Barila v. Board of Education of Cliffside Park

#LaborLaw #CollectiveBargaining #Contracts #SubjectMatterJurisdiction

4/20/2020 — A collective bargaining agreement between the teachers’ union and the town’s board of education decreased the total amount a retiring teacher can collect in accumulated unused sick leave. Pursuant to In re Local 195, 88 N.J. 393 (1982), the Court unanimously agreed that, under the scope-of-negotiations test, the courts had subject matter jurisdiction, not PERC. But the Court was split 4-3 over the substantive of the plaintiffs’ claims that they had a vested interest in the additional sums that would have been gotten under the prior collective bargaining agreement. The majority and dissent disagreed over the reading of the contractual language. The dissent saw no language that retroactively stripped the teachers from the interest they accrued under the earlier collective bargaining agreement, whereas the majority read the new contract to extinguish the old regime.