The New Jersey Turnpike has reached a settlement with two unions representing its 800+ toll collectors that provides for significant pay cuts and only guarantees jobs pending implementation of all-electronic tolling. In return the Turnpike will not pursue outsourcing or privatization of cash toll collection services.
The New Jersey Turnpike has deferred a board of directors vote on plans to outsource cash toll collection. Due to be considered at the meeting Wednesday (Apr 27) the matter is being deferred a while. Spokesman Tom Feeney told reporters today: "We’re still wrapping up various issues."
$670m in electronic toll revenue costs some $53m/year to collect, while it is costing $100m to collect some $290 in cash tolls, according to figures provided by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority chairman and state transportation commissioner James Simpson in testimony at the state legislature in Trenton, Thursday.
ACS/Xerox withdrew from the New Jersey Turnpike's procurement of outsourced toll collection services in February after a union organized campaign flooded the company with job applications designed to take advantage of a 'right of first refusal' provision of the deal.
The union representing toll collectors on the New Jersey Turnpike (called IFPTE Local 194) is seeking an injunction in federal court to prevent any further move to outsource toll collection services without the requirement that union members have job preference - called the 'right of first refusal' of jobs.
The New Jersey Turnpike Authority has put back by a week the deadline for bids for a toll collection staffing contract. A spokesman said this was at the request of several prospective bidders. They needed more time.
The Turnpike recently amended the RFP to eliminate a preference for toll collectors laid off. Contractors were initially required to give former Turnpike collectors 'right of first refusal' on jobs. But the toll collectors union was using this provision to try and scare bidders off completely.
New Jersey Turnpike cancels preference for union members in RFP - retaliation for union interferenceBy Peter Samuel on March 3, 2011
New Jersey Turnpike Authority officials say Teamsters Local 194 has been interfering in their outsourcing of toll collector services to a private contractor, and running a campaign to undermine the chances of the Turnpike getting competitive bids. And they say the union was exploiting a provision in the RFP that would have given union members a preference ("right of first refusal") to jobs.
Twenty four companies sent their people along to the New Jersey Turnpike's tour of Interchange 11 Monday - part of the process of soliciting proposals for contracted cash toll collection services. Interchange or Exit 11 is in Woodbridge where the Turnpike crosses the Garden State Parkway and the US9 highway.
25 toll lanes wide IC11 toll plaza is a formidable operation.
The New Jersey Turnpike Authority board are likely to discuss a proposal for outsourcing manual toll collection services at their next meeting July 27. A task force established by the New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has recommended the contracting-out of cash toll collection as an interim step to cashless all-electronic tolling.