After months of tension, Union City Mayor Brian Stack has proposed a new contract for city department of public works employees, as well as some parks department workers, a cell phone video obtained by HCV reveals.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“I just wanted to stop by, I told you over a month ago that I’d be back to talk to you. I haven’t presented this yet to the union – I’m coming to you guys first … this concerns DPW and parks,” Stack said at a meeting with DPW workers at the municipal garage on Thursday.
The mayor, also the state senator of the 33rd Legislative District, also indicates on the recording that no other municipal employees are receiving such an offer,
” … I tried to weigh it out: your work during COVID is important … In 2022, the truck drivers will get $1,500, 2024: $2,000, and 2025: $2,000, plus your longevity.”
The cell phone recording of the meeting appears to have been done secretly, as the video quality is average at best and the person who shot the video is standing in the back behind several other people.
Nevertheless, the audio is still clear and indicates that Stack was there for at least 15 minutes and took questions, all of which were in Spanish and relayed to the mayor through a translator.
“The laborers, sweepers, will receive $4,500 on January 1st, 2021 – that’s part-time and full-time. 2022: $1,500; 2023: 1,500; 2024: $2,000; 2025: $2,000 – plus your longevity … I came here myself because I don’t want you to get [information] from rumor, I don’t go for any of that, I wanted you guys to hear it directly from me because the buck stops with me,” the mayor continued.
” … I didn’t present this to the union first, because, like I said, I gave everyone here a commitment.”
Stack further stated that he looked back over the past 40 years and exclaimed that “there’s never been a contract this generous” offered, though it is still up to the union to present it to their members and then take a vote.
He also said the plan was to present the contract to the union Friday at noon, who would then call a meeting with their members in the next two weeks.
At the tail end of the video, the person who recorded the meeting asks when they would be receiving hazard pay, to which Stack responded: “my friend, simplemente, there is no hazard pay.”
The person who recorded the meeting sounds like Manuel Hernandez, a DPW worker who has posted two videos on YouTube since June claiming that he and his colleagues have been “mistreated and discriminated” against and is asking for hazard pay in his October 25th posting.
Additionally, a Change.org petition from March claimed that the city was not properly protecting parks employees from COVID-19, though it only reached 49 signatures.