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In the Matter of State of New Jersey Judiciary

October 19, 2012

IN THE MATTER OF STATE OF NEW JERSEY JUDICIARY, PETITIONER-RESPONDENT, AND PROBATION ASSOCIATION OF NEW JERSEY (CASE-RELATED PROFESSIONAL UNIT), RESPONDENT-APPELLANT.


On appeal from the Public Employment Relations Commission, Docket No. SN-2010-060.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Argued December 7, 2011

Before Judges Sapp-Peterson and Ostrer.

In this appeal the Probation Association of New Jersey, Case-Related Professional Unit ("PANJ") appeals from the final administrative agency decision from the Public Employment Relations Commission ("PERC") restraining arbitration of a grievance filed by PANJ in which it claimed the State of New Jersey Judiciary ("Judiciary") violated its contractual obligation under the Compensation Plan for Judicial Employees in the Case-Related Professional Unit. PERC ruled that the nature of the grievance involved a challenge to Judiciary staffing decisions, which is a non-negotiable management prerogative, and therefore "enforcement of the Compensation Plan must be sought in another forum." We affirm.

On appeal, PANJ contends PERC's decision was arbitrary, capricious, and unreasonable because the decision failed to "consider all relevant factors[.]" We disagree.

By way of factual background, on April 8 and May 9, 2009, PANJ filed two separate, statewide grievances pursuant to the collective bargaining agreement ("Agreement") the parties entered, which covered the period from July 1, 2008 through June 30, 2012. Both grievances contained the exact allegations, which we set forth below:

Designation of grievance:

Contractual: (Identify the specific contract provision or policy violated or misapplied - Article 27, Article 24.1, 24.2, Compensation Plan for Judicial Employee's PCR Unit, Article 11.1, 11.2, Article 7.4, Article 6, et al[.)]

Non-contractual: Fundamental Fairness, Employee Moral[e], Discriminatory Practices[.]

Statement of grievance: (Please provide specific information for the following)[:]

Identify how the contract provision was violated or misapplied. Whereas, the New Jersey Judiciary is not filling the vacant Master Probation Officer positions/designations as called for in the current Collective Bargaining Agreement, thus denying all applicants a promotional opportunity. Whereas there are a limited number of positions, this [a]ffects employee moral[e].

Identify the specific consequence(s) of the contract provision or policy violation or misapplication.

N/A Identify what steps labor has taken to resolve the violation or misapplication prior to the filing of the ...


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