TRENTON, NJ (AP / CBSNewYork) – New Jersey‘s transportation commissioner says cumbersome union work rules cost the state as much as $13 million a year in salaries and benefits for extra toll collectors.

WCBS 880’s Levon Putney: The Issue Had Assembly Members Arguing

Transportation Commissioner Jim Simpson says 100 additional toll collectors are on the payroll to cover union rules such as 8-hour shifts and overtime for working their birthdays.

Bids are being taken to privatize toll collections on the Turnpike and Garden State Parkway.

The Assembly State Government Committee is hashing out details of the plan.

The union representing toll collectors says it has offered more than $10 million in concessions.

AFL-CIO President Charlie Wowkenech says the authority has refused to bargain. He says toll-takers won’t be able to live on wages as low as $12 per hour.

The New Jersey Turnpike Authority votes next week on whether to privatize.
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