Skip to comments.The Bell May Toll for Jersey Toll Collectors
Posted on 04/25/2011 8:45:27 PM PDT by TenthAmendmentChampion
Last Thursday, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit in which union workers were seeking to prevent New Jersey from privatizing toll collector jobs on the New Jersey Turnpike, unless those workers got the "right of first refusal" to keep their jobs. But it gets even better: the suit argued that privatization violates workers' First Amendment rights.
As part of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's efforts to bring that state back from the brink of fiscal oblivion, privatization of some government operations has become part of the equation. In 2010, a governor's task force recommended that the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, which oversees New Jersey's two main toll roads--the Garden State Parkway and the New Jersey Turnpike--solicit bids from private companies to collect tolls. The move to privatization is itself to be a temporary measure, with the task force recommending an eventual system of all-electronic, cashless tolling. The force estimated an annual savings of between $35 million and $42.5 million when that system was fully implemented.
The reaction of the union workers was predictable. "From the movie 'Wall Street,' it was said, greed is good--and in our business, greed is another word for privatization," said Ray Stever, president of the New Jersey State Industrial Union Council, an affiliate of the union that represents toll collectors. "
Greed" was a rather an unfortunate choice of words. According to State Transportation Commissioner Jim Simpson, chairman of the authority that oversees the Turnpike and Parkway, toll collectors with six years experience make approximately $65,000 a year--a figure which applies to about 90 percent of toll takers currently manning the roadways. Simpson further revealed that 70 percent of all drivers currently pay their tolls electronically, and that manual collecting costs the authority almost double.
(Excerpt) Read more at jewishworldreview.com ...
Why did I get a degree...
The only reason that New Jersey has toll collectors is to keep the otherwise unemployable brother-in-laws of NJ politicians off the welfare rolls.
I hate toll roads and the people that run them, that being said, toll booths in a bluetooth world is plumb stupid. Most state of the art you drive through at speed and the little credit card box tells them you came by and it deducts from your debit account.
NINETY THOUSAND DOLLARS A YEAR for sitting on their butt driving up and down the street. How do I know? My neighbor does it and every summer he takes the family to Europe. Oh yes and he drives to work in a BMW. Just about every union backed employee employed by the City of New York makes a killing, all except the cops.
Years ago a retired NJ toll collector recounted what a great “business” it had been: “ When they first built the parkway, they had no system to count the cars. We took everything. Then they ran an air hose across the road to count the cars. We disconnected it half the time and took half. That was a great business, I put my daughter through college on that business. Now they have everything computerized under the roadway, you can’t make anything in that business anymore.”
toll collectors with six years experience make approximately $65,000 a year
Not bad but nothing to write home about especially in New Jersey which is one of the most expensive states to live in. Sure 65,000 dollars in Mississippi would be incredible. Not so much in Jersey. The family could probably be eligible for food stamps with that dismal amount.
The private employers want to pay $25,000. Nobody can live on that in New Jersey. I’m all for reigning in unions but thats not a wage that will keep a roof over your head and food on the table for a family. Thats a job that will surely require a person to seek assistance from the state.
We never seem to find balance in this country.
These toll collectors are pathetic, and not worth $25K. A few weeks back I followed the signs for the cash lanes, and ended up in the EZ pass-only lanes (getting on to the NJTP). Not knowing how that had happened (anyone can make a mistake, but I’d never made that one before), I drove less than 10 minutes to my exit, and told the toll collector in the cash lane what had happened (I didn’t want a ticket for just passing through without paying). He took the maximum toll from me (which they would do if you lost your entrance ticket, since I had none), then told me that the previous driver had said the same thing had happened to him. I asked him if he could tell someone there was something wrong with their signs, and he just gave me the stupid union slug look and said someone else had to do it - he wasn’t going to call anyone.
I hope his family loses their home when these toll collectors are finished.
“The private employers want to pay $25,000. Nobody can live on that in New Jersey. Im all for reigning in unions but thats not a wage that will keep a roof over your head and food on the table for a family. Thats a job that will surely require a person to seek assistance from the state.
We never seem to find balance in this country.”
Why do you think these jobs have to be “career” jobs. Unless I’m missing something, toll collecting is not that difficult. When I was in high school, and then college, I worked jobs that paid minimum wage (just above half of what these people will get). No, it didn’t pay for that - my parents paid for the roof over my head in high school, and they helped in college (along with loans).
You’re buying into the “Living Wage” argument and it’s killing this country. There are plenty of jobs in factories that also do not require a “Living Wage” but can still pay double the minimum wage, make people very happy, and even be competitive with other countries. But if we think that everyone has to make $25 to $50 an hour, when they don’t, we wreck the country.
Education for a living wage...... a requirement for effort, a requirement for study and understanding, a requirement for work.
No education, no living wage.
Oh, you’re real happy about that debit acc’t thing are you ?
No still hate toll roads.
Lol, after five years a new york cops base pay is 70 thousand a year, plus one month off paid, unform, overtime, etc,etc. In short he works 11 months for 70 plus, plus.
The private employers want to pay $25,000. Nobody can live on that in New Jersey.
So you have absolutely no illegal aliens living in NJ working for minimum wage or less - because it would be impossible for them to survive, much less send money home to support the family.
The burger-flippers and the babysitters all pull down executive salaries, right? Because $25k/yr base puts you out under the overpass at night. As another poster observed, if your job can be performed by a basket with a hole in the bottom... I humbly add "...its not a career". If you drop out of school, fry your brain and body on drugs or carry a couple felonies on your résumé this is the job for you.
Why is it assumed that everyone drive their Aston Martins to their home in a gated seaside community to watch their 60" plasma TVs while eating lobster planning their next twice annual three week European vacation - or else they are in abject poverty?
Replace them with LTE’s that make $10/hr.
If 90% of the toll takers have thus been there at least six years, it is fair to say that is above what they could make elsewhere.
Why assume that only people that fry their brain or have few felony arrests should take that job? Plenty of people don’t go on to college for many legitimate reasons. At just over $2000 a month that worker would have to pay rent,pay off a car to get to work and put food on the table.
As to the illegal alien comment i don’t want them having any jobs in this country. I don’t want them shoveling dung out of a backed up sewer. But that being said those same illegals are living a dozen to an apartment and getting government assistance. Are you suggesting thats a condition our citizens should aspire to? Our citizen working at the toll booth may not qualify for anything,in fact probably won’t unless he or she has children to support as well.
It amazes me how many people on this site root for their fellow citizens to have the worst lives possible. Mind boggling.
I wouldn't mind these things nearly as much if you could get the tolltags anonymously. You can't do that in Texas. So for those who have to drive those toll roads, and thus get to pay for the road twice, you the state has a nice transaction record of your travels. Tolltags are a statist's wet dream.
But that being said those same illegals are living a dozen to an apartment and getting government assistance. Are you suggesting thats a condition our citizens should aspire to?
There are plenty of gigs that pay better than $25k/yr, but few of them that require sitting on your butt sticking your hand out the window performing a task that is easily handled by soda vending machines.
No one should "aspire" to working a toll booth, just as no one should "aspire" to a lifelong career working midnight drive-through at the Micky D's. What it sounds like to me is that you think that an entry-level job is one that should carry a person through all the way to retirement. That isn't "aspiration" that is utterly pathetic. It would be better to work the booth for a year or so, taking classes in a marketable field, or working P/T somewhere learning a trade so that a few years later (at worst), one could move out of the toll-booth and into something requiring more skill than a basket with a hole in it.
“Education for a living wage...... a requirement for effort, a requirement for study and understanding, a requirement for work.
No education, no living wage.”
Yea, but it doesn’t have to be Shakespeare. People not inclined to go the academic route have plenty of options (probably a LOT more options) these days learning a trade. It’s not that tough - and there are not a lot of unskilled jobs around anyway, as labor laws have continually pushed companies to automate. Let the kids and the Seniors (that want them) have those jobs.
You’re still turning a few hundred jobs down from head of household to entry level. This will go from job to job in this nation. I was never bemoaning the fact that toll collector jobs were seeing a salary restructuring but rather any job was.
Oh,i’m sure you’ve noticed unemployment around 9% officially and much higher unofficially. Sure there are jobs that pay better but they and most others seem filled at the time.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.