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Union Council No. 8 v. Housing Authority

Decided: July 3, 1973.

UNION COUNCIL NO. 8, NEW JERSEY CIVIL SERVICE ASSOCIATION, A CORPORATION OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
HOUSING AUTHORITY OF THE CITY OF ELIZABETH, JOSEPH AREK AS TREASURER OF THE HOUSING AUTHORITY OF THE CITY OF ELIZABETH, FRANK E. SOVINEE, CARLOS FERRER, ABE ROSENSWEIG, CHARLES F. SCHEUERMAN AND EDWARD A. SMOLEN, DEFENDANTS



Walsh, J.c.c. (temporarily assigned).

Walsh

[124 NJSuper Page 585] Union Council #8, New Jersey Civil Service Association, Inc. (hereinafter Council 8) is a bonafide employee organization. The members of the Council include permanent, full-time public employees who are covered by the New Jersey Civil Service Act (Revised Statutes, Title 11), as well as other employees. The Council has been certified in accordance with the New Jersey

Employer-Employee Relations Act, N.J.S.A. 34:13A-1 et seq. , as the exclusive representative for collective bargaining negotiations on behalf of certain nonsupervisory employees employed by various governmental bodies in Union County.

The Housing Authority of the City of Elizabeth (hereinafter Authority) is a body corporate and politic operating under the provisions of N.J.S.A. 55:14A-1 et seq. Defendant Joseph Arek is the Assistant Director of the Housing Authority. The remaining individual defendants are commissioners in whom the powers of the Authority are vested.

When employees request the Authority, in writing, to make certain deductions from their salaries for the purpose of paying dues to their respective employee organizations, N.J.S.A. 52:14-15.9e requires the Authority to make such deductions and to transmit them to the specified employee organizations.

Between January 15 and March 8, 1971 eight employees requested the Authority, in writing, to deduct their dues and to transmit them to the Council. The deductions were made by the Authority through November 19, 1971, a portion of which were transmitted to the Council.

On November 19, 1971 the chairman of the Authority directed that no further dues deductions be made, and that any deductions then held by the Authority be returned to the respective employees. On July 5, 1972 the Council submitted to the Authority dues deduction requests from four additional employees of the Authority. The Council has requested that the Authority honor all of the 12 dues deduction requests, but the Authority has refused to do so.

This matter is somewhat complicated in that, on May 4, 1970, a petition was submitted to the Housing Authority by 19 of its employees requesting that the Council be authorized to represent them in collective bargaining negotiations with the Authority. Many of the employees presently requesting that their dues be deducted by the Authority and transmitted to the Council are among those employees who petitioned for

representation by the Council in 1970. The Authority further points to the fact that 10 out of the 12 employees now requesting dues deductions hold supervisory positions with the Authority. Defendants argue that these supervisory personnel cannot join the Council because it also represents nonsupervisory employees. Hence, the Authority contends that it should not be required to make the requested deductions.

The Authority bases its argument on N.J.S.A. 34:13A-5.3 of the New Jersey Employer-Employee Relation Act, which provides in part:

Plaintiff Council now seeks summary judgment ordering that the Authority honor the aforesaid dues deduction requests. In addition, the Council seeks an accounting from the Authority for all dues which the Authority has failed to deduct and pay to plaintiff.

The precise issues involved herein are novel, and apparently have not heretofore been considered by our state courts. N.J.S.A. 52:14-15.9e, enacted in 1967, became ...


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