By Assembly Majority Leader Joe Cryan
and Assemblyman Pat Diegnan.
We know all too well, based upon failed Republican experiments of the 1990s, that privatization doesn’t save money and results in poor customer service.
Remember the problems under Gov. Christie Whitman with vehicle inspections and at motor vehicle agencies? Those debacles resulted in millions of wasted taxpayers dollars and long lines at the agencies.
Rather than learn from history, Gov. Chris Christie is pushing a plan to privatize toll collection along our highways.
Under this plan, dedicated hard working employees, many with more than 20 years of service, will be replaced. The alleged savings to the Turnpike Authority will come by eliminating the income of hundreds of middle class families.
The only guaranteed winners in the process are the corporations who will be awarded the contracts. They will reap millions of dollars in profits.
The unions representing the workers have proposed significant savings to Turnpike Authority commissioners. They understand that these are tough economic times. These workers are willing to take wage and benefit cuts to help the state make ends meet.
But as has become a common theme in this administration, the Authority has refused to negotiate in good faith and would rather blame the workers for its financial woes.
We urge the commissioners to return to the bargaining table and come up with a fair solution to this issue.
Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Cryan
Assemblyman Patrick J. Diegnan Jr.