Three union workers who called out sick to attend a labor rally at the New Jersey Statehouse last week have been suspended.Some lamestream media outlets are making hay of the fact Governor Christie has said he supports collective bargaining. They want want to read the fine print.
The move comes a day after Gov. Christie told NBC New York in an interview that "people who call in sick better be sick." Christie issued his warning ahead of another labor rally that drew thousands on Thursday.
Monmouth County officials said the three employees suspended without pay Thursday work for the county's Senior Citizen Area Transportation service and are members of CWA Local 1038.
The county said the workers were among 14 in the department who called out sick; officials alleged that 174 developmentally disabled adults who depend on the county's services ended up "waiting for buses that never came."
"These employees are being suspended without pay based on the fact that we have evidence to prove that they were not home sick as they had claimed," said Lillian Burry, a county official.
State Sen. Joe Kyrillos (R-Monmouth), who first complained of a "sick-out," applauded officials for the suspension, noting some workers were "caught on camera" at last week's rally.
He wants officials to keep reviewing video to see "if others were absent without proper excuse."
"In fact, I love collective bargaining," Christie told the audience. "We're ready to collectively bargain. Let's have it be real collective bargaining, where someone is in there representing the people who pay the bills."I suspect today's suspensions have Christie's fingerprints all over them. If the unions think they have a pushover in Christie, I wish them luck.
:This action by our SCAT employees is offensive to everyone because it adversely impacted our most vulnerable population," Freeholder Director Robert D. Clifton said in a statement. "The administration will continue its investigation into those who called out sick until we are satisfied that every employee who misused the county's sick leave policy is disciplined within the constraints of the Civil Service process. This is a prime example of why Civil Service reform is needed."There's hope.
“Anyone who shrugs and abandons their contracted responsibilities should receive the strongest discipline allowed, up to and including termination,” Freeholder Deputy Director John P. Curley said. “They are responsible for aspects of government that are mandatory in dealing with public health, safety and well being.”