Toll Collectors Could Lose Jobs If New Jersey Turnpike Authority Privatizes

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.
(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

More from Levon Putney
  • M.A.D

    Sad that people have to lose their jobs, but everyone is MAD at the unions. Those people running the unions will not lose their jobs.

    • Happy to be UNION

      I wish people would think it through before they bash the unions…I lost a good paying retail job in ’08 because my company could get two for the price of what they were paying me….I learned the hard way that employees in NJ, without the protection of a union have almost no rights…look up “employment-at-will”…
      For “globalization” to work the wages of American workers have to be driven down…all those who are cheering these toll collectors..who have families..losing their jobs…remember…you could be next.

  • Auburn Dale

    What is the NJ Turnpike? Is it a transportation facility or a jobs program?

  • animal

    EZ pass…..Bye Bye union theives

  • joe b

    Toll takers- Don’t let the gate hit you in the ass on the way out!

  • Ned

    How cowardly it is to attack the working poor.

    • Jets2012

      Working poor? They make $65000 a year for a job a monkey could do

  • Rod in

    They’re going to fire all the trolls at the tolls? No more pension costs to pay for glorified coin collectors? Who has better retirement and medical plans than most folks.

    • Paterson52

      Of course there’s probable abuse, and it should be reformed. But if you worked for someone else, there’s not much policy influence to create reform; and you’d probably just be collecting a paycheck. They’re only toll collectors not toll thieves. So unless you find yourself unemployed on Monday, I wouldn’t prejudge the domain of public service just yet.

  • John Q. Public

    The Unions have priced themselves out of a job. As John Q. Public, I applaude the Transportation Commission. On the other hand, increase the sales tax 1/8 of a percent and get rid of all the toll collectors. You are paying for roads built decades ago!

  • Liz Blaze

    Sate legislators make sure the rich get richer while the poor get poorer.
    What a sad, sad place the U.S. is becoming…..

  • JerseyGuy711

    I recall that a few years ago it came out that about 60% of the toll revenue collected on the Turnpike and Parkway went to cover the cost of collecting the tolls. Maybe that has improved somewhat with the use of EZ-Pass but I’m sure there is still a ways to go.

  • Junior

    O/T for working on Birthdays! HELLO….Unions are leading themselves right into extinction. Absurd, silly, stupid. Greed, greed, greed, I have never heard of anybody getting o/t for working on their B-Day. Hilarious. This, my people, is why this country is so F-ed up.

  • Hornet Montana

    The tolls are a tax. A toll authority should cease to exist after the highway is built, and maintenance thereon should be taken care of by a state’s transportation department. So, with an “authority”, it already IS privatized, in a way.

  • localartist

    Sorry Employed is the word !

  • localartist

    Great ! but will they lower the Tolls NNNNNOOOOOOOO !
    So we are better off keeping people imployed. After who owns the Road ???

    • BIgStuff

      oh yes, “imployment” is Emportant
      People will be “imployed” just not UNION people

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