December 10, 2020
• New Jersey State AFL-CIO Opposes Punitive COVID Reporting Requirements for Health Care Workers
• Workers Comp. Benefit Increase for Dependents of Essential Workers that Died of COVID Posted for Committee Vote
• Higher Education Anti-Subcontracting Legislation Advances in Senate
As the Legislature heads into the last week prior to the holiday break, legislation impacting our members is being considered by legislative committees. The New Jersey State AFL-CIO thanks all the legislators who voted in favor of labor’s position on these bills, as well as the prime sponsors, Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney and Assembly members Thomas P. Giblin and Carol A. Murphy.
S-2865 (Singer) was released from the Senate Health Committee. Opposing the bill were the New Jersey State AFL-CIO, HPAE, JNESO and others. Voting in favor were Senators Singer (R-30), Corrado (R-40), Holzapfel (R-10), Vitale (D-19) and Rice (D-28). Voting in support of workers and against the bill were Senators Madden (D-4), Codey (D-27) and Gopal (D-11).
At a time when nurses and other health care professionals are on the front lines in fighting the virus, often putting their own health and lives at risk, this legislation not only adds undue stress to these workers, but would result in significant monetary fines and loss of their licenses. This type of retribution comes at the worst possible time for these workers. Although we recognize the importance of communicating COVID outbreaks in health care facilities, this is the responsibility of management at these facilities. The requirement to do so for workers – even if they are not aware of the COVID outbreak – is misguided and ineffective.
For more information on the bill, please see our testimony here: https://njaflcio.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/S-2865-Opposed.pdf
From left, Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney and Assembly members Thomas P. Giblin and Carol A. Murphy
A-3998 (Murphy / Giblin) has been posted for a vote in the Assembly Labor Committee on Monday, December 14, 2020. The bill seeks to provide a COLA increase annually from workers compensation to the dependents of certain workers who contracted COVID during the course of their employment and later died from COVID. The bill already passed the Senate.
If you are supportive of this bill, the New Jersey State AFL-CIO respectfully asks you to please register your support by filling out a short online form. Your position will be announced in Monday’s committee hearing.
The form can be found here: https://www.njleg.state.nj.us/HearingRegistration/RegistrationForm.asp
Finally, S-2932 (Sweeney) would prohibit state colleges and universities from entering into subcontracting agreements that may affect the employment of workers in a bargaining unit during the term of a collective bargaining agreement. Similar legislation that was signed into law this year covered public school systems and community colleges in New Jersey. The bill was unanimously approved by the Senate Higher Education Committee. The bill is supported by the New Jersey State AFL-CIO, AFT, AFSCME, AAUP, URA, the College Council (AFT) and IFPTE 195.