Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy has proposed temporary layoffs, also known as mandatory furloughs, for city employees (except fire and police) for 12 days over a six-month period starting on Christmas Eve and ending in June in order to deal with a budget gap of somewhere between $40 and $70 million. There are also plans for 200 employees for permanent layoff along with the temporary layoffs.
However, city employee unions are fighting back as indicated in letters sent recently to Healy, the City Council and other city officials by Jersey City Municipal Employees Local 245, Jersey City Public Employees Local 246, and the Jersey City Supervisor's Association, which represent the majority of municipal workers.
The letter from the Local 246 President Chuck Carol said the city should withdraw the temporary layoff policy altogether or decrease the number of days as the employees he represents earn an average salary of $31,000.
Carol also said in the letter that the layoffs save very little money for the city and "drastically impact the delivery of essential city services."
Local 245 said they are willing to accept one day a month temporary layoff while the Jersey City Supervisors Association said the temporary layoff proposal is "not acceptable in its present form."
Both Local 246 and the Supervisors Association wanted responses to their letters by Monday. - RK