ACR-215/SCR-166

“Invalidates or prohibits adoption of rule proposed by Civil Service Commission to establish job banding program.”

NJEA supports ACR-215 (Stender, Conaway, Gusciora, DeAngelo, Benson, Giblin)/SCR-166 (Gordon, Greenstein, Lesniak). This resolution expresses opposition to proposed regulations that would create a job banding program within the civil service system.  There are nine school districts in New Jersey who have employees under the civil service requirements.  Those school districts are in Berkeley Township, Brick Township, Jersey City, Lodi, Maurice River Township, Middle Township, Millville, Newark, Vineland, and Weehawken. 

Under the proposed regulations, employees of various, similar job titles would be placed into a category or job band.  In order to move up or receive a promotion, employees would have to demonstrate competency, as determined by management, rather than the traditional test taking procedures. 

The Civil Service system was established to protect public employees from arbitrary and capricious decisions in the hiring, promoting, demoting, and firing of public employees.  One of the ways the system works is by allowing objective measures, like promotional exams, to determine an employee’s qualifications for advancement.  In doing so, it removes personal bias from the decision making process.  Examinations also encourage healthy competition among employees in fully comprehending the procedures and issues related to the job.

The proposed changes fly in the face of these very principles and will give sole discretion to managers to make unilateral decisions on who is qualified for advanced responsibilities and who is not.  While management should have some discretion in delegating employee responsibilities, the job banding program will create a system in which managers can easily maneuver to advance the careers of their friends and stifle, for any reason at all, the careers of others.

The proposed changes will also limit veteran preference and layoff rights, which are longstanding policies that have protected employees through many administrations, regardless of who has been in power. 

NJEA urges your support of this resolution.