The Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders had their hands full last night when dozens of angry welfare employees came to the meeting to voice their displeasure about a new clock in policy they feel is retaliatory.
The freeholder chambers, located on the third floor of 567 Pavonia Avenue in Jersey City, were jam packed last night as county employees of the welfare department argued that a new clocking in policy has led to disciplinary actions they believe are retaliatory.
The new policy forces workers to punch in at the clock closest to their work station so that employees can no longer clock in from outside the building as they look for parking.
Frances Cintron, the president of AFSCME Local 2306, stood in solidarity with other union reps as she gilled the freeholders in on what was happening from their perspective.
Given the scenario that was presented by Cintron, Jersey City Freeholder Bill O’Dea (D-2) wanted to know if there was any county policy in place to keep an eye on when and how management clocks in.
When he found out that there is none, O’Dea immediately called for the new clock in policy to be suspended for 30 days and asked for management and their workers to be held to the same standard.
While another Jersey City Freeholder, Gerard Balmir (D-3), acknowledged that there is two sides to every story, he also recognized that the morale of the department is low – which is hurting county residents in need of their services.
After some back and forth over getting the clock in system reset for Monday (the county said the mater would be resolved no later than Tuesday), Freeholder Board Chairman E. Junior Maldonado and County Administrator Abe Antun tried to provide further clarity on the situation.
County Counsel Donato Battista also wanted to state on the record that there were “management reasons” for the changes, also saying he was “chagrinned” none of the union reps approached him with an issue.
When it was all said and done, the county administration took the board’s recommendation toe suspend the memo for 30 days.
Here is a copy of the memo being temporarily suspended: