CWA Sues Christie for Transfer of 180 OIT Staff

CWA has filed a lawsuit to block the Christie Administration from dismembering application development at the Office of Information Technology (OIT).

On June 1, Governor Christie issued an executive order which has a drastic impact on roughly 180 application developers at OIT, members of CWA Local 1032. A provision of Christie’s executive order calls for the decentralization of application development, thus forcing the transfer of OIT staff to eight other state agencies effective on July 22.

CWA is challenging the portion of the Executive Order as a violation of the OIT Reorganization Act of 2007 and the separation of powers principle of the New Jersey Constitution. OIT is an independent agency, that is “in but not of” the Department of Treasury. Christie exceeded his authority when he ordered a reorganization without the authorization of the legislature. CWA is also concerned that the decentralizing will introduce inefficiencies and delays and will lead to enhanced cyber security threats. Moreover, decentralization could result in the privatization of jobs.

On July 20, CWA’s request for a stay of transfers was denied, however, an appeals judge granted an accelerated appeal hearing on the issue of rescinding the order scheduled for September 11.

The State Senate and the State Assembly have introduced resolutions SR135 and AR381 to block Christie’s dismemberment of application development at OIT. The Assembly will vote on the resolution on July 31. CWA will keep members informed of other voting sessions.

Below is CWA’s brief filed in court on July 14.