GORDON-GREENSTEIN BILL TO INVALIDATE CIVIL SERVICE JOB BANDING RULE ADVANCES

State Seal

TRENTON — Legislation sponsored by Senator Bob Gordon and Senator Linda Greenstein that would invalidate the Civil Service Commission’s decision to strip workers of Civil Service protections cleared the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee today.

In May, the Civil Service Commission adopted a new rule that established a job banding program, which takes away civil service protection from many state employees. It became effective in June upon publication in The New Jersey Register. The Commission adopted the rule even though the Legislature approved a concurrent resolution in January to prevent the move, which marked the first time the Legislature had ever used its authority to stop an executive rule change.

This bill, SCR-147, is the second and final step in the process to invalidate the new rule. As required by the Constitution, the Legislature previously informed the commission, through Senate Concurrent Resolution 116, of the Legislature’s finding that the job banding rule is not consistent with legislative intent. If SCR-147 is passed by both houses of the Legislature, the rule would be invalidated. In addition, the resolution expressly provides that any amendments to that rule adopted by the Commission, including the amendment filed by the commission with the Office of Administrative Law on July 16, 2014, would be null and void.

“The Legislature spoke loudly, and we will not sit by and do nothing as the Civil Service Commission tramples over our constitutional authority,” said Gordon (D-Bergen, Passaic). “These vital protections were put in place years ago to protect employees from cronyism, nepotism and discrimination when they are hired or promoted.”

“Public employees deserve the important protections and professional evaluations that have proven successful for decades,” said Greenstein (D-Mercer, Middlesex). “The Legislature made it clear that we were opposed to this misguided job banding scheme, and now we must act to preserve not only these vital protections but also our constitutional authority.”

The resolution was passed by a vote of 3-0-1 and now heads to the full Senate.