of New Jersey
WHEREAS, community care residential providers (CCRs) for adults with developmental disabilities in the State of New Jersey, as defined by N.J.A.C. 10:44B, provide an invaluable and essential service by providing care and/or training to adults with developmental disabilities; and
WHEREAS, the State of New Jersey, through the Department of Human Services, is vested with the regulatory authority, including but not limited to the establishment of reimbursement rates, and the administrative oversight responsibility for the licensing of facilities and operation of CCR homes; and
WHEREAS, pursuant to its statutory and regulatory authority, the Department of Human Services is authorized to contract with a qualified third party agency or entity to provide oversight with respect to various administrative functions, including but not limited to the processing of board payments and/or cost-of-care payments to CCRs; and
WHEREAS, to ensure quality standards of care, it is in the public interest for New Jersey to maintain CCRs for adults with developmental disabilities and to encourage the recruitment and retention of CCRs that are delivering these vital services; and
WHEREAS, a majority of New Jersey’s CCRs have authorized the Communications Workers of America, AFL-CIO (CWA) to be their exclusive representative through individually-signed authorizations, not more than twelve (12) months old; and
WHEREAS, the State Board of Mediation has certified the CWA as having presented to the Board of Mediation authorization cards representing a majority of CCRs;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, JON S. CORZINE, Governor of the State of New Jersey, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and by the Statutes of this State, do hereby ORDER and DIRECT:
- The Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Human Services (DHS) or his/her designee, on behalf of the State of New Jersey, shall meet in good faith with the CWA, as the recognized exclusive majority representative of all CCRs, for the purpose of entering into a written agreement regarding reimbursement rates, payment procedures, benefits, health and safety conditions and any other matters that would improve recruitment and retention of qualified CCRs and the quality of the programs they provide, subject to the provisions of paragraph 6 below. Nothing in this Order shall require that an agreement be reached on any particular matter provided the parties act in good faith.
- When an agreement is reached pursuant to paragraph 1 above, it shall be embodied in writing and shall be binding upon the State of New Jersey. Any agreement that requires rule making or statutory changes will be contingent upon the successful completion of such regulatory or legislative action. If any provisions of the agreement require legislative action, or require the appropriation of funds to be effective, the parties will jointly seek the enactment of such legislative action. If any provisions of the agreement require the adoption or modification of rules and regulations of any department or agency of State government to be effective, the department or agency shall seek the adoption or modification of such rules or regulations through appropriate regulatory action.
- In affording CCRs the right to act through an exclusive majority representative and seek an agreement with the State per the terms of this Order, the State intends that the “State Action” exemption to federal antitrust laws be fully available to the State, CCRs and their exclusive representative and that exempt conduct shall be actively supervised by the Department of Human Services.
- Nothing in this Order is intended to give to CCRs, or imply that CCRs have, any right to engage in a strike or collective cessation of the care for adults with developmental disabilities in their homes.
- The agreement entered into between CWA and the Commissioner may provide for the payment of union dues and representation fees.
- Nothing in the Order shall be construed to grant CCRs status as State employees for any purposes, including, but not limited to, the New Jersey Tort Claims Act (N.J.S.A. 59:1-1 et seq.), the New Jersey Temporary Disability Benefits Law (N.J.S.A. 43:21-25 et seq.), the New Jersey Unemployment Compensation Law (N.J.S.A. 43:21-1 et seq.), and the New Jersey Workers Compensation Law (N.J.S.A. 34:15-1 et seq.), or any other authority, law or regulations that govern or apply to State employees. Although CCRs are not State employees, the subjects to be included in an agreement shall be consistent with those areas that are considered negotiable pursuant to the New Jersey Employer-Employee Relations Act (N.J.S.A. 34:13A-1 et seq.).
- Nothing in this Order shall be construed to interfere with the rights of the Department of Human Services to place or remove clients from the homes of CCRs.
- Nothing in this Order shall be construed to interfere with the rights of individuals with developmental disabilities and/or their parents or guardians, including but not limited to the right to choose or change their placement with CCRs.
- No action may be taken under this Order that would derogate from the status, functions or authority of the Department of Human Services in its capacity of Lead Agency, or in any other capacity, in the placement and care of persons with developmental disabilities.
- Should any part of this Order be declared to be invalid or unenforceable, or shall the enforcement of or compliance with any part of this Order be suspended, restrained or barred, by the final judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction, the remainder of this Order shall remain in full force and effect.
- This Order shall take effect immediately.
GIVEN, under my hand and seal this 5th day of
Two Thousand and Eight, and of the
Independence of the United States, the Two
Hundred and Thirty-Second.
/s/ Jon S. Corzine
/s/ Edward J. McBride, Jr.
Chief Counsel to the Governor