By Kelly Waldron

TRENTON, NJ (AP / CBSNewYork) – The New Jersey Turnpike Authority and the toll collectors’ union have reached a deal to save the workers’ jobs.

WCBS 880’s Kelly Waldron With A Relieved Union Worker

The two-year agreement includes salary cuts for toll collectors on the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway. They now earn about $65,000. The Star-Ledger of Newark reports that they’d see their salaries cut to about $57,000 in the first year and $49,500 in the second year.

Franceline Ehret of Local 194, says it was a long time coming.

All we’ve ever wanted was to be able to sit down and negotiate and try to save these jobs and we’re very pleased to have been able to do that and to come to an agreement that preserves working families’ jobs,” she told WCBS 880 reporter Kelly Waldron.

While Ehret admits the agreement was much tougher than they were hoping for, she’s relieved the jobs were saved from privatization.

It needs to be approved by both sides.

Authority members will likely vote on the deal during a Friday meeting that originally was scheduled to consider plans to privatize toll operations. Union members are expected to vote on it sometime over the weekend.

There are 700 turnpike toll collectors and 170 parkway toll collectors.

(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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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.)

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