NEWARK, N.J. – With a new Governor in New Jersey, the AFL-CIO hopes to pass equal pay and strengthen public employee unions before Janus. The NJ AFL-CIO has a long wish of pro-worker and pro-union policies that they would like to see instituted. Two that are making their way through the legislature are a bill to strengthen collective bargaining rights and a bill to ensure equal pay for equal work.
The collective bargaining bill, A3686, is designed to counter attacks from anti-union forces that are looking to weaken unions. With Janus, just a few months from being decided, bills like this one are important for guaranteeing that public employees will continue to have the right to collectively bargain. The bill would add into state law that unions have the exclusive right to bargain for state employees, meet on government property with new hires, as well as establishing an arbitration procedure should negotiations break down.
The other bill, A-1, would make New Jersey a national leader in the fight for pay equity and fairness. The bill would prohibit an employer from paying someone less due to their sex. It would also make it illegal to give them fewer benefits due to their sex. The bill further bans employers from punishing their employees for disclosing information about the hiring practices or compensation that they are provided.
Both bills passed the Assembly Labor Committee last week and now will get a vote before the entire legislature. In the State Senate, similar bills have already been introduced and will be considered in coming weeks