State Sen. Joe Kyrillos, (R-13), of Middletown today called for the immediate firing of the 17 CWA workers he said staged a so-called “sick-out” last Friday to attend a rally, effectively leaving Monmouth County seniors stranded.
“It is outrageous that 174 disabled and elderly clients who depend on SCAT were stranded by what appears to be a coordinated effort by employees to disrupt service without notice,” said Kyrillos. “The actions of these workers is completely unbecoming of any public servant, and should make every taxpayer in Monmouth County furious. CWA, the union representing these employees, needs to denounce their members for putting the well-being of these vulnerable individuals at risk, and the employees in question should be fired.”
Kyrillos said 17 SCAT workers, including 14 bus drivers for the developmentally disabled and senior citizens, took sick leave with no notice on Friday, Feb. 25 – “the same day as a coordinated demonstration organized by labor leaders at the State Capitol.” Service was disrupted for 174 clients who take SCAT buses to medical appointments or work.
“The rights of workers to demonstrate, protest, and take appropriate leave from work for personal purposes are not disputed,” Kyrillos said. “However, it is not their right to abuse sick leave and disrupt a system many people have come to rely on. In fact, it is a breach of contract and should be punished to the fullest extent possible. This type of behavior not only hurts the people SCAT serves, it harms the reputation of all public workers.”