Dozens of county welfare workers storm freeholder meeting demanding changes


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:

Quintana county memo

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  1. The Union did nothing for us last night. It was Freeholder Bill O’Dea that helped. Darlen Sharpe brought it to his attention last week. Just like Council Donato said, none of the Union Reps informed him. The Union walked out as soon as they gave their speech as didn’t even bother to listen to the other members concerns. That’s why only the Union Reps stood with her. We as Union members are sick of her not doing anything for. Walking out on us, whe she finished talking was a huge insult to all the members.

  2. I sat at the Board of Freeholders Meeting on Thursday night. And after hearing arguement over the hudson county welfare time clock policy I’m not sure where to start. First let’s say France’s Cintron President AFSCME Local 2306 argued that the reason for the change in the time clock was due to retaliation over contract. Then some one said that it was due to employees punching in and going back out to park there cars. Than there was Gerard Belmir who stated that there are two sides of the story and that the morale is Low. That is completely correct the morale is very low. When you have the workers getting hammered by Administration on a daily basis and a union who does nothing about it. What do you expect the morale to be like? And how about County Counsel Donato Battista who stated that mangement had reason for making the changes with the clock. And also Bill O’Dea asking if Management had a click policy. Well this is where I like to ask Bill O’Dea and the rest of the freeholders to investigate the truth why the welfare employees were locked out of the time clock. Donato Battista was correct Mangement does have a reason . But if what I heard is true than the workers for the hudson county welfare division has a serious issue. Because not only does Management punch in but I beleive that the welfare division are the only employees that punch in. And to me that’s a discrimination. I also heard that the reason that we were locked out had nothing at all to do with anything other they are suppose to move the board of Elections down the the second floor and I was told that they did’nt want welfare employees associating with the employees from the board of election nor did they want us to see that they don’t punch in either. I feel that all of county of hudson employees should be treatd the same. And if this is true than why should we not be allowed to punch in on the employee entrance. At least we are the only ones in the county plaza that punches. Thank you for all your help in this matter.