Colts Neck lays off majority of its Public Works employeesPosted: Updated:
The town of Colts Neck has laid off a majority of Department of Public Works employees.
Town officials say that it is part of a reorganization in an effort to save money. But the laid off employees say that it was done behind closed doors, without letting them know it would happen.
“We were instructed to clean out our lockers and leave the premises,” says former worker Greg Sabo.
The former workers say that the town administrator met with them Thursday and told the nine workers to give back their keys and township IDs. Only one worker and three supervisors were kept on the job.
The workers say that on Monday they were told that there would be a meeting to discuss their jobs. They were asked if they wanted it in the public. But they say that on Wednesday the township decided in a closed-door session to cut the jobs.
Many of the workers had been with the department for nearly 20 years.
“It should have been in an open forum. At least then we could have had some support for our jobs,” says Glen Richardson, who was laid off.
“I’ve been in this business for 40 years and I’ve never seen anything like this before,” says CWA 1075 Union President Kevin Tauro.
Town officials said in a statement the cuts were part of their reorganization plan. The town will save around $450,000 by doing so.
A statement on the town’s website says in part, “While this was a very difficult decision to make, the governing body agreed that it was the best course of action in the ongoing efforts to control costs for the Colts Neck taxpayer, while continuing to provide quality services to Colts Neck residents and businesses.”
But the laid off workers ask: Who will clean the town’s roads once snow strikes this winter?
“We’re out there long hours, day and night, constantly plowing and keeping the road safe,” says Sabo. “If we get a snowstorm, then who knows what’s going to happen.”
Town officials say services will remain the same with the remaining four Public Works employees, along with services from Monmouth County and other partnerships.
The labor union will meet with attorneys Monday to discuss options.
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