The Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC or Commission) is a State administrative agency. It is charged with administering the New Jersey Employer-Employee Relations Act. The agency deals with certain labor relations issues involving public employers, public employees, and unions that represent public employees. Such issues include representation matters, the scope of negotiations, unfair practices, mediation, fact-finding and arbitration.
PERC’s jurisdiction is limited to certain public sector employees. Private sector employees, such as those employed by private hospitals, factories, or corporations, are governed by the National Labor Relations Act. Alleged violations of the National Labor Relations Act must be filed with the National Labor Relations Board, the federal agency charged with enforcing private sector labor relations. 1-866-667-NLRB (1-866-667-6572) or http://www.nlrb.gov
PERC has jurisdiction over the following types of public employers: The State of New Jersey, counties, municipalities, local public school districts and charter schools, public colleges and universities, and autonomous agencies, authorities, boards and commissions.
PERC has jurisdiction over New Jersey Transit bus and light rail operations and New Jersey Transit police. It does not have jurisdiction over New Jersey Transit Rail or any bi-state agencies. You may wish to contact them for further information: New Jersey Transit Rail http://www.njtransit.com, The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey http://www.panynj.gov, The Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor http://www.waterfrontcommission.org, The Delaware River Port Authority of Pennsylvania and New Jersey http://www.drpa.org, The Delaware River and Bay Authority http://www.drba.net, The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission http://www.drjtbc.org.
No. PERC has no jurisdiction to enforce statutes regarding discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation, race, or religion. Allegations such as these are considered by the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (609) 292-4605 or http://www.state.nj.us/lps/dcr and/or the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission 1-800-669-4000 or http://www.eeoc.gov. Such claims may also be the subject of a State or federal lawsuit.
The PERC statute does not prohibit all acts of perceived unfairness or discrimination against covered employees; rather, PERC's jurisdiction is limited to resolving claims of unfair practices. For example, PERC has jurisdiction to consider claims by an employee organization that the employer has failed or refused to negotiate in good faith or has interfered with employee organization rights granted by the statute. Also, an individual employee may file an unfair practice charge alleging that the employer or the employee organization representing him or her has discriminated against the employee in retaliation for protected activity under the Act, or has interfered with rights guaranteed by the Act. An employer may also file a charge against a union, alleging, for example, that the union failed to negotiate in good faith.
The PERC statute requires that proposed new rules or modifications of existing rules governing working conditions be negotiated before they are established. During negotiations, neither party is required to agree to a proposal of the other. But there must be a willingness to negotiate the issues with an open mind and a sincere desire to reach an agreement.
When an employee organization is selected to represent employees in a negotiations unit, it becomes the majority representative of all employees, including those who have declined to become members of that organization. It is obligated to represent all employees in the negotiations unit fairly in negotiations and contract administration. A breach of the duty of fair representation occurs when a majority representative’s conduct toward a negotiations unit member is arbitrary, discriminatory or in bad faith. An employee may file an unfair practice charge with PERC or a lawsuit in court alleging that a majority representative has breached theduty of fair representation.
No. Generally, public employees needing help with pension or benefits issues should contact the New Jersey Division of Pension and Benefits (609) 292-7524 or http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/pensions.
If you work for a private employer and are having problems with your employer regarding payment of wages, overtime issues, holiday pay or other pay issues, you may contact the New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development - Division of Wage and Hour Compliance. http://www.state.nj.us/labor/lsse/lsgenfaq.html. If you work for a public employer, you may contact the Federal Wage and Hour Division http://www.dol.gov/esa. Some pay and overtime issues are set by a union contract. If you work in a job that is represented by a union, you may want to first bring your problem to the attention of the union.
Generally no. The PERC statute expressly grants PERC exclusive jurisdiction over unfair practice charges and their remedies. As such, a determination as to whether a charge is justified is normally a matter within PERC’s exclusive jurisdiction.