8 (Jury Duty).62
Memorandum of Understanding 9 (Compensatory Time) . . 63
Memorandum of Understanding 10 (Mandated Overtime) . 63
Memorandum of Understanding 11 (Job Security) . . . . . . . 64
Memorandum of Understanding 12 (Privatization) . . . . . . .65
Memorandum of Understanding 13 (Employee Rights). . . .66
Memorandum of Understanding 14 (Overtime Legislation).66
Memorandum of Understanding 15 (Title Adjustment). . . 67
Memorandum of Understanding 16 (Task Force) . . . . . . .67
Memorandum of Understanding 17 (Benefit Levels). . . . . 67
Appendix I . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
Appendix II . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .70
PREAMBLEThis Contract made between the State of New Jersey (hereinafter referred to as the "State") and Council No. l, American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO, and its appropriate affiliated locals and councils (hereinafter referred to as the "Union") covering employees in the Health, Care and Rehabilitation Services Unit has as its intent and purpose the promotion of harmonious employee relations between the State and employees represented by the Union; the establishment of equitable and peaceful procedures for the amicable resolution of all disputes and grievances; and determination of wages, hours of work and other terms and conditions of employment.
ARTICLE 1RECOGNITION AND SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES
l. The State of New Jersey, by the Office of Employee Relations in the Governor's Office (hereinafter referred to as the "State"), hereby recognizes the Union as the sole collective negotiating agent with respect to wages, hours of work and other terms and conditions of employment and the administration of grievances arising thereunder for all its employees in the State-wide Health, Care and Rehabilitation Services Unit.
2. a. Included are all full-time permanent career service (including probationary) and provisional employees of the State of New Jersey and all permanent part--time employees who are regularly scheduled to work twenty (20) or more hours per week and who are included in the classifications listed in Appendix II (inclusive of those in the State College system).
b. Whenever new classifications or changes in classifications are contemplated for positions that will be or currently are assigned to this unit or titles which may be contiguous to titles in this Unit, the State will notify the Union and if requested will meet with the Union to discuss those matters prior to submitting them to the Department of Personnel for implementation. In the event the parties cannot reach agreement as to unit designation following such, the dispute may only be submitted to the Public Employment Relations Commission for resolution.
c. In the event that a bargaining unit employee is reclassified, promoted or otherwise moved to an excluded classification as designated in Article 1, A, Section 3, the State will notify the Union in writing and such employee will no longer be covered by the terms of this Contract.
3. Excluded are:
a. Managerial Executives
d. Employees represented in other certified bargaining units
within the State-wide Health, Care and Rehabilitation Services Unit.
e. All other employees of the State of New Jersey not included
4. During the first two (2) years of the 2003-2007 contract, the State agrees to work jointly with the Union to convert part-time intermittent, hourly, special services, per diem and TES employees and/or positions to permanent full-time positions where there is a demonstrated need for full-time positions. Conversion will occur on an on-going basis as the parties identify appropriate positions for conversion. The parties agree to work in good faith, if a dispute arises between the Union and a Department, the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations will mediate.
B. Special Circumstances
1.a. Employees who are within the classifications included in this unit, but appointed under the JTPA program or other comparably funded employment programs, are considered to be subject to all provisions of this Contract as provisional employees; except that the Federal legislation and regulations concerning these programs and any agreement between the State and any Local government prime sponsor which is involved, shall be in effect and modify the provisions of this Contract which would otherwise be operable.
b. Any grievance as to whether or not the provisions of the Contract conflict with Federal legislation or regulations or any agreement with a local government prime sponsor shall be considered to be governed under A. 2. of the Grievance Procedure.
2. Part-Time Employees
The part-time employees in this unit as described in A. 2. a. above are entitled to the rights and protections that are provided in this Contract to the extent that the rules and regulations of any State programs relating to terms and conditions of employment allow them to be eligible. Where such part-time employees are eligible for State fringe benefits coverage under provisions of this Contract, appropriate prorations will be made in accord with their part-time status.
C. Notification to Union
1. It is understood that it serves the interests of both the Union and the State to keep the lines of communications between the parties as open as possible.
2. The State will inform the Union by notification to the Council #1 Executive Director of any executive and/or departmental policy decisions concerning hiring freezes, maintaining vacant positions or other actions that have major impact on the positions in this bargaining group.
3. The appointing authority shall provide the Local Union President on a bi-weekly basis with the names, date of hire, and classification of newly hired employees and the names, date of resignation, and classification of recent resignations of any employees included in this unit as described in A.2.a, and who are employees hired under JTPA or other comparably funded employment programs. Additionally, the Union shall be provided with the names of employees filling "X" or "Y" positions when such assignments are made.
ARTICLE 2MANAGEMENT RIGHTS
The State, its several departments and subordinate functions retain and may exercise all rights, powers, duties, authority and responsibilities conferred upon and invested in them by the laws and constitutions of the State of New Jersey and of the United States of America.
Except as specifically abridged, limited or modified by the terms of the Contract between the State and the Union, all such rights, powers, authority, prerogatives of management and responsibility to promulgate and enforce reasonable rules and regulations governing the conduct and the activities of employees are retained by the State.
ARTICLE 3MERIT SYSTEM REGULATIONS
The administrative and procedural provisions of the Merit System Law and the Rules and Regulations promulgated thereunder are to be observed in the administration of this contract, except and to the extent that this contract pertains to subjects not therein contained. Where the terms of the Contract are contrary to those provisions, the State and the Union agree to initiate proceedings to achieve modifications consistent with the contract by request to the Department of Personnel.
Where a rule or regulation is contemplated affecting employees in this Unit, the Union shall be notified and a meeting held if requested so that the Union may present its views prior to implementation.
A. The provisions of this Agreement shall be applied equally to all employees. The Union and the State agree there shall not be any discrimination as to race, creed, color, national origin, nationality, ancestry, age, sex, familial status, marital status, affectional or sexual orientation, atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait, genetic information, liability for military service, and mental or physical disability, including perceived disability and AIDS and HIV status, political affiliation or union membership.
B. The State agrees not to interfere with the rights of employees to become members of the Union. There shall be no discrimination by the State or any of its representatives against any
employee because of Union membership or because of any employee activity permissible under law or this Contract in an official capacity on behalf of the Union, or for any other cause.
C. The Union recognizes its responsibility as exclusive collective negotiations representative and agrees to represent all employees in the bargaining unit
without discrimination or interference.
D. All references in this Contract to employees of the male gender are used for convenience only and shall be construed to include both male and female employees.
E. The Union shall receive written notification of any changes in B.F.O.Q.s that affect bargaining unit titles prior to implementation.
ARTICLE 5POLICY AGREEMENTS
A. The Union will not engage in, or support, any strike, work stoppage, slowdown, or other job action.
B. No lockout of employees shall be instituted or supported by the State during the term of this Contract.
C. These agreements are not intended to limit the freedom of speech of the Union or its members.
D. 1. A committee consisting of State and Union representatives may meet for the purpose of reviewing the administration of this Contract and to discuss problems which may arise. A maximum of five (5) employee representatives of the Union may attend such quarterly meetings.
2. Said committee meetings shall be some time during the months of March, June, September and December. These meetings are not intended to bypass the grievance procedure or to be considered collective negotiation meetings, but are intended as a means of fostering good employee relations through communications between the parties.
3. Either party may request a meeting and shall submit a written agenda of topics to be discussed seven (7) days prior to such a meeting.
4. Upon request of the Union Local, Institutional Management shall schedule a Labor Management meeting sometime during the months of March, June, September and December. These quarterly meetings are to discuss local contract administration problems and improve communications. The Local President or his or her designee, a Council representative and up to four (4) other Local Union officials may attend such meetings. Management shall provide a short written summary of the meetings to the Union's Local President.
5. Employee representatives who attend such meetings during their scheduled work shift shall be granted time off to attend without loss of pay. If any employee representative who attends the meeting is scheduled to work on another shift on the date of said meeting or attends the meeting on his/her normal day off he/she shall be granted compensatory time for the time spent at the meeting.
E. The State and the Union agree that the working environment should be characterized by mutual respect for the common dignity to which all individuals are entitled. It is agreed that verbal and/or physical harassment of an employee is inappropriate.
F. The State is committed to a workplace environment which is free from sexual
harassment. Policies concerning this matter which include instruction to employees who wish to bring complaints have been promulgated by all departments. Each employee in this bargaininng unit shall be provided with a copy of those policies.
ARTICLE 6UNION RIGHTS
A. Dues Deduction
l. The State agrees to deduct from the regular pay of employees included in this bargaining unit, the membership dues for the American Federation of State County, and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO, provided a dues deduction card supplied by the Union, which conforms to State requirements and signed by the employee, is submitted to the responsible payroll clerk. On receipt of the form, the payroll clerk shall forward it within two (2) working days to the Centralized Payroll Section, Department of the Treasury. Dues deductions will be reflected in the paycheck for the current pay period, provided the form is received in Centralized Payroll at least seven (7) calendar days prior to the end of the pay period. If violations of these time frames are brought to the attention of the State, the State will review the matter and attempt to solve the problems prospectively.
2. Dues deductions for any employee in this bargaining unit shall be limited to AFSCME, the duly certified majority representative, and employees shall be eligible to withdraw such authorization only as of July l of each year provided the notice of withdrawal is filed timely between May 20 and June 20 with the responsible payroll clerk.
3. Dues so deducted by the State shall be transmitted to the designated Union official of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO.
4. The Union shall certify to the State the amount of Union dues and shall notify the State of any change in dues structure thirty (30) days in advance of the requested date of such change. The change shall be reflected in payroll deduction at the earliest time after the receipt of the request.
5. Whenever an employee's dues deduction is discontinued, the Union shall be provided with the State's reason for the discontinuation.
An employee on a leave of absence without pay or on suspension, who has previously signed a dues deduction card and has not timely withdrawn authorization, will have dues deducted from his/her paycheck in the following full pay period upon return to active employment at his/her previous position.
Discharged employees who are reinstated as the result of an appeal shall be given upon reinstatement the opportunity to complete the necessary forms and applications to reinstate them in the various benefit plans and Union dues deductions in which they were enrolled immediately prior to their discharge. Backpay awards to such employees shall be reduced by union dues in accordance with Department of Personnel Regulations 4A:2-2.10 (a) 2. Such dues shall be transmitted in accordance with paragraph A.3. of this Article.
B. REPRESENTATION FEE (Agency Shop)
1. Purpose of Fee
Subject to the conditions set forth in 6. below, all eligible nonmember employees in this unit will be required to pay to the majority representative a representation fee in lieu of dues for services rendered by the majority representative. Nothing herein shall be deemed to require any employee to become a member of the majority representative.
2. Amount of Fee
Prior to the beginning of each contract year, the Union will notify the State in writing of the amount of regular membership dues, initiation fees and assessments charged by the Union to its own members for that contract year, and the amount of the representation fee for that contract year. Any changes in the representation fee structure during the contract year shall be in accordance with A.4. above.
The representation fee in lieu of dues shall be in an amount equivalent to the regular membership dues, initiation fees and assessments charged by the majority representative to its own members less the cost of benefits financed through the dues, fees and assessments and available to or benefiting only its members, but in no event shall such fee exceed 85% of the regular membership dues, fees and assessments.
3. Deduction and Transmission of Fee
After verification by the State that an employee must pay the representation fee, the State will deduct the fee for all eligible employees in accordance with this Article.
The mechanics of the deduction of representation fees and the transmission of such fees to the Union will, as nearly as possible, be the same as those used for the deduction and transmission of regular membership dues to the Union.
The State shall deduct the representation fee as soon as possible after the tenth day following reentry into this unit for employees who previously served in a position identified as excluded or confidential, for individuals reemployed in this unit from a reemployment list, for employees returning from leave without pay, and for previous employee members who become eligible for the representation fee because of nonmember status.
The State shall deduct the representation fee from a new employee as soon as possible after thirty (30) days from the beginning date of employment in a position in this unit.
4. Demand and Return System
The representation fee in lieu of dues only shall be available to the Union if the procedures hereafter are maintained by the Union.
The burden of proof under this system is on the Union.
The Union shall return any part of the representation fee paid by the employee which represents the employee's additional pro rata share of expenditures by the
Union that is either in aid of activities or causes of a partisan political or ideological nature only incidentally related to the terms and conditions of employment, or applied toward the cost of any other benefits available only to members of the majority representative.
The employee shall be entitled to a review of the amount of the representation fee by requesting the Union to substantiate the amount charged for the representation fee. This review shall be accorded in conformance with the internal steps and procedures established by the Union.
The Union shall submit a copy of the Union review system to the Office of Employee Relations. The deduction of the representation fee shall be available only if the Union establishes and maintains this review system.
If the employee is dissatisfied with the Union's decision, he may appeal to a three-member board established by the Governor.
5. State Held Harmless
The Union hereby agrees that it will indemnify and hold the State harmless from any claims, actions or proceedings brought by any employee in the negotiations unit which arises from deductions made by the State in accordance with this provision. The State shall not be liable to the Union for any retroactive or past due representation fee for an employee who was identified by the State as excluded or confidential or in good faith was mistakenly or inadvertently omitted from deduction of the representation fee.
6. It is understood that the implementation of the agency fee program is predicated on the demonstration by the Union that more than 50% of the eligible employees in the negotiating unit are dues paying members of the Union.
If at the signing of this agreement the above percentage has not been achieved, the agency fee plan will be continued through pay period 26 of the calendar year, after which it shall be discontinued unless the minimum has been achieved prior to that occurrence. Thereafter, if the minimum percentage is exceeded on any quarterly date; i.e., January l, April l, July l or October l, the agency fee plan shall be reinstated, with proper notice to affected employees.
In each year of the agreement on July l, an assessment shall be made to determine if the minimum percentage has been exceeded. If it has, the agency fee shall continue until the following annual assessment. If it has not, the agency fee will be discontinued and eligibility for reinstatement shall be on a quarterly basis as provided above.
7. Legal Requirements
Provisions in this clause are further conditioned upon all other requirements set by statute.
C. Notifications Concerning Employees
The State agrees to provide to the Union, on a semi-annual basis, a complete up-to-date listing of all employees covered by this Contract. Such listing shall include the employee's job classification, work location, home address and membership status as it appears on the records of the State. The
Union shall disclose such information only to its officials and representatives whose duties require access to such information. The State will notify all employees whose titles are listed in Appendix II of this Contract that AFSCME is the only employee organization that can represent them in matters pertaining to wages, hours of work, and other terms and conditions of employment. The State shall provide the Union with a list of departmental payroll codes in order to identify the Department name on the above mentioned listing. Notification of all corrective actions shall be given to the Union.
D. Bulletin Boards and Distribution of Literature
1. The State agrees to furnish a suitable share of existing bulletin boards in convenient places in general working areas to be used exclusively by the Union. The space provided shall be approximately 30 x 30 inches.
2. If the Union desires additional bulletin boards, it may request permission to erect its own. A request to erect a bulletin board in conformance with State standards shall not be unreasonably withheld.
3. The Union may post any appropriate material pertaining to Union matters such as appointments, meeting announcements, social and recreational events, achievements, Union election results and information, but excluding election campaign material, as long as none of these contain anything profane, obscene or defamatory of any individual or the State. Postings shall be signed by an authorized representative of the Union or the organizational origin shall be set forth.
4. Any material which an authorized representative of the Office of Employee Relations alleges to be in violation of this Contract shall be promptly removed by the Union. The matter may then immediately be initiated as a Step Two grievance for resolution by the Union or submitted to the Office of Employee Relations.
5. The State will provide space in central locations where Union literature, which is consistent with the provisions of 3. above or which is otherwise approved by the State, may be placed so that employees may pick up copies.
E. Access to Premises
l. The Local, Council and International representatives designated by the Union, and acknowledged by the State, shall be admitted to the premises of the State on Union business.
2. Request for such visitation rights shall be directed to designated State officials and shall include the purpose of the visit, proposed time and date, and the specific work area involved. Permission for such visits shall not be unreasonably withheld.
3. Such Union officials shall also have the opportunity to consult with employees before the start of the work shift, during lunch or breaks, or after completion of the work shift. The State will designate appropriate places for such consultations.
F. Membership Packets
The Union may supply membership packets which contain information for distribution to new employees, including the role of the Union, the membership application and a copy of this Contract, as well as other material mutually agreed to by the State and the Union. The State agrees to distribute such membership packets to new employees during the initial phase of employment. The State will provide a thirty (30) minute period during the new employee's training period to allow an AFSCME Council representative of the Union to
meet and explain the Union's responsibilities. If the Council representative cannot be present during such training period, the Local President or designee will be allowed to make such a presentation to a maximum of twelve (l2) times per year.
G. Aid to Other Unions
The State agrees there will be no aid, promotion, or financing of any other labor group or organization which purports to engage in collective negotiations with the State or its designated representatives for any purpose for employees covered by this Contract and that payroll deduction of dues for any such organization shall be permitted for employees covered by this Contract only as specified in Article 6, Section A, Dues Deduction.
H. Printing of Contract
This Contract shall be reproduced in sufficient quantities so that distribution may be made to each employee in this bargaining unit, to each employee hired in this unit during the term of this Contract, to the Union for additional reserve copies and to the State so that copies are available for its management representatives involved in the administration of and training for this Contract. The Contract shall be of handbook size and the cover color shall be of AFSCME’s choosing and include the State Seal and the Union Insignia. The cost of printing of this Contract shall be borne by the State.
I. Union Privileges
The following privileges shall be made available to the Union, provided they are not abused and subject to all pertinent rules and regulations of the State:
l. Telephone calls from AFSCME Council to Union Officers, Executive Board Members or shop stewards will be taken directly by the Officer unless he/she is not available in which case a message shall be transmitted to the Official as soon as possible.
2. Where there are public address systems in the work areas, the Union may submit notices of meetings or calls for Union representatives which will be announced.
3. Where the Union has mail to be delivered to its Officers, Executive Board Members or shop stewards, the interoffice mail system will be made available to deliver such mail within any institution or building provided that priority is retained for the business of the State.
4. The Union shall be allowed to conduct normal business meetings on State properties, provided that space is available, requests are made and approved at least one (l) week in advance of the proposed date of use and that liability or the damages, care and maintenance and any costs which are attendant thereto are borne by the Union. Employees may attend such meetings only during off duty hours.
5. Where the State has a newsletter or house organ which is published periodically for the information of employees, announcements of Union meetings or affairs will be included if requested by the Union, provided such announcements are consistent with the editorial practices in effect.
6. The Local Presidents may request a separate Union office at the work site for use as an office or for the storage of papers and files of the AFSCME Local. Provision of such space shall not be unreasonably withheld when available; however, the provision of space shall not take priority over essential operational uses and the State shall not incur any liability for loss or damage that may occur. Further, the Union may be permitted to furnish file cabinets or other equipment to the commitment above and under the same conditions. The permission to utilize facilities of the State may be withdrawn at any time.
J. Union Activity With Pay
l. The State agrees that during working hours, on its premises and without loss of pay, properly designated and mutually agreed upon Union stewards and Union representatives shall be allowed to:
a. represent employees in the bargaining unit at grievance proceedings,
b. submit Union notices for posting,
c. attend negotiating meetings if designated as a member of the
of eighteen (18) members,
2. The accredited Union representative shall provide reasonable notification to his supervisor and to the appointing authority whenever he wishes to transact such Union business on State time.
d. attend scheduled meetings with the State and its representatives concerning the application of the Contract.
3. Upon designation of a new Union President, institutional management and the Union representatives shall meet and discuss mutual cooperation so that said Union President may reasonably discharge his/her newly assigned representational duties.
K. Union Stewards and Representation Lists
l. Union Stewards
The Union has the sole right and discretion to designate stewards and chief shop stewards and specify their respective responsibilities and authority to act for the Union. The State reserves to its discretion the extension of privileges to limited numbers of such stewards, as agreed upon with the Union.
2. Representation Lists
The Union agrees to furnish the State with complete written lists of Union representatives including shop stewards, chief shop stewards, and their appropriate and mutually agreed upon grievance districts. The Union further agrees to inform the State through the Office of Employee Relations of any changes and to keep such lists current and correct at all times.
The State will appoint appropriate representatives of management at each location who will respond to the Union in grievance proceedings or other designated functions and will provide a list of such to the Union.
L. Reassignment (for Union Officers and Stewards)
l. The State and the Union recognize that Union Officers and stewards have in their relationship to their jobs a need for continuity in the assigned shift and location which exceeds that of other fellow employees. It is agreed, therefore, that these Union Officers and stewards will not be routinely reassigned.
2. Union Officers and stewards shall not be reassigned, unless special circumstances warrant it. This provision will not be used unreasonably or arbitrarily.
3. It is agreed that the maximum number of Union officers referred to in Paragraph l. and 2. above is three for each Local of the Union and the Union shall identify those Officers to the State at the beginning of the contract year and in the event of a change in one or more of the Officers involved.
ARTICLE 7GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE
A. Definition of Grievance
A "grievance" is:
l. a claimed breach, misinterpretation, or improper application of the terms of this Contract expressed herein (hereafter referred to as contractual); or
2. a claimed violation, misinterpretation or misapplication of rules or regulations, existing policies, administrative orders, or laws applicable to the Agency or Department which employs the grievant affecting the terms and conditions of employment which are not included in A.l. above (hereafter referred to as non-contractual).
The purpose of this procedure is to assure, at the lowest possible level, prompt and equitable solutions of problems arising from the administration of this Contract, or other conditions of employment, by providing the exclusive vehicle for the settlement of employee grievances.
C. Employee and Union Rights
l. Employees are entitled to use this grievance procedure and to be represented by the Union upon request in accordance with the provisions hereof. They shall not be coerced, intimidated or suffer any reprisal as a direct or indirect result of such use.
2. The local Union's decision to request the movement of any grievance at any step or to settle the grievance at any step shall be final as to the interests of the grievant and the Union. The decision to submit a grievance to arbitration shall be made exclusively by the Executive Director, Council #l and nothing herein shall be construed as compelling the Union to submit a grievance to arbitration.
3. Witnesses who appear at any step as provided in this procedure may be examined or cross-examined by the State or Union representative.
4. The appropriate shop steward, Local President and Union Council representative shall be notified of the scheduling and/or cancelling of any grievance hearing as far in advance as possible.
5. A copy of the decision of the State at each step shall be provided to the Union representative involved, or in the case of A.2. grievances, processed without Union representation, then to the designated Union representative.
6. The Union, through the Local President or the Council Representative or their designee, may initiate an A.1. grievance at Step One of this procedure.
7. Where an individual grievant initiates an A.l. grievance, such grievance shall only be processed through Union representation.
D. General Rules
l. No grievance settlement reached under the terms of this Contract shall add to, subtract from, or modify any terms of this Contract.
2. Reference by name or title or otherwise in this Contract to laws, rules, regulations, formal policies or orders of the State, shall not be construed as bringing any allegation concerning the interpretation or application of such matters within the scope of arbitrability as set forth in this Contract.
3. Grievance resolutions or decisions at Steps One and Two shall not constitute a precedent in any arbitration or other proceeding unless a specific agreement to that effect is made by the Office of Employee Relations and the Union Executive Director or his designee.
4. Time limits under this Article may be changed by mutual agreement and requests for extensions of time limits will not be unreasonably denied.
5. No adjustments of any grievance shall impose retroactivity beyond the date on which the grievance was initiated or the thirty (30) days provided in G.l. except that payroll errors and related matters shall be corrected to date of error.
6. At Steps One and beyond in the grievance procedure, witnesses may be heard and pertinent records received. Where the Union requests employee witnesses, permission for a reasonable number of such witnesses required during the grievance procedure will be granted. It is the Union's responsibility to obtain a witness' agreement to appear for the Union. Copies of documents to be submitted by management as evidence at grievance hearings shall be given to the union representative no less than four days prior to the grievance hearing.
7. Hearing officers will take steps to insure the availability of all parties several days prior to each hearing in an effort to eliminate last minute cancellation of hearings.
8. In a hearing, in addition to the hearing officer, one person shall act as spokesperson for the grievant and one person shall act as spokesperson for the management.
E. Scope of Grievance Procedure
l. It is understood by the parties that this grievance procedure represents the exclusive process for the resolution of disputed matters arising out of the Grievance Definition, A.l. and A.2., above, except for those specific matters listed below:
a. Appeals of matters in dispute with regard to the subjects listed in (1) through (7) below shall be made directly to the Department of Personnel subsequent to proper notification to the responsible local management officials. The local management will notify the Local Union representative of any disputes in these matters which are brought to its attention and the management will attempt to settle the dispute if requested by the Union prior to its submission to the Merit System Board.
b.(1) A claim of improper and unjust discipline against an employee
(1) Out-of-title work
(2) Position classification review
(3) Reevaluation review
(4) Layoff and recall rights
(5) Merit System examination procedures for which an appeal exists
(6) Removal at or before completion of working test period
(7) Sick Leave Injury
shall be processed in accordance with Article 8 of this Contract.
(2) Reference by name or title or otherwise in this Contract to laws, rules, regulations, formal policies or orders of the State, shall not be construed as bringing any allegation concerning the interpretation or application of such matters within the scope of arbitrability as set forth in this Contract.
l. Informal Discussion
Any member of the collective bargaining unit may orally present and discuss his complaint with his immediate supervisor on an informal and an individual basis. In the event that the complaint has not been satisfactorily resolved on an informal basis, then a grievance may be filed on the Grievance Form specified herein.
2. Presentation Guidelines
a. All grievances shall be presented in writing to the designated representative of the party against whom it is made on "Grievance Forms" to be provided by the State. Such forms shall make adequate provision for the representative of each of the parties hereto to maintain a written record of all action taken in handling and disposing of the grievance at each step of the grievance procedure. The form shall contain a general description of the facts of the grievance and references to the sections of the Contract, if any, which the grievant claims have been violated. A group grievance initiated by the Union may be presented on the above form, or where appropriate, in another format provided by the Union provided that the grievance is fully set forth in writing and contains all relevant information.
b. Where a grievance directly concerns and is shared by more than one grievant, such group grievance may properly be initiated at Step One. The presentation of such group grievance will be by the appropriate Union representative(s) and one of the affected grievants designated by the Union. If the group contains more than ten (10) grievants, the Union may designate two (2) of the affected grievants for the presentation of the grievance. A group grievance may only be initiated by the Union.
c. Where the subject of a grievance, or its emergent nature, suggests it is appropriate, and where the parties mutually agree, such grievance may be initiated at or moved to any step of the procedure without hearing at a lower step. Requests by the Union to initiate a grievance at the second step will not be unreasonably denied.
d. A summary statement may be presented by one Union Official other than the one who represented the grievant at the end of the grievance hearing. Such statement will be subject to rebuttal by the management representative.
e. Grievance Steps
Grievances shall be presented and adjusted in accordance with the following procedures:
If the grievance is not satisfactorily resolved informally, a grievance may be filed with the highest operational management representative. He or his designee shall hear the grievance. The grievant may be represented by the Union's Local Steward and/or Local President and/or the Council Representative or their designee. Should a grievance not be satisfactorily resolved, or should the employer not respond within the prescribed time periods, either after initial receipt of the grievance or after a hearing, the grievance may be appealed within five (5) working days to the next Step.
If the grievance is not satisfactorily resolved at Step One, an appeal may be made to the Department head or his designee. The appeal shall be accompanied by the decision at the preceding level and any written record that has been part of the preceding hearing. The grievant may be represented by the Union's Local Steward and the Local President and/or the Council Representative or their designee.
If the decision involves a non-contractual grievance, the decision of the Department head or his designee shall be final and a copy of the decision shall be forwarded to the Union.
a. In the event that the grievance has not been satisfactorily resolved at Step Two, and the grievance involves an alleged violation of the Contract as described in the definition of a grievance in A.l. above, then a request for arbitration may be brought only by the Union through its designee within fifteen (l5) calendar days from the day the Union received the Step Two decision, by mailing a written request for arbitration by certified or registered mail to the Director of the Office of Employee Relations. If mutually agreed, a pre-arbitration conference may be scheduled for the purpose of attempting to settle the matter and/or to frame the issue or issues absent a settlement. Neither party will unreasonably deny the request of the other party for such a conference. All communications concerning appeals and decisions at this step shall be made in writing. A request for arbitration shall contain the names of the Department or Agency and employee involved and copies of the original grievance.
b. Within thirty (30) days of the execution of the Contract, the parties shall mutually agree upon a panel of three (3) arbitrators. Each member of the panel shall serve in turn as the sole arbitrator for a given case except that, when circumstances appear to warrant and the parties mutually agree, the designated arbitrator shall hear any number of grievances which are appropriate at one sitting. If a member of the panel is unable to serve, the next member in sequence shall then serve. In the event the parties are unable to agree upon a panel of arbitrators within thirty (30) days, arbitrators shall be selected, on a case-by-case basis, under the selection procedure of the Public Employment Relations Commission, until such time as the parties mutually agree upon a panel.
The arbitrator shall not have the power to add to, subtract from, or modify the provisions of this Contract or laws of the State or any written policy of State or sub-division thereof consistent with this Contract or to determine any dispute involving the exercise of a management function which is within the authority of the State, as set forth in Article 2, Management Rights, and shall confine his decision solely to the interpretation and application of this Contract. He shall confine himself to the precise issue submitted for arbitration and shall have no authority to determine any other issues not so submitted to him, nor shall he submit observations or declaration of opinions which are not relevant in reaching the determinations. The decision or award of the arbitrator shall be final and binding consistent with applicable law and this Contract. In no event shall the same question or issue be the subject of arbitration more than once. The arbitrator may prescribe an appropriate back pay remedy when he finds a violation of this Contract, provided such remedy is permitted by law and is consistent with the terms of this Contract. The arbitrator shall have no authority to prescribe a monetary award as a penalty for a violation of this Contract. Rules, regulations, formal policies or orders of the State shall not be subject to revision by the arbitrator except if specifically provided herein. The fees and expenses of the arbitrator and recording of the procedure shall be divided equally between the parties. Any other cost of this proceeding shall be borne by the party incurring this cost, except as provided in J.
c. The arbitrator shall hold the hearing at a time and place convenient to the parties within thirty (30) calendar days of his acceptance to act as arbitrator and shall issue his decision within thirty (30) days after the close of the hearing.
G. Filing Time Limits
l. A grievance must be filed initially within thirty (30) calendar days from the date on which the act which is the subject of the grievance occurred or thirty (30) calendar days from the date on which the grievant should reasonably have known of its occurrence. Other references to days in this process are working days of the party to which they apply.
2. Where a grievance involves exclusively an alleged error in calculation of salary payments, the grievance may be timely filed within thirty (30) days of the time the individual should reasonably have known of its occurrence.
H. Decisions and Appeals
l. Decisions after a scheduled hearing shall be rendered in writing to the grievant and to the Union Representative, within established time limits, except that the decision will be considered timely if rendered within the following limits or within three (3) days after the conclusion of the hearing at Step One and fifteen (l5) days after the conclusion of the hearing at Step Two, whichever is later:
a. at Step One within ten (l0) days of the receipt of the grievance;
b. at Step Two within fifteen (l5) days of the receipt of the appeal from the Step One decision.
2. The State Representative at any hearing shall, upon request, inform the grievant of the name and position of the next higher level of management to whom an appeal may be presented.
3. The lack of response by the State within the prescribed time periods, unless time limits have been extended by mutual agreement, should be construed as a negative response. At Step One when the response is not rendered within the time limits, the Union has the option to move the grievance to the next step. If a tardy response is rendered prior to the hearing date of the next step, the Union must then notify the State of its desire to maintain the Step Two hearing as scheduled or alternatively the grievance will be considered closed and the decision of the last step will be final.
I. Grievance Investigation-Time Off
When a grievance has been formally submitted in writing and the Union represents the grievant, and where the Union Steward or other Representative Officer requires time to investigate such grievance to achieve an understanding of the specific work problem during working hours, the Steward or Officer will be granted permission and reasonable time, to a limit of one (l) hour, to investigate without loss of pay. It is understood that the supervisor shall schedule such time release providing the work responsibilities of the Steward or Officer and of any involved employee are adequately covered and providing further there is no disruption of work. Such time release shall not be unreasonably withheld and upon request could be extended beyond the one (l) hour limit for specified reasons, if the circumstances warrant an exception to this limit. Where a Union Steward serves a mutually agreed upon grievance district encompassing two (2) or more geographically separated work locations and where the circumstances require it, a maximum of two (2) hours may be authorized for any appropriate investigation of grievances. In certain limited situations, when specifically requested by the Local Union President, or in his absence his designee, and authorized by the appointing authority or his designee, it may be advantageous to investigate an alleged contractual grievance prior to the formal submission of the grievance, and permission for such investigation, within the time constraints provided above, shall not be unreasonably withheld.
Such time release shall not be construed to include preparation of paperwork, record keeping, conferences among Union Officials nor preparation for presentation at a grievance hearing.
J. Grievance Hearings-Time Off
1. An employee and his designated employee representative shall be allowed time off without loss of pay;
a. as may be required for appearance at a hearing of the employee's grievance scheduled during working hours;
b. for necessary travel time during working hours.
If the hearing extends beyond the employee's normal working hours, compensatory time equal to the additional time spent at the hearing shall be granted but such time shall not be considered time worked for the computation of overtime.
2. Where an employee or the Union requests employee witnesses, permission for a reasonable number of witnesses required during the grievance proceedings will be granted. A witness at such proceedings will be permitted to appear without loss of pay for the time of appearance and travel time as required if during his normal scheduled working hours. Should the hearing take place during the witness's normal day off or on a different shift than his/her work shift, the witness shall receive compensatory time on an hour-for-hour basis and that time shall not be used in the accumulation for determination of overtime.
A. The terms of this Article shall apply to permanent career service employees and those serving in a working test period. Unclassified and provisional employees shall only be covered where such is specifically provided for.
B. Discipline of an employee shall be imposed only for just cause. Discipline under this Article means official written reprimand, fine, suspension without pay, reduction in grade or dismissal from service, based upon the personal conduct or performance of the involved employee. Dismissal from service, or reduction in grade, based upon a layoff or other operational judgment of the State shall not be construed to be discipline.
C. Just cause for discipline up to and including dismissal from service shall include those causes set forth in N.J.A.C. 4A:2-2.3. This list of causes set forth in N.J.A.C. 4:A:2-2.3 is not exclusive and disciplinary action may be taken for any combination of circumstances amounting to just cause.
D. Where an appointing authority, or his designee, imposes discipline pursuant to paragraph C, written notice of such discipline shall be given to the employee. Such notice shall contain a reasonable specification of the nature of the charge, a general description of the alleged acts and/or conduct upon which the charge is based and the nature of the discipline.
E. The name of any employee who is notified of suspension or dismissal pursuant to paragraph D shall be transmitted to the Union immediately but not later than forty-eight (48) hours after such notice. The Union Shop Steward, representing the involved employee, may undertake informal discussion with the appropriate level of management prior to the hearing provided in the Section F. below.
F. Any appeal relating to the involved disciplinary matter must be filed by the employee within seventeen (17) calendar days of notice of discipline to the employee involved. The Department Head, or his designee, who shall not be an individual who was personally involved in the facts of the dispute will convene a hearing within twenty (20) calendar days after receipt of such disciplinary appeal and shall render a written decision within twenty (20) calendar days from the date of the completion of the hearing. The employee may be represented at such hearing by the Steward and/or the Local President, if necessary, and/or the Executive Director of the Union or their designee. The decision rendered shall be final except where the disciplinary action involves a penalty as set forth in paragraph G or M below. Where the matter involves a disciplinary penalty other than those set forth in G below, the Department of Personnel may review the matter if timely presented and requested in accordance with its discretionary jurisdiction.
G. 1. In the event the appeal has not been satisfactorily settled or otherwise resolved and involves the following contemplated or implemented penalties:
a. Suspension or fine of more than five (5) days at one time;
b. The last suspension or fine where an employee receives more than
three suspensions or fines of five working days or less or a
suspension or fine for five working days or less where the
aggregate number of days suspended or fined for any one calendar
year is 15 working days or more;
(1) The Union may initially appeal the disciplinary action through the advisory disciplinary arbitration process as herein provided; or
(2) The individual may request or petition the Merit System Board for a hearing which request pursuant to Merit System Rules must be received by the Merit System Board within twenty (20) days after the date of receipt of the decision rendered in paragraph F. The Merit System Law and Regulations promulgated thereunder shall govern the disposition of such a request or petition.
2. a. In the event the employee involved elects the Merit System procedure as provided in G.l. (2) above, such election will be deemed final and binding and constitute an absolute waiver of the option to appeal as provided in G.1.(1), the advisory disciplinary arbitration process.
b. The Union may elect to appeal the matter to advisory disciplinary arbitration provided that such an appeal is joined in by the employee in writing. The employee shall not be denied the right to appropriate representation.
c. All such elections will be made in writing by the employee involved on a form to be provided by the State for such purpose.
H. An appeal to advisory disciplinary arbitration may be brought only by the Union, through its Executive Director, by mailing a written request for advisory disciplinary arbitration by certified or registered mail to the Director of the Office of Employee Relations, which must be postmarked within eighteen (18) calendar days from the decision rendered in paragraph F. A request for advisory disciplinary arbitration shall contain the name of the department or agency and the employee involved, a copy of the original appeal, the notice of discipline and any written decision rendered concerning the matter.
I. Within thirty (30) days of the execution of this Contract, the parties shall mutually agree upon a panel of not less than five (5) disciplinary arbitrators. Each member of the panel shall serve in turn as the sole arbitrator for a given case. Where a member of the panel is unable to serve, the next member in sequence shall then serve. In the event the parties are unable to agree upon a panel of arbitrators within thirty (30) days, arbitrators shall be selected, on a case-by-case basis under the selection procedure of the Public Employment Relations Commission, until such time as the parties agree upon a panel. The disciplinary arbitrator shall hold a hearing at a place convenient to the parties as soon as possible after the request for arbitration but not later than thirty (30) days after the arbitrator accepts the case.
J. Arbitrators in disciplinary matters shall confine themselves to advisory opinions of guilt or innocence and the appropriateness of penalties and shall neither add to, subtract from, nor modify any of the provisions of this Contract by any award. The arbitrator's decision with respect to guilt, innocence or penalty shall be advisory only. In the event the arbitrator finds the employee guilty he may recommend the penalty imposed or suggest such penalty as appropriate to the circumstances, in accordance with this Contract; however, removal from service shall not be substituted for a lesser penalty. In the event the arbitrator finds the employee innocent or modifies a penalty he may suggest reinstatement with backpay for any or part of an imposed suspension or reduction in grade or period that the employee was dismissed from service. Should the arbitrator's recommendation provide reinstatement with backpay, the employee may be paid for the hours he would have worked in his normally scheduled work week, at his normal rate of pay, but not exceeding forty (40) hours per week or eight (8) hours per day, less any deductions required by law, or other offsetting income for the back pay period specified by the arbitrator. The arbitrator's recommendation shall contain a short statement of the nature of the proceedings, the positions of the parties and specific findings and conclusions on the facts. In addition, the arbitrator's decision shall discuss any of the testimony, evidence or positions of the parties which merit special analysis.
In exception to these provisions, in a disciplinary arbitration concerning a penalty as set forth in paragraph N, the sole issue to be determined by the arbitrator shall be the guilt or innocence of the employee and he shall therefore sustain the penalty imposed or vacate it. It is agreed that this process is not to be utilized as a device to suggest more severe suspensions than would normally be imposed.
The fees and expenses of the arbitrator and recording of the procedure shall be divided equally between the parties. Any other cost of this proceeding shall be borne by the party incurring the cost, except as provided in N.
K. General Provisions
l. The burden of proof in disciplinary proceedings shall be upon the State.
2. In the event a formal charge of misconduct is made by the State against an employee and if he so requests, he shall be entitled to a representative of the Union only as a witness or as an advisor during any subsequent interrogation of the employee concerning such charge, which is conducted by any representative of the State. No recording of such procedure shall be made without notification to the employee and there shall be no presumption of guilt. The employee and/or the Union, if present, may request and receive a copy of such recording. Where an employee is interrogated during the course of a formal investigation, and when there is a reasonable likelihood that the individual being questioned may have formal charges preferred against him, the nature of those contemplated charges shall be made known to the employee who shall then, if he requests, be entitled to a representative of the Union, only as a witness or as an advisor, during subsequent interrogation concerning the charge, provided that the interrogation process shall not be delayed and/or the requirement to expedite any official duty not be impaired. The employee who is the subject of an investigation shall be notified in writing that the investigation is complete. A copy of the notice will be sent to the Union. If an investigation of alleged employee misconduct does not lead to discipline, the investigation shall be closed and further will not become part of the employee’s permanent file.
3. Where criminal charges are initiated, the lawful rights of the employee shall not be violated.
4. An employee shall not be disciplined for acts which occurred more than one year prior to the service of the notice of discipline except for those acts which would constitute a crime. The employee's whole record of employment, however, may be considered with respect to the appropriateness of the penalty to be imposed.
5. Nothing in this Article shall be construed to limit the right of the State to implement any disciplinary action notwithstanding the pendency of any appeal proceedings.
6. Whenever a disciplinary action is initiated, the employee or Union representative may request and shall be provided with copies of any written documents in management's possession concerning the discipline to which the employee or union has a legal entitlement. Such documents including copies of any documents that management intends to use at the hearing shall be normally provided not less than four (4) days prior to the hearing date.
7. When any permanent employee in this unit is given written notice of removal for disciplinary reasons and where the Union Steward or other Representative Officer requests time to investigate such action during working hours, the Steward or Officer will be granted permission and reasonable time, to a limit of one (1) hour, to investigate without loss of pay. It is understood that the supervisor shall schedule such time release, providing the work responsibilities of the Steward or Officer and of any involved employee are adequately covered and providing further that there is no disruption of work.
8. Before a permanent career service employee is suspended without pay pending dismissal she/he shall promptly be given an opportunity for an informal discussion at which the employee will be informed of the charges made and a synopsis of the evidence on which the State intends to rely. The employee shall have an opportunity to respond and/or refute.
9. Employees who are discharged for cause and who are subsequently completely exonerated by the Merit System Board process and ordered to be reinstated with full back pay will be reemployed on a work schedule which is the same shift and with the same days off as when they were discharged and shall not be denied promotional opportunities. Employees may request to return to their former specific job assignment. Such requests shall not be unreasonably denied. Any reassignment of another bargaining unit member which is required to accommodate the above will be considered as a reassignment as described in paragraph B under Reassignment in Appendix I of this contract.
L. Cooling Off Period
The Union recognizes the State's right and obligation to impose and implement disciplinary suspensions and the parties agree that prior to implementation of suspensions of not more than five (5) days as a matter of general practice and intent and, where in the judgment of the State such suspension is not directed at the immediate need to maintain safety, order or effective direction of work assignments, such suspensions will not be implemented until after a three (3) day period of notification within which time, the Union, representing the involved employee, may undertake informal discussion with an appropriate level of management. Additionally, the implementation of suspensions of five (5) days or less that are subject to the cooling off period will be delayed until after the departmental hearing described in paragraph (F) if an appeal for the hearing is made within twenty-four (24) hours (excluding holidays and weekends) of the receipt of Notice of Discipline and the scheduled hearing is not postponed by request of the Union.
M. The following shall constitute the disciplinary appeal procedure rights for unclassified and provisional employees, who have been employed in such capacity for a minimum of six (6) months.
1. In all disciplinary matters, except dismissal from service, such employees shall be entitled to utilize the provisions of this Article up to Departmental hearing level.
2. In disciplinary matters involving dismissal from service, such employees, upon written request, shall be entitled to a conference with the Department Head, or his designee, to discuss the matter. The Department Head, or his designee, may conduct an administrative investigation of the matter.
3. In disciplinary matters involving dismissal from service for provisional employees who have been employed in such capacity for a minimum of seven (7) months, such employees shall be entitled to a hearing by the Department Head or his/her designee if such employee files an appeal within fourteen (14) days of the notice of dismissal. In exception to the provision in paragraph K.1. of this Article, the burden of proof in the proceeding set forth herein shall be on the employee, and the decision of the hearing officer shall be final and no further appeal is available.
4. In no event shall the provision of this Article apply where the employee is being removed as a result of the certification of a Merit System eligible list.
5. Nothing in this Article shall be construed as a waiver of any rights any employee may have under Merit System Statute or the Merit System Board Rules and Regulations.
N. Special Procedure for Review and Arbitration of Suspensions of One Through Five Days
1. The parties agree to continue a Joint Union Management Panel consisting of one (1) person selected by the State and one (1) person selected by the Union and a third party neutral mutually selected by the parties. Each panel member shall serve on an ad hoc or other basis. The purpose of this panel is to review appeals from Departmental determinations upholding disciplinary suspensions of one (1) through five (5) days or official written reprimands issued on or after July 1, 2003, excepting unclassified, provisional or probationary employees.
Review of an Official Reprimand will not be submittable to arbitration.
2. In order for a disciplinary appeal from the Union to be considered by the panel, a written notice of appeal must be filed with the Department (or Agency Head) or designee, who issued the decision upholding the disciplinary action. Such notice must be filed within ten (10) days of the issuance of such decision. The Department (or Agency Head) or designee will promptly forward a copy of such notice to the Office of Employee Relations and the Union together with a copy of the decision and any other documents that have been made a part of the record of the matter.
3. The panel shall meet once each month providing that there are at least ten (10) matters to be considered. The parties may mutually agree to schedule additional meetings if necessary. The agenda of each monthly meeting shall consist of all matters as to which the Union has requested panel consideration, provided that the request is received at least seven (7) calendar days prior to the scheduled date of the panel meeting. Ordinarily, no matter will be held pending hearing for longer than sixty (60) days.
4. The panel considerations shall be based upon the Department Head's or designee's decision and any documents that have been made a part of the record of the matter before such Department Head or designee. The State and Union panel members shall discuss each matter on the agenda and, with the assistance of the neutral panel member, attempt to jointly resolve the appeal. Where the State and Union panel do not agree as to the disposition of the appeal, the neutral panel member may suggest that the matter raises issues which may warrant submission to arbitration.
5. The neutral shall maintain a written record of the disposition of each matter which shall be signed by each panel member. Unless mutually agreed to the contrary, the written disposition of each matter shall be made at the panel meeting at which it is considered, and a copy shall be provided to each panel member.
6. In the event the neutral suggests that a matter raises issues which may warrant submission to arbitration, the Union may elect to appeal the matter to disciplinary arbitration pursuant to paragraphs H, I and J above. In such case the eighteen (18) calendar day period referred to in paragraph H for the submission of written notice of appeal to disciplinary arbitration shall run from the date of receipt of the neutral panel member's determination. The neutral panel member may not serve as the arbitrator for any matter which has been submitted to the panel.
7. The State agrees to assume the cost of the panel participation of the neutral member provided that, where the cost exceeds $350 in any one (1) month, the parties shall share the excess cost equally. Where the parties mutually agree to hold a panel meeting with less than ten (10) cases on the agenda, the parties shall share the entire cost of the neutral equally.
8. This trial program may be terminated by either party upon forty-five (45) days written notice to the other party. In the event of such termination, suspensions of one (1) through five (5) days may be appealed to arbitration under the provision of paragraphs H, I and J, without panel consideration.
A. A newly appointed employee shall be considered probationary and without seniority.
B. Permanent employees shall, on the day worked immediately following the successful completion of the probationary period, be considered to have State seniority as of the date of employment. Such State seniority shall accumulate until there is a break in service. State seniority of an employee who is reinstated after a period of layoff shall be continued retroactively exclusive of the period of layoff.
C. An employee shall be considered to have job classification seniority upon successful completion of the probationary period for that job as of the date of employment or permanent promotion to that job. Job classification seniority shall accumulate until there is a break in service.
D. l. A break in continuous service occurs when an employee resigns, is discharged for cause, retires or is laid off.
2. Absence without leave for five (5) days or failure to return from any leave of absence shall be considered a resignation.
E. In the case where an employee is promoted, but does not successfully complete the probationary period, he may return to his previous job classification. His job classification seniority and State seniority continue to accumulate during such period.
F. Provisional appointments will not be made except in the case of an emergency as provided in N.J.S.A. 11A:4-13b. Where an examination is required, such will be scheduled at the earliest possible time.
G. Every six (6) months the appointing authority shall post on bulletin boards current seniority list of employees within that organizational unit and make copies of same available to the Local Union President. Any disagreement concerning the accuracy of such lists will be made known to the employee's Personnel Officer within one (l) month of the date of posting and corrective action will be initiated at this level.
H. This Article shall not apply to the computation or application of seniority in determination of individual rights administered by the Department of Personnel, such as lay-off and promotional rights. In such circumstances seniority determinations and applications shall be determined by the Department of Personnel. The terms and conditions of seniority pertaining to layoff and promotions are fully set forth in statutes and in the Merit System Regulations and are intended to be observed in the administration of this Contract. The provisions above are not intended to vary the application of the seniority provisions under rule or law as they pertain to layoff and promotional matters.
ARTICLE 10SALARY PROGRAM
A. Salary Program-Administration
The parties acknowledge the existence and continuation during the term of this Contract of the State Compensation Plan, which incorporates in particular, but without specific limit, the following basic concepts:
1. A system of position classifications with appropriate position descriptions.
2. A salary range with specific minimum and maximum rates and intermediate incremental steps therein for each position.
3. The authority, method and procedures to effect modification as such are required. However, within any classification, the annual salary rate of employees shall not be reduced as a result of the exercise of this authority. If the State makes major changes in the Compensation Plan or changes which have a negative effect on the earnings of employees, it is understood that the impact of these changes will be negotiated with the Union and such negotiations shall commence within thirty (30) days of the date upon which the Union requests negotiations of the matter.
B. Special Payment Program
It is agreed that during the term of this Contract, July l, 2003 - June 30, 2007 the following salary and fringe benefit improvements shall be provided to eligible employees in the unit within the applicable policies and practices of the State and in keeping with the conditions set forth herein.
Subject to the State Legislature enacting appropriations for these specific purposes, the State agrees to provide the following benefits effective at the time stated herein.
1. a. There shall be no increase effective July 1, 2003.
b. On or about July 1, 2004, there shall be a two and nine-tenth percent (2.9%) across-the-board increase applied to the current base salary of each employee covered by this agreement. Full-time employees on the active payroll on June 26, 2004 earning less than $31,000 in base salary as of June 25, 2004 shall receive a cash bonus not included in base salary of the differential of the amount of their across-the-board increase and the amount of the across-the-board increase calculated on a base salary of $31,000. This bonus shall be paid on or about July 31, 2004. Example: Employee with a base salary of $25,000 on June 25, 2004 receives a two and nine-tenths percent (2.9%) across-the-board or a $725 increase to base salary. Employee receives a $174 bonus. (2.9% of $31,000 = $899 - $725 = $174). The $174 is payable in July 2004 if the employee is on the active payroll on that date.
c. On or about July 1, 2005, there shall be a two-percent (2.0%) across-the-board increase applied to the current salary of each employee covered by this Contract. Full-time employees on the active payroll June 25, 2005, who earn less than $31,000 in base salary as of June 24, 2005, shall receive a cash bonus not included in base salary of the differential of the amount of their across-the-board increase and the amount of the across-the-board increase calculated on a base salary of $31,000. This bonus payment shall be paid on or about July 31, 2005. Example: Employee with a base salary of $25,000 on June 24, 2005 receives a two-percent (2.0%) across-the-board or a $500 increase to base salary. Employee receives a $120 bonus. (2.0% of $31,000 = $620 - $500 = $120). The $120 is payable in July 2005 if the employee is on the active payroll on that date.
d. On or about January 1 2006, there shall be a two-percent (2.0%) across-the-board increase applied to the current salary of each employee covered by this Contract. Full-time employees on the active payroll December 24, 2005, who earn less than $31,000 in base salary as of December 23, 2005, shall receive a cash bonus not included in base salary of the differential of the amount of their across-the-board increase and the amount of the across-the-board increase calculated on a base salary of $31,000. This bonus payment shall be paid on or about January 31, 2006. Example: Employee with a base salary of $25,000 on December 23, 2005 receives a two-percent (2.0%) across-the-board or a $500 increase to base salary. Employee receives a $120 bonus. (2.0% of $31,000 = $620 - $500 = $120). The $120 is payable in January 2006 if the employee is on the active payroll on that date.
e. On or about July 1, 2006, there shall be a two and twenty-five hundredths percent (2.25%) across-the-board increase applied to the base salary for each employee covered by this agreement. Full-time employees on the active payroll June 24, 2006, who earn less than $31,000 in base salary as of June 23, 2006, shall receive a cash bonus not included in base salary of the differential of the amount of their across-the-board increase and the amount of the across-the-board increase calculated on a base salary of $31,000. This bonus payment shall be paid on or about July 31, 2006. Example: Employee with a base salary of $25,000 on June 23, 2006 receives a two and twenty-five hundredths percent (2.25%) across the board or a $562.50 increase to base salary. Employee receives a $135 bonus. (2.25% of $31,000 = $697.50 – 562.50 =$135). The $135 is payable in July 2006 if the employee is on the active payroll on that dat
f. On or about January 1 2007, there shall be a two and thirty-five hundredths percent (2.35%) across-the-board increase applied to the current salary of each employee covered by this Contract. Full-time employees on the active payroll December 23, 2006, who earn less than $31,000 in base salary as of December 22, 2006, shall receive a cash bonus not included in base salary of the differential of the amount of their across-the-board increase and the amount of the across-the-board increase calculated on a base salary of $31,000. This bonus payment on or about January 31, 2006. Example: Employee with a base salary of $25,000 on December 22, 2006 receives a two and thirty-five hundredths percent (2.35%) across the board or a $587.50 increase to base salary. Employee receives a $141 bonus. (2.25% of $31,000 = $728.50 – 587.50 =$141). The $141 is payable in January 2007 if the employee is on the active payroll on that date.
g. Permanent part-time employees who are regularly scheduled to work 20 hours or more per week, and who are included in the classifications listed in the Appendix will receive the wage increases in B.1.a.-f. above on a pro rata basis.
h. For ten (10) month employees, the foregoing increases that are effective on or about July 1, 2004, 2005 and 2006 for twelve (12) month employees, shall be applied to the base salary of ten (10) month employees effective on September 1, 2004, 2005 and 2006.
i. For ten (10) month employees, the foregoing increases that are effective on or about January 1, 2006 and 2007 for twelve (12) month employees, shall be applied to the base salary of ten (10) month employees effective on or about February 1, 2006 and 2007.
j. The State Compensation Plan salary schedule shall be adjusted in accordance with established procedures to incorporate these increases for each step of each salary range. Each employee shall receive the increase by remaining at the step in the range occupied prior to the adjustments.
k. Normal increments shall be paid to all employees eligible for such increments within the policies of the State Compensation Plan during the term of this Contract.
l. Employees in titles receiving an upgrade will be placed on the step of the new range, giving a full increment, in accordance with Department of Personnel procedures.
2. a. Each full-time employee who will have a full year of service on or before July 1, 2003 and who is in pay status on the date of payment, shall receive a cash clothing maintenance allowance of $550. Each full-time employee who will have six (6) months of service on or before July 1, 2003 and who is in pay status on the date of payment, shall receive a cash clothing maintenance allowance of $275.
b. Each full-time employee who will have a full year of service on or before July 1, 2004 and who is in pay status on the date of payment, shall receive a cash clothing maintenance allowance of $600. Each full-time employee who will have six (6) months of service on or before July 1, 2004 and who is in pay status on the date of payment, shall receive a cash clothing maintenance allowance of $300.
c. Each full -time employee who will have a full year of service on or before July 1, 2005 and who is in pay status on the date of payment, shall receive a cash clothing maintenance allowance of $625. Each full-time employee who will have six (6) months of service on or before July 1, 2005 and who is in pay status on the date of payment, shall receive a cash clothing maintenance allowance of $312.50
d. Each full-time employee who will have a full year of service on or before July 1, 2006 and who is in pay status on the date of payment, shall receive a cash clothing maintenance allowance of $650. Each full-time employee who will have six (6) months of service on or before July 1, 2006 and who is in pay status on the date of payment, shall receive a cash clothing maintenance allowance of $325.
e. Permanent part-time employees who are regularly scheduled to work twenty (20) or more hours per week and who are included in the classifications listed in Appendix II and who meet the service eligibility requirements shown above will receive the clothing allowance on a pro rata basis.
3. a. There shall be a bonus payment of $240 in December of fiscal years 2004 and 2005 to all full-time employees who worked at least 195 shifts on either the second (2nd) or third (3rd) shifts, which are commonly known as the afternoon or evening shift and the night or midnight shift, for the eligibility period of twelve (12) months preceding the December payment (November 1 through October 31). There shall be a bonus payment of $160 in December of fiscal year 2006 to all full time employee who worked at least 130 shifts on either the second (2nd) or third (3rd) shifts, which are commonly know as the afternoon or evening shift and the night or midnight shift for the eligibility period of eight (8) months preceding the December payment, which is November 1, 2004 through June 30, 2005.
b. Paid leave time is considered to be time worked for eligibility for this payment. Employees must be in pay status on the date of payment in order to receive payment. Permanent part-time employees who work at least half time and who meet the eligibility requirements set forth above and work a five(5) day week and work at least 195 shifts during the above period will receive a pro rata share.
Effective July 1, 2005, employees covered by this Contract who work the evening shifts or night shifts shall be paid a shift differential of $.25 per hour in lieu of the present shift bonus set forth in paragraph 3 above.
Employees assigned to either shift or split shifts (as defined below) for the evening or night shifts, as their regular shift shall receive the shift differential for all paid leave and for any shift they do work. Employees scheduled to work split shifts shall receive the shift differential for all shifts worked if the majority (60%) of the shifts are scheduled for the evening or night shifts in the normal pay period.
Permanent part-time employees who work at least half time and who meet the eligibility requirements set forth above and work a five (5) day week will receive the shift bonus of $.25 per hour.
4. Employees who have been at the eighth step of the same range for eighteen (18) months or longer shall be eligible for movement to the ninth step providing their performance warrants the salary adjustment. On or about July 1, 2006 there shall be a tenth step added to all ranges. Employees who have been at the ninth step of the same range for twenty-four (24) months or longer shall be eligible for movement to the tenth step providing their performance warrants the salary.
5. The Joint Welfare Program shall be continued during the period of this Contract and the State shall provide any necessary funds to maintain the current benefit programs, except that the co-payment for the Prescription Drug Program shall be in keeping with the legislative appropriation.
C. Prescription Drug Program
Effective July 1, 2004, the co-pay for retail Prescription Drugs shall increase to $10.00 for name brand and $3.00 for generics. Mail order co-pay shall increase to $15.00 for name brand and $5.00 for generic.
D. Eye Care Program
In addition, it is agreed that the Eye Care Program shall include all employees and their eligible dependents (spouse and unmarried children under 23 years of age who live with the employee in a regular parent-child relationship.) The coverage shall be $35 for regular glasses and $40 for bifocal glasses with all other conditions for eligibility as in the current plan. The extension of benefits to dependents shall be effective only after the employee has been continuously employed for a minimum of 60 days.
Effective July 1, 2005 the eyeglass benefit will be increased by $5.00 pursuant to the current bi-annual formula. The coverage shall be $40 for regular glasses and $45 for bifocal glasses with all other conditions for eligibility as in current plan.
Full-time employees and eligible dependents as defined above shall be eligible for a maximum payment of $35.00 or the cost, whichever is less, of an eye examination by an Ophthalmologist or an Optometrist.
Each eligible employee and dependent may receive only one payment for glasses and one payment for examinations during the period July 1, 2003 to June 30, 2005 and one payment for glasses and one payment for examination during the period of July 1, 2005 to June 30, 2007. Proper affidavit and submission of receipts are required of the employee in order to receive payments.
6. Employees serving in the title Senior Food Service Worker with at least one year of service in that title shall be promoted to Senior Food Service Handler.
E. Pay Practices
The State agrees that all regular bi-weekly paychecks be accompanied by a current statement of earnings and deductions and cumulative year to date earnings and tax withholdings. Overtime earnings shall be paid on a supplemental payroll.
F. Dental Care Plan
Full-time employees and eligible dependents shall be eligible for the State-administered Dental Care Program.
Participation in the Program shall be voluntary with a condition of participation being that each participating employee authorize a bi-weekly salary deduction not to exceed 50 percent of the cost of the type of coverage elected, e.g., individual employee only, husband and wife, parent and child or family coverage.
Each employee shall be provided with a brochure describing the details of the Program and enrollment information and the required forms.
Participating employees shall be provided with an identification card to be utilized when covered dental care is required.
The current optional Group Dental Programs will continue during the term of this agreement with the understanding that the providers comply with their contractual obligations to the State. Participation in the various group dental programs shall be voluntary with a condition that each participating employee authorize a bi-weekly deduction not to exceed 50 percent of the cost of the coverage for a one year period. Employees may enroll in only one of the available programs, or choose not to participate.
G. Deferred Compensation Plan
It is understood that the State shall continue the program which will permit eligible employees in this negotiating unit to voluntarily authorize deferment of a portion of their earned base salary so that the funds deferred can be placed in an Internal Revenue Service approved Federal Income Tax exempt investment plan. The deferred income so invested and the interest or other income return on the investment are intended to be exempt from current Federal Income Taxation until the individual employee withdraws or otherwise receives such funds as provided in the plan.
It is understood that the State shall be solely responsible for the administration of the plan and the determination of policies, conditions and regulations governing its implementation and use.
The State shall provide literature describing the plan as well as a required enrollment or other forms to all employees.
It is further understood that the maximum amount of deferrable income under this plan shall be consistent with the Plan document.
H. Co-Operative Effort
The parties to the Contract understand that the public services provided to the citizenry of the State of New Jersey require a continuing cooperative effort particularly during any period of severe fiscal constraints. They hereby pledge themselves to achieve the highest level of service by jointly endorsing a concept of intensive productivity improvements which may assist in realizing that objective.
ARTICLE 11PERFORMANCE EVALUATION SYSTEM
Effective October 1, 2003, the parties agree to implement the following revised system.
I. A. General Provisions
1. The Performance Evaluation System (PES) will apply to all employees covered by this agreement.
2. At least a mid-year and an annual performance evaluation system meeting will be conducted.
3. When there is a change either in job assignment or supervisor during the evaluation period, the old performance plan shall be closed out. The employee's performance during the portion of the rating period under the old performance plan shall be rated and a new performance plan shall be prepared. The final rating shall be a pro-ration of all ratings received during the review period.
4. When there is a change in job title during the evaluation period, the former supervisor shall assign a final rating for the former performance plan and title. A performance plan for the new title shall be developed.
5. The PES will consist of a two (2) tier rating system: satisfactory or unsatisfactory. The PES will be used as a factor in determining the order of layoff or recall from layoff only as set forth in the proposed DOP layoff regulations. A PES rating of unsatisfactory will be a factor in promotion. Employees whose performance is rated unsatisfactory will not be granted a normal merit increment. Employees who are eligible and whose performance is "satisfactory" shall be granted a normal merit increment. The PES will not be used in lieu of discipline. The employee, Union or State can use the PES in a disciplinary proceeding.
6. It is understood that workload within the job scope should be a relevant consideration in determining an employee's overall performance evaluation.
B. The PES Form
1. The PES form will contain sections for the employee's goals and comments. The form will also contain sections for standards for satisfactory performance.
2. The PES form may be modified by the State upon sixty (60)
days notice to the Union, provided that the modifications do not conflict with the provisions of this Article. The Union may submit comments concerning the modifications within forty-five (45) days of receipt of the proposed modifications. Prior to issuing the modified form, the State will consider comments timely submitted by the Union.
C. Performance Evaluation System Meeting
1. When it becomes apparent to the supervisor that the employee may be unsatisfactory, he/she will schedule a meeting with the employee to outline steps to be taken to improve the employee’s performance.
2. At least twice a year, with a six (6) month interval between meetings, an immediate supervisor will meet and hold a PES meeting with an employee.
3. The supervisor will provide the PES form to the employee ten (10) days prior to the meeting.
4. At the mid-year PES meeting, the supervisor and the employee will discuss the employee's performance based upon the standards for satisfactory performance contained on the PES form prepared the previous meeting. Performance expectations may be modified during the mid-year meeting. The form will be signed by the supervisor and the employee and placed in the employee's personnel file. Copies of the completed form will be immediately provided to the employee and the employee's supervisor.
5. At the final PES meeting, the supervisor and the employee will discuss whether the employee met the previous year's standards for satisfactory performance and will mutually formulate standards for satisfactory performance for the upcoming year.
6. Following the PES meeting, the supervisor and the employee will complete and sign the appropriate section of the PES form. The form will be placed in the employee's personnel file. Copies of the completed form will be immediately provided to the employee and the employee's supervisor.
D. Unsatisfactory Rating
1. a. Where the performance of an employee is unsatisfactory, the designated supervisor will confer with such employee at least once every three (3) months and shall set forth the deficiencies and improvement goals required to achieve a satisfactory level of performance.
b. A record of such conferences shall be made and a copy given to the employee within two (2) weeks of the conference.
2. Where a normal merit increment has not been earned due to a unsatisfactory rating and the performance of the employee improves to the point which warrants granting of the normal merit increment, such increment may be granted effective on any payroll period following ninety (90) days from the anniversary date.
3. The normal anniversary date of such employee shall not be affected by this action.
4. Where a normal merit increment has been denied, the performance ratings concerned with the issue of restoration, as provided in D.2.shall not be grievable.
5. Where there are disagreements between the employee and his/ her supervisor on a performance assessment, the employee may note in writing the disagreements and may have a Union representative discuss the disagreements with the supervisor.
E. Employee Signature
The required signature of the employee on the annual evaluation form, or on any other related form, shall be acknowledgment of receipt but shall not be construed to mean agreement with the content unless such agreement is stated thereon by the employee.
F. PES Appeal Procedures
1. An employee who believes that the contents of a PES form does not properly assess the employee's work or contain appropriate performance expectations, may request a meeting at the level of management above the employee's immediate supervisor.
2. A meeting will be held at which the employee may make known his/her concerns.
3. An employee who receives an unsatisfactory final PES rating that believes the rating does not properly assess the employee's work may appeal the unsatisfactory rating through a JUMP process similar to that used to process minor disciplinary appeals. Details to be worked out by the parties.
G. New Employees
New employees shall receive a performance plan as soon as
possible but no later than thirty (30)working days after appointment. The supervisor shall prepare a plan when a new employee is hired that shall identify the job assignment, include he essential criteria for successful job performance and emphasize training and development.
The standards and procedures for working test periods are governed by DOP regulations.
ARTICLE 12ACCESS TO PERSONNEL FOLDERS AND EVALUATIONS
A. Each employee shall, if he requests, be given an opportunity to review any evaluation of his work performance or conduct prepared during the term of this Contract and included in his permanent personnel folder or permanent supplementary personnel file known as a unit or cottage file. He may file a written response to such materials and, if requested, such response will be attached to and retained with the particular instrument concerned. Any records concerning the performance or conduct of an employee that are passed from one (l) supervisor to another upon the transfer of an employee or his/her supervisor will be available for review by the employee upon request. The requests for review as outlined in this paragraph shall be honored in an expeditious fashion.
B. Each regular written evaluation of work performance shall be reviewed with the employee and evidence of this review shall be the required signature of the employee on the evaluation form. Such signature shall not be construed to mean agreement with the content of the evaluation unless such agreement is stated therein.
C. No document of anonymous origin shall be used against any employee. A document without a date shall be date-stamped as of the day it is placed in the file.
D. Copies of any written documents specifically related to discipline or the work performance of an employee which are relied upon by the State during any disciplinary proceeding, grievance hearing or in any final evaluation report rendered under the PAR Program will be given to the employee upon his request.
ARTICLE 13LEAVES OF ABSENCE
A. Administrative Leave
1. Full-time employees covered by this Contract shall be entitled to three (3) days of administrative leave of absence with pay in each calendar year.
Administrative leave may be used for (a) emergencies, (b) observation of religious or other days of celebration but not holidays, (c) personal business or (d) other personal affairs.
2. A newly hired full-time employee shall be granted one-half (1/2) day of administrative leave after each full calendar month of employment to a maximum of three (3) days during the remainder of the calendar year in which he is employed.
3. Administrative leave shall be granted by the appointing authority upon request of the employee and, except in emergencies, leave shall be scheduled in advance provided the request may be granted without interference with the proper conduct of the government function involved.
4. Priority in granting such requests shall be (a) emergencies, (b) observation of religious or other days of celebration but not holidays as specified in this Contract, (c) personal business, (d) other personal affairs. Where, within work unit, there are more requests than can be granted for use of this leave for one of the purposes above, the conflict will then be resolved on the basis of State seniority and the maximum number of such requests shall be granted in accordance with Section 3. Administrative leave may be scheduled in units of one-half (1/2) day, or multiples thereof and may be taken in conjunction with other types of paid leave.
5. Such leave credit shall not accumulate beyond the calendar year in which it was earned. Where an employee has an earned administrative leave balance which has not been previously scheduled as of October 1, the supervisor will meet with the employee to determine a schedule of such administrative leave time so that no accrued administrative leave time will be lost.
6. Permanent part-time employees, who are included in this bargaining unit, shall be entitled to administrative leave on a proportionate basis to a maximum of one and one-half (1 1/2) days per calendar year. Newly hired part-time employees shall be granted one-half (1/2) day of administrative leave after each second full calendar month of employment to a maximum of one and one-half (1 1/2) days during the remainder of the calendar year in which they are employed. Such leave shall be granted in multiples of one-half (1/2) day only.
B. Leave of Absence Due to Injury
1. An employee covered by this Contract who is disabled because of a job-related injury or disease shall, upon appropriate recommendation and approval by the Department of Personnel, be granted a leave of absence with pay. Contingent upon the availability of departmental funds legally usable for this purpose, such approved leave may be granted with full pay, with reduced pay, or with full pay for a certain period and reduced pay thereafter.
2. Any amount of salary or wages paid or payable to an employee for disability leave shall be reduced by the amount of Worker's Compensation Award under the New Jersey Worker's Compensation Act For Temporary Disability.
3. Such leave may be granted for up to one (l) year from the date of injury or illness and shall be based on medical or other proof of the injury or illness and the continuing disability of the employee. Differences of opinion between the employee's private physician and the appointing authority as to extending the length of a previously approved leave of absence due to injury, within the parameters of the existing program, will if requested by the employee, be reviewed at the Departmental Personnel Office for final resolution.
4. Employees' requests for copies of their medical records that pertain to job related injuries claims and that are in the employees' institutional files will be honored.
5. This program shall be administered in accordance with the Rules and Regulations promulgated by the Merit System Board, one of which requires the appointing authority to notify the employee in writing of the approval or disapproval within twenty (20) days. Any decision made prior to the end of the twenty (20) day period should be transmitted to the employee without delay. A claim of failure to notify may be appealed to the Merit System Board, and shall not be grievable or arbitrable under the terms of this Agreement.
C. Leave of Absence for Union Activity
l. The State agrees to provide leaves of absence with pay for delegates of the Union to attend Union activities. A total of 810 days of such leave may be used in the period July l, 2003 to June 30, 2004; 810 days during the period July l, 2004 to June 30, 2005; 810 days during the period July l, 2005 to June 30, 2006 and 810 days during the period July 1, 2006 to June 30, 2007.
2. a. This leave is to be used exclusively for participation in the State-wide AFSCME Annual Convention, the State AFL-CIO Annual Convention, the Annual Industrial Union Convention, the Bi-Annual AFSCME National Convention, for other regularly scheduled meetings or conventions of labor organizations with which the Union is affiliated or for Union field services.
b. The Union shall request in writing approval from the Office of Employee Relations to use such leave. Such request must specify the type of Union activity for which each leave is sought and the maximum number of leave days to be utilized.
c. Application for the use of such leave on behalf of an individual or individuals shall be made in writing eighteen (l8) days in advance by the Executive Director, Council #l, to the Department Head, or his designee. Granting of such leave to an employee shall not be unreasonably withheld.
3. Leave will be granted to individuals authorized by the Executive Director of the Union, but shall be limited to a maximum of twenty (20) days of paid leave in each yearly period and seven (7) days of paid leave for any single conference or convention for any individual employee except where special approval of an exception may be granted by the Governor's Office of Employee Relations.
4. Any leave not utilized in a yearly period shall not be accumulated except where a written request for approval by the Union to carry over such leave for a specific purpose is made not later than thirty (30) days prior to the end of the yearly period.
5. In addition, the State agrees to provide leave of absence without pay for delegates of the Union to attend Union activities approved by the State. A total of 500 days of such leave of absence without pay may be used in the period July l, 2003 to June 30, 2004; 500 days during the period July l, 2004 to June 30, 2005; 500 days during the period July l, 2005 to June 30, 2006 and 500 days during the period July 1, 2006 to June 30, 2007. This additional leave of absence without pay is to be used under the same conditions and restrictions specified in connection with the leaves of absence with pay.
D. Pregnancy - Disability Leave (Maternity Leave)
1. Permanent employees covered by this contract shall be entitled to pregnancy-disability leave as hereinafter set forth and consistent with Merit System Regulations.
2. Pregnancy-disability leave with or without pay shall be granted in the same manner and under the same terms and conditions as sick leave. Request for such leave must be made by the employee in writing to the Personnel Department.
3. The appointing authority may request acceptable medical evidence that the employee is unable to perform her work due to disability because of pregnancy.
4. An employee may use accrued leave time (e.g. sick, vacation, administrative) for pregnancy-disability purposes, however, a) the employee shall not be required to exhaust accrued leave before taking a leave without pay for pregnancy-disability b) the employee must exhaust all her accrued sick leave prior to being eligible for New Jersey Temporary Disability Insurance.
5. Child care leave, which is only granted as leave without pay, may be granted by the appointing authority under the same terms and conditions applicable to all other personal leaves without pay.
E. Military Service Leave
The existing State statutes with regard to leave for military service in their present state or as they may be amended will be observed by the parties hereto. The benefits under these applicable statutes shall be provided for any eligible employee in this bargaining unit.
F. Sick Leave
l. All full-time employees covered by this Contract and eligible for sick leave with pay shall be entitled to the use of sick leave as provided herein.
2. Sick leave may be utilized by employees when they are unable to perform their work by reason of personal illness, accident or exposure to contagious disease. Sick leave may also be used for short periods because of death in employee's immediate family or for the attendance of the employee upon a member of the immediate family who is seriously ill, or whose spouse is hospitalized due to pregnancy.
3. a. During the remainder of the calendar year (January 1 to December 31) in which a full-time employee is first appointed, he will accumulate sick leave privileges as earned on the basis of one (l) day per month of service or major fraction thereof.
b. In each full calendar year (January 1 to December 31) thereafter, he shall be entitled to fifteen (l5) days sick leave. The leave is credited in advance on January first at the beginning of the calendar year in anticipation of continued employment for the full year and may be used on the basis and in accordance with established State policy. Such leave not utilized shall be accumulated.
4. a. In all cases of illness, whether of short or long term, the employee is required to notify his supervisor of the reason for absence at the earliest possible time but in no event less than one (l) hour before his usual reporting time. In exception to the foregoing where an employee becomes ill or injured due to unforseen circumstances less than one (l) hour prior to his/her usual reporting time, that employee may be granted sick leave subject to the provisions of this Article as long as he/she notifies his or her supervisor at the earliest possible opportunity. If special circumstances require any other notification time, management and the Union will work the problem out and establish the notification time. Failure to report absences in accordance with 4.a. or abuse of sick leave privileges on the part of any employee may be cause for disciplinary action.
b. When it is known that sick leave will be required for more than ten (l0) days, such leave must be requested by the employee in writing to his immediate supervisor. This request must be accompanied by a written and signed statement by a physician prescribing the sick leave and giving the reasons for the sick leave and the anticipated duration of the incapacity.
5. To the extent that the following is consistent with Merit System Regulations, the following shall apply:
In all cases where a medical diagnosis is required, that diagnosis shall be reviewed by a physician or a qualified medical practitioner if a physician is not available.
a. Verification of illness by a physician may be required where there is a reason to believe that an employee is abusing sick leave.
b. In all circumstances where an employee is absent on sick leave for five (5) or more consecutive working days, submission of verification of an illness by a physician is required to substantiate the use of sick leave.
c. Where verification of sick leave by a physician is required, such verification need not be completed on any special form, provided that the information supplied is adequate and complete.
d. An employee who has been absent on sick leave for periods totaling more than fifteen (l5) days in one (1) calendar year (January 1 to December 31) consisting of periods of less than five (5) days shall have his or her sick leave record reviewed by the respective appointing authority and thereafter may be required to submit acceptable medical evidence for any additional sick leave in that year. In cases where an illness is of a chronic or recurring nature causing recurring absences of one (1) day or less, only (1) submission of such proof shall be necessary for a period of six (6) months.
6. Death in Family
If there is a death in the family, as defined in the State Sick Leave Program, and an employee has exhausted his sick leave balance, he shall be granted leave without pay or may charge leave against vacation or administrative leave or compensatory time balances for up to five (5) days upon his request to the appointing authority. In exceptional situations, the time may be extended at the discretion of the appointing authority. This does not preclude the use of any paid leave balances for death in the family when sick leave balances have not been exhausted.
7. Employees shall not be charged for sick leave on a non-working day.
8. An employee may apply for use of sick leave for periods of less than his full work day for any appropriate and approved reason such as becoming ill while working during the assigned shift or in order to keep a medical appointment which could not be arranged during non-work time. The employee must charge such sick leave against his accumulated sick leave balance, or, if such employee has no sick leave balance, he may charge such time against other accrued paid leave time if available, or, alternatively leave without pay. Utilization of any sick leave for less than a full work day shall be on an hourly basis; one hour of sick leave charged for each hour, or portion thereof, excused from the work shift. For purposes of this clause only, seven (7) hours is equal to one (l) day of sick leave for employees serving in a No Limit (NL) category and eight (8) hours is equal to one (l) day of sick leave for those employees serving in an NL4 category. Where an NL or NL4 employee utilizes sick leave for a period of less than his established work schedule for the day, such employee shall be charged sick leave on a pro-rata basis in accordance with the work schedule established on the day of utilization.
9. When sick leave balances are exhausted, vacation and administrative leave balances may be utilized for absences due to illness upon request of the employee.
l0. Sick leave may be requested while an employee is on vacation and requires such leave as provided in the Vacation Leave Article of this Contract.
ll. All permanent part-time employees covered by this Contract shall accrue sick leave credit on a proportionate basis.
l2. Unused Sick Leave-Retirement
Subject to the provisions of N.J.S.A. llA:6-16 and Rules and Regulations promulgated thereunder, a permanent employee who enters retirement pursuant to the provisions of a State administered or approved retirement system and has to his credit any earned and unused accumulated sick leave shall be entitled to receive supplemental compensation for such earned and unused accumulated sick leave.
The supplemental compensation to be paid shall be computed at the rate of one-half (1/2) of the eligible employee's daily rate of pay for each day of earned and unused accumulated sick leave based upon the average annual compensation received during the last year of his employment prior to the effective date of his retirement, provided, however, that no such supplemental compensation payment shall exceed $l5,000. This supplemental compensation shall be paid in a lump sum after the effective date of retirement or as may be elected by the employee deferred for one (1) year.
G. Special Leave
l. An employee shall be granted necessary time off without loss of pay when he is summoned and performs jury duty as prescribed and required by applicable law; or when required to perform emergency civilian duty in relation to national defense or other emergency when so ordered by the Governor or the President of the United States.
2. When an employee is summoned to appear as a witness before a court, legislative committee or judicial or quasi- judicial body unless the appearance is as a party to the litigation in a matter unrelated to his capacity as an employee, he shall be granted necessary time off without loss of pay if such appearance is during his scheduled work shift. Where his appearance is during a shift period, immediately contiguous to his scheduled shift, he shall be granted compensatory time equal to the hours required for such duty.
3. In no case will this special leave be granted or credited for more than eight (8) hours in any day or forty (40) hours in any week.
4. The employee shall notify management immediately of his requirement for this leave, and subsequently furnish evidence that he performed the duty for which the leave was requested.
H. Vacation Leave
l. All full-time employees covered by this Contract shall be entitled to vacation leave with pay as provided herein:
2. a. It is understood that the current program to schedule vacation time in effect at each institution or agency will be continued. Each program shall provide for each employee to submit vacation requests for the current calendar year between March l and March l5 of each year. Each employee shall be notified whether the request has been granted no later than April l5 of each year. However, requests for vacation to be taken prior to April l5 will be submitted on December l of the preceding year. An employee shall be given a response as soon as possible but no later than within three (3) weeks. Conflicts concerning choice of dates when scheduling vacations will be resolved within the work unit on the basis of State seniority. If the State intends to make changes it would negotiate such changes if they are mandatory subjects of negotiation in accordance with N.J.S.A. 34:l3A-l et seq. and as determined by the Public Employment Relations Commission.
a. One (l) working day of vacation for each month of employment during the first calendar year of employment.
b. Twelve (l2) working days of vacation from one (l) to five (5) years of service.
c. Fifteen (l5) working days of vacation from six (6) to twelve (l2) years of service.
d. Twenty (20) working days of vacation from thirteen (l3) to twenty (20) years of service.
e. Twenty-five (25) working days of vacation after the twentieth (20) year of service.
b. Where the vacation schedule is established but there is need to adjust the schedule due to unforeseen pressure of work or an emergency after voluntary changes are made, the employees named and required to make a change will be in inverse order of their State seniority except that consideration will be given to a substantial commitment made by the employee involved.
3. a. Vacation leave is credited in advance at the beginning of the calendar year in anticipation of continued employment for the full year and may be used on the basis and in accordance with established State policy. Vacation allowance must be taken during the current calendar year at such time as permitted or directed by the Department head unless the Department head determines it cannot be taken because of pressure of work. An employee may request a maximum of one (l) year of earned vacation allowance be carried forward into the next succeeding year. The request shall be made in writing to the appropriate appointing authority and may be approved for good reason.
b. Where an employee has an earned vacation balance which has not been previously scheduled as of October l, the supervisor will meet with the employee to determine a schedule of such vacation time so that no accrued vacation time will be lost.
4. Upon separation from the State or upon retirement, an employee shall be entitled to vacation allowance for the current year prorated upon the number of months worked in the calendar year in which the separation or retirement becomes effective and any vacation leave which may have been carried over from the preceding calendar year.
5. If a permanent employee dies having vacation credits, a sum of money equal to the compensation figured on his salary rate at the time of death shall be calculated and paid to his estate.
6. In the event the State of New Jersey enacts legislation granting additional vacation benefits to employees of the State, such additional vacation benefit will be made available to members of the Unit.
7. When the vacation allowance for an employee changes based on his years of service during any calendar year, the additional annual allowance will be given for the entire year.
8. All permanent part-time employees who are included in this bargaining unit shall accrue vacation leave credit on a proportionate basis.
9. Employees will not be charged for vacation leave on a holiday or for the scheduled day off in lieu of a holiday.
l0. Sick Leave While on Vacation
When an employee is on vacation and requires sick leave for any portion of that vacation leave, he must immediately request the use of accumulated sick leave, in accordance with the State regulations through the designated authority. Such requests may be made by telephone, telegram or letter, but if by phone, should be confirmed by telegram or letter. No sick leave will be credited unless supporting medical evidence verifying the illness or injury is presented.
LEAVE OF ABSENCE WITHOUT PAY
A. A permanent employee, upon written application setting forth the reason, may be granted a leave of absence without pay for a maximum period of one (l) year by the appointing
authority with the approval of the Department of Personnel. Further leave in exceptional situations may be granted by the appointing authority with the approval of the Department
of Personnel, where it is in the public interest.
B. The appointing authority shall request approval from the Department of Personnel for a leave of absence without pay up to a maximum period of one (l) year for an employee elected or appointed to a full-time position with the International Union, the Local Union, or the AFL-CIO. Such leave may be renewed on an annual basis as the term of office of such position requires. Employees holding full time elected or appointed positions with the Union shall be permitted to remain on leaves of absence without pay for the duration of this collective negotiations agreement or any extension thereof. Each such renewal is subject to approval by the Department of Personnel.
C. Leaves without pay for educational purposes may be granted to employees in this unit in accordance with current Merit System Regulations (N.J.A.C. 4A:6-1.14).
D. Requests for more than one leave without pay in any calendar year will be given consideration.
E. Leaves of absence without pay will not be unreasonably denied.
ARTICLE 15HOLIDAYS AND PERSONAL PREFERENCE DAYS
1. The legal paid holidays which are recognized holidays for the purposes of this Contract are as follows:
Martin Luther King's Birthday (3rd Monday in January)
Washington's Birthday (3rd Monday in February)
Memorial Day (Last Monday in May)
Columbus Day (2nd Monday in October)
Veteran's Day (November 11)
In the event any of the above statutory holidays fall on a Sunday, they shall be celebrated on the following Monday. Should any of the aforementioned statutory holidays fall on a Saturday, they shall be celebrated on the preceding Friday.
2. In addition to the aforementioned holidays, the State will grant a holiday when the Governor declares a holiday by proclamation.
B. Personal Preference Days
1. During the month of March, employees may submit requests for alternative holidays to those specified to be celebrated within the calendar year which shall be dates of personal preference such as religious holidays, employee birthday, employee anniversary or like days of celebration provided:
2. Where more requests for personal preference days are made than can be accommodated within a work unit, the State seniority of employees in the work unit shall be the basis for scheduling the personal preference days which can be accommodated. Requests received after March may be considered if the scheduling needs of the work unit are satisfied.
a. the agency employing the individual agrees and schedules the alternative date off in lieu of the holiday specified and the employing agency is scheduled to operate on the alternative dates selected;
b. the employee shall be paid on the holiday worked and deferred at his regular daily rate of pay;
c. the commitment to schedule the personal preference day off shall be non-revokable;
d. and provided further that if, due to an emergency, the employee is required to work on the selected personal preference day he shall be paid on the same basis as if it were a holiday worked including the premium pay.
3. Requests for personal preference days in lieu of holidays that fall between January 1 and March 31 may be submitted on December 1 of the preceding year.
ARTICLE 16SPECIAL TIME OFF
A. Emergency or Special Observations
Whenever the Governor may declare a special emergency or observation of an event of State or national concern and authorizes time off to employees of the State for the observation of such event, those employees covered by this Contract who are required to work during the period of the authorized time off shall be compensated for such hours worked as outlined in Article 17, Hours of Work, and Article 18, Overtime.
Whenever the Governor may declare time off for all employees (such as a day preceding or following an existing holiday) those who are required to work on that day shall be compensated for such hours worked by being granted equivalent time off at other times in accordance with the Governor's proclamation, or as provided by the appointing authority and, if operationally feasible as requested by the employee. If the time off occurs on a seven (7) day operation employee's regular day off, he/she shall be granted equivalent time off in accordance with the above provision.
ARTICLE 17HOURS OF WORK
A. The work week for each job classification within the unit shall be consistent with its designation in the State Compensation Plan. When work schedules are prepared, an objective shall be that all employees be assigned five (5) consecutive work days whenever practicable. Work schedules will be posted within each work unit where employees sign in and off the shift.
B. All employees shall be scheduled to work a regular shift as determined by the appointing authority which work shift shall have stated starting and quitting times. Employees shall be given maximum possible notice but no less than seven (7) days notice of any stated starting and quitting time change, except in an emergency. The work shift will consist of eight (8) consecutive hours interrupted by a meal period unless the nature of a particular operation makes it unfeasible to do so.
C. An employee whose scheduled days off are changed shall be given maximum advance notice, which will be at least five (5) days, except in the case of an emergency. Should such advance notice not be given, an employee affected shall not be deprived of the opportunity to work the regularly scheduled number of hours in his work week. The use of a notification period of less than five (5) days shall not be abused. Work schedules that are used to indicate changes in days off, shift changes, etc., will be posted at the same location in the work unit where employees sign in and off the shift.
D. Work schedules shall provide for a fifteen (15) minute rest period during each one-half (1/2)shift. Employees who are required to work beyond their regular quitting time into the next shift shall receive a fifteen (15) minute rest period when the period of work beyond their regular shift exceeds two (2) hours.
E. Generally, when an employee is called into work outside his regular shift, he will be provided a full work shift or the balance of the shift to which he is called. When an employee is called into work outside his regularly scheduled shift, he shall be compensated for the actual hours worked. He shall be guaranteed a minimum of four (4) hours compensation whether or not the four (4) hours are worked, except when the end of the call-in period coincides with the beginning of his regular shift.
F. The time sheet of an employee will be made available for inspection at his request.
G. Hours of work for "NL" employees may be adjusted by the responsible agency official in keeping with existing regulations and procedures. Provisions concerning Overtime and Sections B and E of this Article do not apply to "NL" employees.
H. 1. Whenever an employee is delayed in reporting for a scheduled work assignment, he shall endeavor to contact his supervisor in advance, if possible. An employee who has a reasonable excuse and is less than fifteen (15) minutes late is not to be reduced in salary or denied the opportunity to work the balance of his scheduled shift and he shall not be disciplined except where there is evidence of repetition or neglect. A record of such lateness shall be maintained and in the case of abuse may be charged against any compensatory time accrual or vacation balances. An employee may choose to use either of these balances or alternatively to be reduced in salary.
2. Lateness beyond the fifteen (15) minute period above shall be treated on a discretionary basis. However, this provision is not intended to mean that all lateness or each incidence of lateness beyond fifteen (15) minutes shall incur disciplinary action or loss of opportunity to complete a work shift or reduction of salary.
3. When an employee is unable to get to his assigned work because of weather conditions, his absence may be compensated if he has a sufficient compensatory time balance or, if none is available, a charge may be made against vacation balance or administrative leave balance if requested by the employee. Such excused absence will alternatively be without pay.
4. Employees late for duty due to delays caused by weather conditions and who made a reasonable effort to report on time may be given credit for such late time at the discretion of the appointing authority.
I. Employees who are scheduled to work a second full shift contiguous to their normal scheduled shift shall be granted a fifteen (15) minute rest period without loss of pay during the period of overlap when such is available provided that in the judgement of supervision coverage is available to satisfy operational needs. The rest period described herein is in addition to the rest periods described in paragraph D of this Article.
A. 1. Overtime will accrue and compensation will be made in compliance with the Merit System Rules and Regulations. Employees will be compensated at the rate of time and one-half (11/2) for overtime hours accrued in excess of the designated work week and for all time worked where an employee did not have a duty free lunch break. All time paid for, including hours of participation in job related training that is required by management, shall be regarded as hours worked for the computation of overtime. These compensation credits shall be taken in cash or in compensatory time. The State's intention is to pay overtime credits in cash as often as possible. Employee requests for specific compensatory time off in lieu of cash may be granted if it is operationally practicable to schedule and grant that time off and the employee's compensatory time balance is within the maximums set by the Fair Labor Standards Act.
2. For the purpose of computing overtime, all holiday hours, whether worked or not, for which an employee is compensated shall be regarded as hours worked. Overtime shall not be pyramided.
3. "Scheduled overtime" means overtime assigned prior to the day on which it is to be worked.
4. "Non-scheduled overtime" means assigned overtime made on the day on which it is to be worked.
5. "Incidental overtime" is a period of assigned non-scheduled overtime worked of less then fifteen (l5) minutes.
6. When a workshift extends from one (l) day to the next, it is considered to be on the day in which the larger portion of the hours are scheduled and all hours of the scheduled shift are considered to be on that day.
B. l. The State will give advance notice of all scheduled overtime to each employee concerned. Such scheduled overtime will be assigned minimally in units of one (l) hour and in hourly or half-hourly increments thereafter when such overtime is to be performed contiguously to the employee's scheduled work shift. When overtime is scheduled not contiguous to the employee's work shift, it will be assigned minimally in units of two (2) hours and in hourly or half-hourly increments thereafter. All such scheduled overtime will be in accordance with the provisions expressed in "Scheduling of Overtime".
2. An employee who is assigned non-scheduled overtime in excess of fifteen (l5) minutes will be guaranteed a minimum of one (l) hour's work.
3. Where incidental overtime assignments are made, records of such time worked shall be kept and may be scheduled as compensatory time on an hour-for-hour basis unless the total hours worked in the pay week in which they occur require compensation at time and one half in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act.
ARTICLE 19SCHEDULING OF OVERTIME
A. It is agreed that overtime work shall be shared by all employees in the appropriate job classification within any work unit without discrimination. The opportunity to work overtime shall be extended to each employee on a rotational basis provided the employee is capable of performing the work.
B. Each employee is expected to be available for a reasonable amount of overtime work. An employee who refuses an overtime assignment with a reasonable excuse will not be subjected to disciplinary action.
C. On a semi-annual basis commencing with the implementation of this provision, the distribution of overtime shall be evaluated and assignments of overtime made thereafter shall reflect the approximate equalization of overtime for each employee in the work unit by job classification.
For the purpose of determining approximate equalization of overtime, any overtime assignment offered, whether or not worked, will be considered as if it were worked.
To the extent that a disproportionate distribution of overtime exists because of special ability or inability to perform the work assignments, those hours will not be considered in the semi-annual equalization. This provision will not be abused.
D. Lists showing the rotational order of each employee and the total overtime worked and refused by each employee shall be maintained in the work unit. Such lists shall be made available for inspection on request to Union officers, stewards and employees concerned.
E. Employees in titles not included in Appendix II will not be utilized to work overtime assignments except when no Health, Care and Rehabilitation Services Unit employees who are capable of performing the work or who have the proper license that is needed are available to work such assignment.
ARTICLE 20COMPENSATORY TIME OFF
A. When employees accumulate compensatory time balances, the appointing authority will provide administrative procedures to assure the employee that such compensatory time balances will not be taken away but will be scheduled as time off or alternatively paid in cash.
B. Priorities in honoring requests for use of compensatory time balances will be given to employees:
l. where an emergency exists,
2. where scheduled one (l) month in advance,
3. where shorter notice of request is made.
Requests for use of such time under 2. and 3. will be honored except where emergency conditions exist or where the dates requested conflict with holiday or vacation schedules.
C. Ordinarily, a maximum of sixty (60) hours of compensatory time may be carried by an employee. Where the balance exceeds sixty (60) hours, the employee and the supervisor will meet to amicably schedule such compensatory time off.
D. l. An employee may request the use of this compensatory time off which shall be scheduled with the immediate supervisor in keeping with the needs within the work unit.
2. An employee may be required to take compensatory time off. Such request will not be made in an arbitrary fashion.
3. Whenever compensatory time off is to be scheduled, reasonable advance notice for the request or requirement will be given.
An employee may submit a request for transfer through his personnel office to the personnel office of the institution or agency to which the employee desires to be transferred.
Upon any transfer of a permanent employee, all administrative leave, sick leave and vacation leave balances shall be transferred with the employee. Where a transfer of an employee is not agreed to and as a result the employee resigns to accept employment at another institution, without a break in service, that employee shall not involuntarily lose leave benefits.
ARTICLE 22REASSIGNMENT AND SHIFT CHANGE
A. An employee may have two (2) requests for reassignment on record at any one (1) time.
B. An employee whose shift is changed shall be given maximum advance notice which normally will be at least seven (7) days, except in the case of an emergency. Should such advance notice not be given, an employee affected shall not be deprived of the opportunity to work the regularly scheduled number of hours in his workweek. The use of a notification period of less than seven (7) days shall not be abused.
ARTICLE 23FACILITIES PHASE OUT/CONSOLIDATION OF SERVICES
Whenever the State determines that one or more sections of an Institution are to be phased out or combined with other sections, the result of which will be the movement of some or all employees in that section to another job assignment, it is agreed that the State will meet with the local Union representatives and describe the circumstances and the movement plans prior to implementation and before bulletin board announcement of such plan is made.
ARTICLE 24JOB POSTING
A. Reassignment and promotional opportunities within the organizational unit shall be posted prominently for seven (7) calendar days. The posting shall include the classification, the salary range with the authorized hiring rate, if any, a description of the job, any required qualifications, the shift assignment, current scheduled days off, and the procedure to be followed by employees interested in applying.
B. A copy of each notice posted will be forwarded to the appropriate Local Union Officer and Council.
C. The appointing authority will post prominently for seven (7) calendar days the name of the individual selected under the above procedure for the promotion and reassignment.
Promotion qualifications and procedures for permanent career service employees are governed by the Department of Personnel pursuant to Merit System Statutes and Rules.
Promotion means the advancement of an employee to a job classification at a higher salary range.
A. Upon promotion of a permanent employee, all sick leave and vacation balances shall be transferred with the employee.
B. Upon promotion, an employee shall be informed of his new rate of compensation one (l) week in advance of the effective date.
C. It is agreed that eligible employees who are fully qualified and apply for any non-competitive position will be given preferential consideration over any non-employee applicant.
D. In appointments to non-competitive positions for which examinations are not required:
l. The appointing authority shall make such appointments on the basis of employee State seniority among the employees who are fully qualified;
2. Where no employees are fully qualified as in paragraph D.l., contingent appointments may be made from a group of employees most nearly qualified and who may fully qualify with a minimum of additional training (up to three (3) weeks on the job) on the basis of seniority. Such contingent appointments may be extended for an additional two (2) weeks of on-the-job training at the discretion of the employer. Employees who fail to qualify after such training will be returned to their permanent position.
E. When an employee is given an opportunity on a trial or provisional basis to qualify for promotion by serving in a new classification, his permanency in his regular permanent job classification shall be continued during such trial or provisional period and he shall have the opportunity to return to such permanent classification in the event the promotional opportunity shall not become permanent provided there is no discharge action for cause.
F. When provisional appointments are to be made within a work unit, employees who meet the minimum qualifications and are capable of performing the work shall be considered for such appointment. No employee not fully qualified shall be considered unless there are no qualified and capable employees available and willing to accept the position.
ARTICLE 26DEPARTMENT OF PERSONNEL EXAMINATIONS
Employees who are scheduled to take open competitive examinations for titles within this bargaining unit, or promotional examinations administered by the Department of Personnel of the State of New Jersey for positions in the State service, shall be granted time off with pay to take such examinations if they are scheduled during the work shift of the employee. Such privileges may not be abused.
ARTICLE 27OUT-OF-TITLE WORK
The State and the Union agree that employees shall be assigned work appropriate to and within their job classification. The assignment of out-of-title work on a regular and continuing basis shall be avoided. Instances of such out-of-title work identified by the Union and formally brought to the attention of the State shall be corrected immediately or by phasing out such assignments at the earliest possible time which shall in any case be no later than three (3) months from the time of notification by the Union. Any dispute as to whether the work is within the job classification of the employee(s) involved may be resolved by appeal to Department of Personnel where the matter will be heard within twenty-one (2l) days and a decision rendered within ten (l0) days of that hearing. Any dispute concerning the phasing out period will be resolved through the grievance procedure initiated at Step Two.
ARTICLE 28POSITION CLASSIFICATION AND EVALUATION REVIEW
The Union may request a reevaluation of a position (job classification), on the basis of job content change only. The State will review a request and will reevaluate the position, provide an opportunity for the Union to present its views, and render a written decision.
Implementation of any resulting reclassification of position shall be made consistent with normal procedures and availability of funds.
Members of the bargaining unit shall be allowed to process requests for reclassification in accordance with applicable Merit System Rules and Regulations. The Union shall receive notification of such requests and determinations of same, as mutually agreed upon.
ARTICLE 29LAYOFF AND RECALL
A. When it is necessary to lay off employees, the Union shall be notified at once, and shall meet with the State, and the conditions outlined below and the established protections administered by the Department of Personnel shall be observed.
B. Permanent employees within an organizational unit will not be laid off before any emergency appointment, temporary appointments to temporary extra positions, or provisional appointments to permanent positions within the classification affected. These non-permanent employees will be given minimum notice of at least two (2) weeks of any reduction in force.
C. The State will provide a minimum of forty-five (45) calendar days notice of layoff to any permanent employees to be affected.
D. Job classification seniority shall be a determining factor to be considered when identifying which permanent employees are to be laid off.
E. Whenever possible, the State will try to avoid layoff by transferring, reassigning or offering to demote employees to available vacancies.
F. Permanent employees affected by layoff requirements may exercise bumping rights within their job classification or to equated or lower rated job classifications as provided.
G. The name of the permanent employee who is laid off shall be placed on a special reemployment list. Persons on such a list will be given preferential consideration over any other type of applicant for appointment to the job classification or equated job classification and no new employee shall be hired until all employees on layoff status desiring to return to work shall have been recalled, provided such employees on layoff status are capable of returning to work. The employee must provide the employer with any address change while waiting for recall.
H. Permanent employees will be recalled to work in the reverse order in which they were laid off by the appointing authority, subject to the limitation that those permanent employees who were laid off first for reason of an unsatisfactory performance rating shall be placed on a special reemployment list in accordance with their seniority credits. Notice of recall will be made in writing by mail to the employee's home address of record.
I. 1. An employee who is recalled must respond within five (5) calendar days of the date of receipt of the notice of certification for recall or within ten (10) days of the date of mailing or be considered to have abandoned his recall rights.
2. An employee recalled to his former job classification must report for reinstatement or be considered to have abandoned his recall rights.
3. An employee recalled to a job classification with a lower salary rate than his previous job classification may refuse such position and remain eligible for recall.
J. An employee on layoff accrues no additional sick leave or vacation credits. When an employee is recalled from layoff and reinstated, he is considered to have continuous service credit for computation of future earned vacations.
K. It is recognized that the provisions of paragraphs A. through J. above are illustrative portions of the layoff and recall rights established under the Merit System Statutes and Regulations and that the overall system is administered by the Department of Personnel. If new rules are promulgated by the Merit System Board during the term of this contract they will supercede those cited in A. through J. above.
L. It is recognized and agreed that the Union and the State share an interest in protecting the opportunity for continuing employment for employees covered by this Contract. Therefore, if during the term of this Contract, the State contracts out or subcontracts work normally performed by these employees, each employee affected will be given every priority available to continue employment within his or her classification or in any other position available for which the employee is qualified, prior to layoff or similar action. Any employee thus affected will be protected by the layoff and recall provisions of this Contract.
M. The State agrees to meet with the Union prior to any layoff notification to discuss all incidences of contracting or subcontracting that are based solely on fiscal considerations whenever it becomes apparent that a layoff or job displacement will result.
ARTICLE 30SAFETY AND HEALTH
A. Joint Safety and Health Committee
The State and the Union agree to establish a Joint Safety and Health Committee, consisting of five (5) members appointed by each party.
The purpose of the committee is to make recommendations to Departmental and State government management concerning the improvement or modification of conditions which represent hazards to employees, dependent residents of institutions and to property of the State. This group will review the recommendations of safety committees from local institutions as well as other pertinent data or information which is available, including any regulations promulgated under the Public Employee Occupational Safety and Health Act.
Regular meetings will be scheduled as required.
B. Local Safety Committee
A safety committee shall function at each institution. The Union shall appoint three (3) members to the committee. This committee shall meet regularly as required to discuss safety and health problems or hazards and programs of accident prevention and safety information programs, and to reach agreements and develop specific measures, methods, repairs or changes required to eliminate hazardous conditions. Whenever necessary, the committee may conduct on-site tours to inspect specific hazardous conditions that are brought to the committee's attention by the Union.
The committee will have available to it any information or reports concerning accidents or safety within the institution.
The committee will establish its procedural guidelines including their functions and the rotation of the chairmanship and schedule of meetings. Reports and recommendations of the committee will be directed to the appointing authority and the Joint Committee above.
C. Employee Safety
The State will continue to provide safety devices required for the protection of its employees.
Employees will be instructed in the proper and safe operation of patient lifts or other devices that are used in the performance of their normal duties. Other safety and health training will be provided as deemed necessary and practical by the Department Head or designee.
Employees shall not be required to work where conditions exist which violate safety rules and regulations of the State.
Employee complaints of unsafe or unhealthful conditions shall be promptly investigated. Corrective action shall be initiated at the earliest time practicable to bring such conditions within safety guidelines.
An employee whose work is temporarily eliminated as a result of the above, may be assigned to other work of which he is capable on an interim basis.
In the event of an on-the-job injury requiring professional medical attention, the
State will expedite such medical attention by calling for an ambulance, if required, or if the injured employee can be moved, arranging transportation to a competent medical facility. Additionally, return transportation will be arranged if the employee is not admitted to the medical facility as an inpatient.
In the event an employee becomes seriously ill while on duty and is incapable of seeking medical attention on his/her own, the State will expedite medical attention by the best available means.
Each employee will maintain reasonable standards of personal hygiene and cleanliness in accordance with the requirements of his job.
ARTICLE 31RETIREMENT BENEFITS
The State is a participant in the Public Employees Retirement System. Eligibility for participation by employees and retirement benefits are governed by statute and Rules and Regulations promulgated thereunder and administered exclusively by the New Jersey Division of Pensions. Upon request to the appointing authority, the Union and any employee in this bargaining unit shall be provided with a written description of the PERS Program as outlined by the Division of Pensions.
Effective July 1, 2004, the PERS employee contribution will increase from three percent (3%) to five percent (5%).
The State agrees to assume the full cost of the Health Benefits coverage for State employees and their dependents including the cost under Part B of the Federal Medicare Program for eligible employees and their spouses, but not including survivors, when such employees accrue 25 years of pension credit service, as provided under the State plan, by July 1, 1997, and those employees who retire for disability on the basis of fewer years of pension credit in the State plan by July 1, 1997.
A. Those employees who accrue 25 years of pension credit or retire on a disability retirement during the period from July 1, 1997 through June 30, 2000 are eligible to receive the following when they retire:
1. Employees in this group who elect to enroll in the Managed Care/Point of Service (NJ Plus) or any of the approved HMO Plans shall not have to contribute to the cost of any premium for health insurance coverage.
2. Employees in this group who elect to enroll in the Traditional Plan and earn $40,000 or more in base salary in the year they retire shall pay the difference between the cost of the Traditional Plan and the average of the cost to the State of the Managed Care/Point of Service (NJ Plus) and the approved HMO Plans for health insurance coverage.
3. Employees in this group who elect to enroll in the Traditional Plan and earn between $35,000 and $39,999 in base salary in the year they retire shall pay one and one-half percent (1.5%) of their annual base pay at retirement or the difference between the cost of the Traditional Plan and the average of the cost to the State of the Managed Care/Point of Service (NJ Plus) and the approved HMO Plans, whichever is less, for health insurance coverage.
4. Employees in this group who elect to enroll in the Traditional Plan and earn less than $35,000 in base salary in the year they retire shall pay 1% of their annual base pay at retirement but not less than $20.00 a month for health insurance coverage.
5. Employees in this group shall receive Medicare Part B reimbursement after retirement up to a cap of $46.10 per month per eligible employee and the employee's spouse.
B. Those employees who accrue 25 years of pension credit service or retire on a disability retirement during the period from July 1, 2000 through June 30, 2007 are eligible to receive the following when they retire:
1. Employees in this group who elect to enroll in the Managed Care/Point of Service (NJ Plus) or any of the approved HMO Plans in retirement shall not have to contribute to the cost of any premium for health insurance coverage.
2. Employees in this group who elect to enroll in the Traditional Plan shall pay 25% of the premium cost of the Traditional Plan for health insurance coverage.
3. Employees in this group shall receive Medicare Part B reimbursement after retirement up to a cap of $46.10 per month per eligible employee and the employee’s spouse.
C. Those employees who accrue 25 years of pension credit or retire on a disability retirement on or after July 1, 2007 will be subject to the provision of paragraph B. above, unless superceded by collective negotiations or law.
D. All retirees who elect approved HMOs may choose only one family policy, regardless of retirement date. Employees hired on or after July 1, 1995, will not receive any reimbursement for Medicare Part B after retirement. In accordance with Title 52:14-17.32 employees who elect deferred retirement are not entitled to health benefits under this provision.
ARTICLE 32HEALTH BENEFITS
A. The State Health Benefits Program is applicable to employees covered by this contract.
1. Effective July 1, 2003 new hires are not eligible for enrollment in the Traditional Indemnity Plan. Employees will have the option on the open enrollments dates of selecting one of the following plans: Traditional Indemnity Plan, with the exception of new hires, as it exists as of the date of the execution of this contract, Managed Care/Point of Service (NJ PLUS), or an HMO approved by the State Health Benefits Commission. Employees enrolled in the State Health Benefits Program as of June 30, 2003 will also have the option of selecting the Traditional Indemnity Plan, during open enrollment, as it exists as of the date of the execution of this contract.
2. a. The Managed Care/Point of Service Plan (NJPLUS) shall remain without any premium cost to eligible employees and their eligible dependents during the term of this Agreement.
b. Effective July 1, 2000, employees who elect coverage in the Traditional Indemnity Plan shall pay 25% of the cost of the premium of that Plan as established by the State Health Benefits Commission.
c. Effective July 1, 2000, employees who elect coverage in an approved HMO Plan shall pay 5% of the cost of the premium of that Plan as established by the State Health Benefits Commission.
d. Effective July 1, 2004 the following increases will be implemented:
i. The HMO/NJPLUS co-payment for Primary and Specialist
doctors will increase from $5.00 to $10.00.
ii. The Traditional Indemnity Plan deductible will increase
from $100 to $250
3. Employees may obtain a brochure which describes the Health Benefits Program from their local personnel office. The Union will be furnished sufficient copies for its use.
4. Active employees will be able to use pre-tax dollars to pay contributions to health benefits under a Section 125 premium conversion option. All contributions will be by deductions from pay.
5. The State will extend to a maximum period of ninety (90) days the health insurance coverage for eligible employees and their covered dependents enrolled in the State Health Benefits Program upon exhaustion of such employees' accumulated sick and vacation leave and who are granted approved sick leave without pay, with the cost being paid as herein provided above.
In those instances where the leave of absence (or an extension of such leave) without pay is for a period of more than ninety (90) days, the employee may still prepay health benefits premiums for the next two hundred and seventy (270) days of the approved leave of absence following the period of ninety (90) days as provided in the paragraph above.
6. Coordination of Benefits – if a husband and wife are both eligible for coverage under the State Health Benefit Program as employees
a. Each may elect single coverage in any participating health plan, provided that he or she is not covered under a health plan as a dependent of his or her spouse.
b. Each qualified dependent is eligible for coverage under one parent only.
B. LABOR MANAGEMENT HEALTH CARE ADVISORY COMMITTEE
There shall be established a Labor Management Health Care Advisory Committee to expedite, on a voluntary basis, the transition of negotiations unit employees from the Traditional Indemnity Plan and Health Maintenance Organizations to the New Jersey Plus from July 1, 1999 through December 31, 2000. The Committee shall consist of four designees of the Division of Pensions and Benefits and four designees to be selected by the Union. The Committee shall decide what advice and recommendations will be made in determining the following issues:
1. County-by-county problem solving in In-Network establishment with a standard of two doctors within a five mile radius of the covered employee where sufficient providers exist; and at least 75% hospitals in New Jersey under contract.
2. For current employees in rural areas where access is less than two primary care physicians within 20 miles, the minimum solution shall be the design of the Traditional Indemnity Plan.
3. All problems concerning transition cases and pre-existing conditions shall be resolved by having as the minimum solution the design of the Traditional Indemnity Plan
4. Availability of managed care options to employees upon retirement in and out of State.
The State has selected N.J. Plus as the preferred Managed Care/Point of Service Plan. The Committee shall endeavor to make the benefits of N.J. Plus available to a maximum number of employees in the bargaining unit, discuss problems of substance abuse, and shall create conditions to facilitate the movement of State employees and their dependents from the Traditional Plan to N.J. Plus.
C. The Committee decisions shall be by majority vote. Ties shall be broken by the State Health Benefits Commission. The Committee shall endeavor to make the benefits of NJ Plus available to a maximum number of employees in the negotiations unit, discuss problems of substance abuse, and shall create conditions to facilitate the movement of State employees and their dependents from the Traditional Indemnity Plan and Health Maintenance Organizations to NJ Plus.
ARTICLE 33UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION AND DISABILITY
A. All employees in this unit are covered under the State Unemployment Compensation Plan under the current Laws of the State of New Jersey.
B. All employees in this unit are covered under the State of New Jersey Temporary Disability Plan. This plan is a shared cost plan, which provides payments to employees who are unable to work as the result of non-work connected illness or injury and who have exhausted their accumulated sick leave.
ARTICLE 34IDENTIFICATION CARDS
The State shall furnish identification cards to all employees who have served continuously for six (6) months. Lost cards shall be reported immediately and the first replacement shall be made at no cost to the employee. The State shall also provide identification cards for each Officer and Steward of the Union which shall contain information describing him, his picture, title, and affiliation with the Union.
Where a loss or damage to personal property is sustained as a result of an action taken in the performance of the assigned duty of an employee, such loss will be adjusted. A claim for such loss must be filed within thirty (30) days of the time when the loss occurred. The claim must be filled out on the forms provided, including the requested adjustment, and submitted to the State for this action. The State shall provide the forms and any instructions which may be necessary for the completion or processing of the forms.
ARTICLE 36LIABILITY CLAIMS INDEMNIFICATION
All employees covered by this Contract shall be entitled to defense and indemnification by the State against liability claims or judgments arising out of the performance of their official State duties as set forth in the Laws of l972, Chapters 45 and 48.
ARTICLE 37INSURANCE SAVINGS PROGRAM
All employees in the bargaining unit shall have the opportunity to voluntarily purchase various insurance policies on a group participation basis subject to any condition imposed by the insurer. The policy costs are to be borne entirely by the employee selecting insurance coverages provided in the program.
The State will provide a payroll deduction procedure whereby authorized monies may be withheld from the earned salary of such employees and remitted to the insurance company.
The insurance company will provide information concerning risks covered, service offered, and all other aspects of the program to each interested employee and to the Union.
The Union and the State will meet periodically to review the program as to its quality and methods of operation.
ARTICLE 38MEALS, HOUSING AND PARKING PRACTICES
1. Resident or non-resident employees shall have the option of purchasing all, none, or any number of meals per day on a monthly basis as contracted for on a voluntary basis with the exception of Food Service personnel who will be required to take at least one (l) meal per day unless excused for valid medical reasons.
2. When employees are required to work non-scheduled or emergency overtime beyond their normal work hours for three (3) or more consecutive hours, a free meal shall be allowed during off duty time providing the kitchen facilities are available. However, this provision shall not apply to the situation when an employee is required to work
scheduled overtime. When no free meal is authorized during such overtime, the employee may purchase and consume a meal during off duty time if available within the limitations of the institution at the established rates.
3. Employees who are to be on vacation or other leave of absence for a period of two (2) weeks or longer may upon one (1) week advance request suspend their meal contract for that period and charges will not be made for the suspended time.
The Union shall be allowed to designate one (1) representative to attend institution housing committee meetings to represent the views of the Union on the matters being considered.
Wherever parking facilities are provided by the State, the proper use of such facilities by employees in the Health, Care and Rehabilitation Services Unit shall be without cost to the employee.
D. Facilities convenient to work stations will be provided at each institution for employees to hang coats and hats and to place overshoes while they are on duty.
ARTICLE 39TRAVEL REGULATIONS
Employees are not required to provide privately owned vehicles for official business of the State. However, when an employee is authorized to utilize his privately owned automobile for official business of the State, the employee on a voluntary basis only may provide the use of said vehicle for the authorized purpose and will be reimbursed for mileage as provided by law. The State requires each individual accepting such authorization to maintain insurance for personal liability in the amounts of $25,000 for each person and $50,000 for each accident and $l0,000 property damage for each accident. The State will provide insurance coverage where such privately owned vehicles are used in the authorized business of the State covering the excess over the valid and collectible private insurance in the amount of $150,000 for each person and $500,000 for each accident for personal liability and $50,000 property damage for each accident unless and until legislation is passed which requires the State to indemnify and hold harmless their employees for personal injuries and property damage caused by the negligence of said employees while operating their privately owned vehicles on the authorized business of the State.
ARTICLE 40EDUCATION BENEFITS
A. Tuition Aid Program, Scholarships, and Financial Assistance
1. The Tuition Aid Program shall be continued with tuition for approved job related training paid by the State.
2. Scholarships and financial assistance which may include paid leaves of absence in certain job related educational areas will be offered by the State on a continuing basis, and within the limits of available funding.
3. Information including application details, requirements and methods of selection shall be provided to the Union for the above programs.
B. In-service Training
1. In-service Training appropriate to employees in this unit shall be offered.
2. Employees eligible for participation shall be advised, at the earliest possible date, of the details of the training.
3. Employees shall be given written confirmation of the completion of in-service training when such training occurs. Upon request employees may receive copies of the records of in-service training that are contained in their personnel file or in the training office file.
General Education Development instruction and tests shall be offered to employees on a regular and continuing basis at locations in proximity to the various worksites in accordance with the Department of Education's program.
D. Education Review Committee
1. A committee consisting of three (3) representatives from the State and three (3) representatives of the Union shall meet twice a year to review all Education programs offered to employees in this Unit.
2. Said Committee may design or redefine educational programs to provide maximum benefit to employees in the area of job improvement.
3. The committee shall also review requirements and methods of selection for educational programs.
E. Special Training
The State will join with the Union to provide a program of training in order to prepare employees for upgrading to the positions of Human Services Technician and Cottage Training Technician.
F. Employees' request for a change in work shift in order to pursue an education to qualify for a higher position will be considered.
ARTICLE 41OUTSIDE WORK
It is understood that outside employment shall not interfere with the efficient operation of the Department or agency and the recognized priority of the employee's responsibility to assignments in his or her work as an employee.
Outside employment shall not conflict with rulings of the Ethical Standards Commission.
All grievances arising under this Article shall be considered grievances as defined in A.2. of the Grievance Procedure.
ARTICLE 42PRESERVATION OF RIGHTS
Notwithstanding any other provision of this Contract, the parties hereto recognize and agree that they separately maintain and reserve all rights to utilize the processes of the Public Employment Relations Commission and to seek judicial
review of/or interpose any and all claims or defenses in legal actions surrounding such proceedings as unfair practices, scope of negotiations, enforcement or modification of arbitration awards, issues of arbitrability, and specific performance of the Contract.
ARTICLE 43MAINTENANCE OF BENEFITS AND EFFECT OF CONTRACT
A. Maintenance of Benefits
The fringe benefits, which are substantially uniform in their application to employees in the unit, and which are currently provided to those employees, such as the Health Benefits Program, the Life Insurance Program and their like, shall remain in effect without diminution during the term of this Contract unless modified herein or by subsequent agreement of the parties.
B. Effect of Contract
Regulatory policies initiated by the various institutions and agencies where these employees are working which have the effect of work rules governing the conditions of employment within the institution or agency and which conflict with any provision of this Contract shall be considered to be modified consistent with the terms of this Contract, provided that if the State changes or intends to make changes which have the effect of eliminating such terms and conditions of employment, the State will notify the Union and post such changes if requested by the Union within ten (l0) days of such notice or of such change or of the date on which the change would reasonably have become known to the employees affected. The State shall within twenty (20) days of such request enter negotiations with the Union on the matter involved, providing the matter is within the scope of issues which are mandatorily negotiable under the Employer-Employee Relations Act as amended and further, if a dispute arises as to the negotiability of such matters, that the procedures of the Public Employment Relations Commission shall be utilized to resolve such dispute.
ARTICLE 44LEGISLATIVE ACTION AND SAVINGS CLAUSE
A. Legislative Action
l. If any provisions of this Contract require legislative action or the appropriation of funds for their implementation, it is hereby understood and agreed that such provisions shall become effective only after the necessary legislative action or rule modification is enacted and that the parties shall jointly seek the enactment of such legislative action or rule modification.
2. In the event that legislation becomes effective during the term of this Contract which has the effect of improving the fringe benefits otherwise available to eligible employees in this unit, this Contract shall not be construed as a limitation on their eligibility for such improvements.
B. Savings Clause
If any provision of this Contract shall conflict with any Federal or State
law or have the effect of eliminating or making the State ineligible for Federal funding, that specific provision of this Contract shall be deemed amended or nullified to conform to such law. The other provisions of the Contract shall not be affected thereby and shall continue in full force and effect.
Upon request of either party the State and the Union agree to meet and renegotiate any provision so affected.
ARTICLE 45TERM OF CONTRACT AND NEGOTIATIONS PROCEDURES
A. Term of Contract
This Contract shall become effective on July l, 2003 and shall remain in full force and effect until June 30, 2007.
The Contract shall be renewed from year to year thereafter, unless either party shall give written notice of its desire to terminate, modify or amend the Contract. Such notice shall be by certified mail prior to October l, 2006, or October l of any succeeding year.
B. Negotiations Procedures
l. The parties agree to enter into collective negotiations concerning a successor Contract to become effective on or after July l, 2007, subject to the provision above.
2. The parties also agree to negotiate in good faith on all matters presented for negotiations. Should an impasse develop, the procedures available under law shall be utilized exclusively in an orderly manner in an effort to resolve such impasse.
ARTICLE 46COMPLETE CONTRACT
The State and the Union acknowledge this to be their complete Contract, except as may be added hereto by particular reference in memorandum of under-standing predating the date of signing of this Contract, and inclusive of all negotiable issues whether or not discussed and hereby waive any right to further negotiations on any issues presented except that any rights or obligations of either party to negotiate as set forth within the New Jersey Employer-Employee Relations Act (Ch. 303 L. 1968 and Ch. 123, L. 1974 and as amended) are acknowledged and not waived.
For the purpose of giving notice as provided in Article 45, Term of Contract, the State may be notified through the Director, Office of Employee Relations, Governor's Office, PO 228, Trenton, New Jersey 08625; and the Union through the Executive Director, Council No. 1, American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, 2930 South Broad Street, Trenton, New Jersey 08610.
MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING 1It is agreed between the parties that a committee consisting of two union representatives, two management representatives and one Office of Employee Relations representative will meet to discuss the various problems concerning employees' attendance during severe weather conditions.
MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING 2The parties agree that the hearings provided for in Article 8 of the Contract shall be conducted in accordance with the following guidelines:
l. All hearings shall be conducted in an informal manner, without reference to formal rules of evidence, but subject to the following principles:
a. The hearing officer shall admit all testimony having reasonable probative value, but may exclude immaterial, irrelevant, or unduly cumulative testimony.
b. Direct and cross-examination of witnesses shall be allowed. Either party may request that witnesses be sequestered. The hearing officer may determine that witnesses be sequestered without a request from either party.
c. The petitioning employee shall not be required to testify, but if he/she does testify voluntarily, he/she may be cross-examined upon any matter relevant to the hearing.
d. Whenever written eyewitness accounts of incidents are used as evidence in cases involving removal or suspension, the employee who prepared and/or signed such document shall be available for cross-examination unless such appearance presents an undue hardship. Hearings shall be scheduled in keeping with this provision.
e. The decision shall include:
(l) A short statement of the nature of the proceedings;
(2) Discussion of testimony or evidence;
(3) Specific findings of fact;
(4) Conclusion and decision based on findings of fact and applicable laws and rules.
2. Provisions of this Memorandum of Understanding are not grievable, however, instances of non-adherence to the above guidelines when reported by the Union to the Office of Employee Relations shall be investigated and corrected.
MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING 3The parties agree to form a Joint Union/Management Committee, the purpose of which shall be to investigate and make recommendations to remedy chronic situations where the contracted grievance and/or discipline hearing process is not functioning efficiently. The sole business of the Committee will be concerned with issues of setting dates, time frames, delivery of documents, and other procedural problems. The Committee will have no responsibility to deal with the merits, decisions or appeals of any hearings, nor will this Committee be utilized to solve emergent problems of ongoing hearings. Chronic complaints concerning the partiality of hearing officers shall be reviewed by the Committee.
The Committee shall be composed of one person from the Governor's Office of Employee Relations and one person from the Union (non-State employee). When the Committee meets to discuss a specific issue concerning a specific work location, it may be augmented by the local union president and a management person from the department involved.
The Committee shall meet on a once per month basis for the first six months of the current contract at which time the frequency shall be reassessed and adjusted as necessary.
The actions of this Committee shall neither add to or detract from the negotiated agreements contained in the current contract.
MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING 4 The parties agree that the provision concerning the promotion of Senior Food Service Workers contained in Article 10 will continue in future years so that when employees who complete one year of service in the title of Senior Food Service Worker shall be promoted to the title of Senior Food Service Handler.
MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING 5It is agreed that when a medical verification form requires a medical diagnosis it shall be treated as a medical diagnosis as referred to in Article 13, paragraph F.5.b.
MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING 6The State and AFSCME agree to establish a labor/management health care cost containment committee. In addition to considering costs of health care, the Committee shall also consider substance abuse.
MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING 7The meetings described in Article 6 shall be attended by representatives of the appropriate Department and the Office of Employee Relations to promote and insure full understanding of the mutual obligations and responsibilities which exist under the labor agreement.
Such meetings shall be held upon request for existing union presidents.
MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING 8JURY DUTY
The parties agree to form a Committee, the purpose of which shall be to review and make recommendations to address jury duty and scheduling of employees' work schedules and regular days off.
The Committee shall be composed of one person from the Governor's Office of Employee Relations, one from the respective Department (Human Services, Military and Veterans' Affairs, Law and Public Safety or Corrections) and up to four people from the Union (one from Council One and up to three from the respective local facilities).
The Committee shall meet as required, but no more than once a month. After a period of six (6) months from the date of the first Committee meeting, the parties will review the need to continue further meetings.
The actions of this Committee shall neither add to or detract from the negotiated agreements contained in the current contract and are not intended to bypass the contractual grievance procedures.
MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING 9COMPENSATORY TIME
The parties agree to form a Committee, the purpose of which shall be to review and make recommendations to address situations where requests for compensatory time in accordance with Article 18 and Article 20 by employees in a Department are denied. The Committee will have no responsibility to deal with the merits of decisions to deny individual requests for compensatory time, nor will the Committee be utilized to solve emergent problems related to those requests. The Committee will attempt to develop means to facilitate the awarding and scheduling of compensatory time.
The Committee shall be composed of one person from the Governor's Office of Employee Relations, one from the Department (Human Services, Military and Veterans Affairs, Law and Public Safety or Corrections) and up to four people from the Union (one from Council 1 and up to three from the state facilities).
The Committee shall meet as required, but no more than once a month. After a period of six (6) months from the date of the first Committee meeting, the parties will review the need to continue further meetings.
The actions of this Committee shall neither add to or detract from the negotiated agreements contained in the current contract and are not intended to bypass the contractual grievance procedures.
MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING 10MANDATED OVERTIME
The parties agree to form a Committee, the purpose of which shall be to review and make recommendations to address situations where employees in a Department are mandated repeatedly to work overtime assignments and where the operational opportunity and feasibility may exist that these assignments may be satisfied on a voluntary basis by using employees in the unit where the overtime assignment is required. The Committee will have no responsibility to deal with the merits of individual decisions to assign overtime nor will the Committee be utilized to solve emergent problems related to those assignments. The Committee will attempt to develop means to increase utilization of voluntary rather than mandatory overtime assignments.
The Committee shall be composed of one person from the Governor's Office of Employee Relations, one from the Department (Human Services, Military and Veterans Affairs, Law and Public Safety or Corrections) and up to four people from the Union (one from Council 1 and up to three from the State facilities).
The Committee shall meet as required, but no more than once a month. After a period of six (6) months from the date of the first Committee meeting, the parties will review the need to continue further meetings.
The actions of this Committee shall neither add to or detract from the negotiated agreements contained in the current contract and are not intended to bypass the contractual grievance procedures.
MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING 11JOB SECURITY
A. This side letter will confirm the understanding between the parties regarding some of the efforts the State of New Jersey (State) will undertake to lessen the impact of future privatization initiatives or the closing of State facilities that occur during the period from ratification of this contract through June 30, 2007, and which impact on employees in the AFSCME Health Care Unit. This letter refers to negotiation unit employees who are ultimately laid off at the conclusion of the State's layoff procedures, but the layoff would have to be the result of the State's decision to privatize a function or to close a facility.
B. In the event the State seriously considers privatization of a facility or function for purely fiscal or economic reasons impacting negotiation unit employees, the State agrees to give the Union reasonable advanced notice, but not less than 90 days prior to actual closure or privatization and, upon request, to meet with the Union to give the Union an opportunity to present its position on the economic issues. The Union shall be given the opportunity to demonstrate that unit employees will do the same work more efficiently than a private contractor. The State agrees to provide the Union with relevant cost information necessary to enable the Union to develop its economic position, including public documents involving the RFP, once issued and shall meet with the Union within 30 days of the issuance of the RFP.
C. When the privatization decision is based upon policy reasons, and will result in a layoff or job displacement of negotiation unit employees, the State will give the Union reasonable advance notice of its decision and, upon request, meet with the Union to explain its rationale and discuss the impact on affected employees. It is understood that in any event, the decision to privatize is a managerial prerogative that may not be subject to the negotiation process.
D. The efforts the State will undertake to alleviate the impact on employees laid off as a result of such actions shall include one or more of the following as appropriate under the existing circumstances and shall be subject to discussions between the State and the Union:
1. Establishing preferential hiring lists with the private employer;
2. Establishing hiring freezes for positions determined by the Department of Personnel to have the same or similar duties and responsibilities at other State locations within the department affected to create openings which will be filled by qualified laid off employees and, if practicable, by employees targeted for layoff, all in accordance with DOP and SAC rules and regulations;
3. Continuing health coverage under COBRA which the State will pay for a certain limited transition period but not less than three months in duration; and
4. Providing training for qualified employees to the extent there are openings and laid off employees require training to fill them.
E. The State agrees to make a good faith effort, which shall include compliance with all DOP regulations to lessen the possibility of the layoff or demotion in-lieu-of layoff of employees in the negotiation unit. Where practicable, these efforts will be made whenever workers are placed at risk through privatization, or program reductions or eliminations for reasons of economy, efficiency, or other reason. The efforts the State may take to lessen the possibility of layoff or demotion, shall be offered to employees before the employer takes involuntary action to reduce the workforce.
F. Consistent with DOP regulations, the State will consider the following pre-layoff actions prior to any permanent employees being laid off or demoted:
1. Hiring and promotion freezes;
2. Separation of non-permanent employees;
3. Returning provisional employees to their permanent titles
4. Securing of transfers and reassignment to other employment; and
5. Filing of existing vacancies.
G. Good faith attempts will be made to fill positions determined by the Department of Personnel to have substantially the same or similar duties and responsibilities at other State locations by qualified laid off or demoted employees and, if practicable, by employees targeted for layoff. As practicable, the State shall train "at risk" employees to allow movement from the "at risk" location to work locations within or outside the appointing authority where positions are available. It is understood that all such actions must be consistent with operative law and DOP regulations.
MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING 12PRIVATIZATION
In the event the State seriously considers privatization of a facility or function which could result in the layoff or displacement of bargaining unit employees, the State agrees to give the union reasonable advance notice, but no less than 120 days prior to awarding a privatization contract to perform the work. Accompanying the notice will be a detailed accounting of all costs under the privatization and a comprehensive cost analysis.
The parties shall mutually select an independent outside auditor to determine whether substantial cost savings will occur if the privatization occurs.
Where the independent auditor determines there is no substantial cost savings, the State will undertake best efforts to ensure there shall be no layoff or adverse economic impact on state employees.
Where there is substantial cost savings, and the State chooses to privatize, the State agrees to use the displaced worker pool in order to lessen the impact of such layoff.
If there is a pending or proposed general layoff, the State shall review existing private contracts for work similar to that of the employees considered for layoff or dislocation. Unless a cost analysis shows substantial cost savings for those existing private contracts, the State will use its best efforts to bring the work performed under private contract(s) back in house and the State shall use the displaced worker pool to keep workers employed while the State determines whether to bring such work back in the house.
Effectively July 1, 2003, when privatization is undertaken as a substantial cost savings, the State Auditor or mutually selected independent outside auditor will conduct periodic post audit cost analysis to determine whether or not there continues to be substantial cost savings. Where there is not substantial cost savings, the State shall make its best efforts to bring the work back in house.
MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING 13EMPLOYEE RIGHTS
The State of New Jersey and AFSCME Council #1 agree to form a committee, the purpose of which is to draft an employee rights provision to be added as a side letter to the parties’ collective negotiations agreement. Any violation of this provision may be grieved as a non-contractual grievance pursuant to Article 7, Grievance Procedure, Section A.2. The committee will be composed of representatives of the Union, the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations and the Departments of Human Services and Military and Veteran’s Affairs.
The actions of this committee shall neither add to nor detract from the negotiated agreements in the parties’ current contract.
MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING 14MANDATORY OVERTIME LEGISLATION
The State of New Jersey and AFSCME Council #1 agree to form a committee to cooperatively implement the terms of the mandatory overtime legislation and regulations. The committee will meet after the issuance of the regulations implementing the mandatory overtime legislation. The committee will focus on providing written notification to employees that are mandated to work in accordance with the legislation and the accumulation and use of compensatory time, as well as the elimination of mandatory overtime.
The committee will consist of representatives of AFSCME Council #1, the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations and the Department of Human Services and Military and Veteran’s Affairs.
MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING 15
Effective July 1, 2004, the titles Dental Assistant I and Dental Assistant II shall be moved up one range. All employees serving in the title Dental Assistant I and Dental Assistant II shall be placed on the step of the new range giving them a full increment.
MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING 16TASK FORCE ON HUMAN SERVICE TECHNICIANS AND
COTTAGE TRAINING TECHNICIANS
The State of New Jersey and AFSCME Council #1 agree to form a task force to determine a career path for employees in the titles of Human Service Technician and Cottage Training Technician. The task force will focus on the creation of a minimum of at least 200 positions in the Senior Human Services Technician and/or Senior Cottage Training Technician titles, which will be established at a range 13. The Senior titles will be distributed among the appropriate facilities within the Departments of Human Services and Military and Veteran Affairs. Qualifications for the two senior titles may include training and years-of-service requirements.
The parties will meet during the first full week in September 2003 and will continue to meet at agreed-upon times and dates in order to complete the process in time for implementation by July 1, 2004.
The task force will consist of representatives of AFSCME Council #1, the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations and the Departments of Human Services and/or Military and Veteran’s Affairs and Personnel.
MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING 17BENEFIT LEVELS AND CONTINUATION OF COVERAGE
There will be no reduction in benefits or increases in coinsurance, co-payments, deductibles paid by employees participating in the (a) Traditional Indemnity Plan, New Jersey Plus or an HMO, (b) Prescription Drug Plan, (c) Dental Care Plan, or (d) Eye Care Program, absent mutual agreement between the State and the Union during the term of this agreement.
FOR THE DEPARTMENTS:
APPENDIX IThe following provision(s) are set forth herein for informational purposes only. These matters as they apply to individual employees affected shall be grievable within the provisions of the Grievance Procedure in the Contract as defined in Article 7, Section A.2.
Transfer is the movement of a permanent employee within his job classification from one (1) organizational unit or Department to another organizational unit or Department.
When accepted for transfer, the request for transfer shall not be unreasonably withheld by the institution wherein he is employed.
Reassignment is the movement of an employee from one (l) job assignment to another within his job classification and within the same work unit or same organizational unit.
Reassignment of employees may be made in accordance with the fiscal responsibilities of the appointing authority; to improve or maintain operational effectiveness or to provide employee development and job training or a balance of employee experience in any work area.
C. Reassignment Rights
1. Employees within the work or organizational unit who have responded to the job posting for permanent reassignment (reassignment for more than six (6) months) shall be reassigned in the order of job classification seniority unless the reassignment objectives would not be met. Conflicts in job class seniority shall be resolved on the basis of State seniority.
2. If no employee under C. 1. is selected, or if there are no requests submitted, the employee with the least job classification seniority of all the affected employees deemed qualified shall be reassigned.
3. Where temporary reassignments are made because of staff absences, such reassignments will be distributed equitably among the employees affected on a rotational basis in the inverse order of job classification seniority, except in an emergency. When temporary reassignments are made to achieve any of the objectives in Section B, job classification seniority shall not apply.
4. When an employee's request for reassignment has been granted, he shall be eligible for one (l) additional reassignment under the provisions of Section C.1. above, within the succeeding twelve (12) month period.
D. Shift Change
For purposes of this Contract, shift changes shall be considered as reassignments.
FACILITIES PHASE OUT/CONSOLIDATION OF SERVICES
It is further agreed that, in such situations, the movement of the employees will be in accordance with the following procedure. Initially, the affected employees will be moved on their same shift, to other work units as determined by the State. If, after the initial move, it is the view of the State that an imbalance of numbers of employees on the various shifts exists in the work units that received employees from the phased out section, the State shall post the open assignments for a maximum of five (5) days. If the assignments are not filled from the postings, they shall be filled by reassigning, using the procedure described in Reassignment, Paragraphs B. and C.l. and C.2. It is further agreed, however, that the posting and/or subsequent reassignments described above will be confined to the individual work unit or units that were affected by the initial movement.
HEALTH, CARE AND REHABILITATION SERVICES UNIT
Range Title Code Title
11 62523 Aide Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired
12 44623 Baker
44622 Baker l0 Months
12 40942 Barber
12 44633 Butcher
13 64844 Community Employment Service Worker
07 44642 Cook l0 Months
10 44643 Cook l2 Months
12 04143 Cottage Training Technician
08 60942 Day Care Aide
12 60944 Day Care Center Technician
99 60931 Day Care Center Worker Trainee, Youth and Family
60932 Day Care Center Worker, Youth and Family Services
06 01031 Dental Aide
13 01035 Dental Assistant I
08 01032 Dental Assistant II
14 01035 Dental Assistant I July 1, 2004
9 01032 Dental Assistant II July 1, 2004
19 01053 Dental Hygienist I
16 01052 Dental Hygienist II
16 01044 Dental Mechanic
10 44704 Dining Halls Supervisor
15 00903 Emergency Medical Services Technician
03 44700 Food Service Worker l0 Months
06 44701 Food Service Worker l2 Months
12 40923 Hairdresser
09 62843 Health Aide
08 04112 Human Services Assistant
12 04116 Human Services Technician
11 62051 Income Maintenance Technician
19 40623 Institutional Trade Instructor I
17 40624 Institutional Trade Instructor II
99 32680 Medical Security Officer Recruit
15 03669 Occupational Therapy Assistant
15 03690 Physical Therapy Assistant
Range Title Code Title
16 03844 Practical Nurse
11 44713 Principal Homemaker Service Worker
11 62l34 Principal Social Service Aide
05 04l22 Program Aide A. Harry Moore School l0 Months
15 62031 Quality Control Reviewer
09 03541 Recreation Aide
11 03542 Recreation Assistant
03550 Recreation Trainee
15 65340 Rehabilitation Aide
14 04138 Residential Living Specialist
14 04172 Residential Services Supervisor 1-10 Months
11 04171 Residential Services Supervisor 2-10 Months
16 03845 Respiratory Therapy Technician
13 Senior Cottage Training Technician July 1, 2004
11 60933 Senior Day Care Center Worker Youth
06 44640 Senior Food Service Handler 10 Months
09 44641 Senior Food Service Handler 12 Months
05 44703 Senior Food Service Worker 10 Months
08 44702 Senior Food Service Worker 12 Months
13 Senior Human Services Technician July 1, 2004
18 32687 Senior Medical Security Officer
17 Senior Practical Nurse July 1, 2004
09 62133 Senior Social Service Aide
14 03643 Senior Therapy Program Assistant
14 66000 Senior Youth Worker
09 64833 Services Aide Labor
62130 Social Service Aide Trainee
06 62132 Social Service Aide
15 63113 Substance Abuse Assistant
13 03850 Surgical Technician
09 03640 Therapy Aide
11 03642 Therapy Program Assistant
14 63613 Training Assistant
16 63614 Training Assistant
98 40815 Transitional Worker Direct Care
13 62544 Vocational Assistant Commission for
Blind and Visually Impaired
12 18043 X- Ray Technician
12 66002 Youth Work