Melissa Ferrara Quoted in "Ruling Extends N.J. Public Workers’ Increased Health Care Contributions," The Star-Ledger August 28, 2015

A recent decision by the New Jersey Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) that delays public employee unions’ ability to use contract negotiations to reduce their health insurance premium contributions “further cements the [New Jersey State] Legislature’s intent” in its 2011 adoption of a pension and benefit reform law, Goldberg Segalla attorney Melissa M. Ferrara told The Star-Ledger.

Melissa is a member of Goldberg Segalla’s Employment and Labor Practice Group in Princeton.   

“This [gives] public employers the tool to maximize that contribution  for as long a period as possible, and that’s a great benefit to taxpayers and public employers throughout the state,” said Melissa, who successfully represented the Clementon Board of Education before PERC in the case, which pitted the board against the local teachers' union.

According to The Star-Ledger, the 2011 law raised employee contributions to health insurance premiums over a four-year period. The fourth year of the statute’s implementation overlapped with the first year of the Clementon district’s new contract — igniting the dispute over exactly when the issue could return to the bargaining table.

The 2011 law was meant to “ensure that public employers and employees were sharing the cost of health insurance premiums,” Melissa said in the piece.

The PERC ruling in the Clementon case was also recently featured on NJTV News. “Because the parties were still implementing the contribution, that contribution wasn’t on the negotiation table under the statute until the next contract,” Melissa told the program.

That isn’t until 2017.

Read the article here:

·         Ruling Extends N.J. Public Workers’ Increased Health Care Contributions,” The Star-Ledger, August 22, 2015

Watch the full segment here:

·         Teachers’ Union Vows Fight Over PERC Ruling,” NJTV News, August 24, 2015