Jersey City crossing guards protest as they seek a contract for the 1st time in 7 years


Jersey City crossing guards, members of the Jersey City Public Employees Local 245, protested outside City Hall yesterday as they seek a contract for the first time in seven years.

Photo courtesy of Jersey City Public Employees Union Local 245 President Santo DellaMonica.

By Daniel Ulloa/Hudson County View

Jersey City Public Employees Local 245 President Santo DellaMonica said in addition to being without a deal for ages, the supervisors are often disrespectful to his members who are mostly seniors who have to endure bad weather.

“They’re treating these people terrible,” DellaMonica told HCV, indicating they are only asking for a dollar raise.

He also contends that during the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of unionized guards shrank from 250 to 150 members, which is what the city had hoped for.

“It’s a shame we’re 100 guards short. Who’s crossing the kids? Casper? They want them to be like stormtroopers. You don’t want to pay them but you want them to stand in full uniform,” DellaMonica asserted.

“You get a young supervisor saying you better do this, you better do that, talking down to them. Nobody wants the job.”

As a result, certain crosswalks are now being monitored by police officers who are being paid at least $75 an hour, DellaMonica said.

While he felt the union was making progress, the city brought in a new lawyer who wanted to negotiate the Department of Public Workers (DPW) and recreation department contracts simultaneously, despite the jobs being very different.

“It’s their strategy to keep stalling and stalling and stalling,” DellaMonica added.

The union head continued that they currently make $17 an hour, which is only good for about $31,000 a year – forcing many members to rely on food pantries during the pandemic.

He questioned how the city couldn’t spare any money for them when the landscaping contract is $800,000, new divisions/positions are being created, and the Pompidou Centre is in the works.

Gloria Conde came with her daughter to support a crossing guard near her school in the protest.

“They do a wonderful job. They do a very important function,” she explained.

Democratic Committeeman Gary Spingarn also came out in support of the cross guards, noting his wife commutes to New York City and has developed relationships with them while walking to public transportation.

“Along with the real pandemic, we’ve had an epidemic of pedestrian accidents in Jersey City and we have 100 shifts that aren’t going filled. It’s a danger to our children. It’s over, what, a few bucks in wages? That should be a lay-up,” he said.

DellaMonica also noted that the union is suing for owed wages after the appellate court ruled that employees who worked during a 2018 State of Emergency are owed double pay.

“Will the rest of the state vote for him for governor knowing his city workers had to sue him for 40 million in backpay? If your city is broke, what will you do with the rest of the cities?,” he questioned.

Union reps have a negotiation meeting scheduled for June 28th and while DellaMonica remains pessimistic, city spokeswoman Kimberly Wallace-Scalcione said they remain “cautiously optimistic” that a new deal is close.

“Our crossing guards are valued employees, and the city is working closely with union leaders to come to a fair resolution. We are cautiously optimistic and hope to finalize the contract terms with the union in the upcoming days that effectively meet their needs,” she said.

They also held a picket in front of City Hall on Monday morning and have another one planned for tomorrow evening.

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  1. Hi I’m A Active Senior Guard– We Loss Many Guards That Were Not Hired Back In SEPTEMBER– WITH NO REASON WHY?—OTHERS TOLD TO REAPPLY NEXT Year!–Sign Our Contract Now!!

  2. The Jersey city crossing guards have been trying to get a contract for seven years they deserve the contract plus the raise we are the only city in hudson County that’s this low in pay all other cities make 20.00 an hour .We all love our job we are their every day and we love the people they cross.We are human beings and should be treated the same.PLEASE HELP US GET OUR CONTRACT THANK YOU

  3. They are under paid and do alot of work. That job not easy out there with bad weather, controlling traffic. The city shouldn’t have a problem. Before these was the police job and cops got paid more. So why is Guard’s getting less and being treated less? They also need to pay out if any crossing guard get hurt on jobs. They are putting there Life on the line. Having to deal with madness that cones with that job. With they uniforms all gods should have Peppa’s spay for they safety.We needs more guards in the black neighborhood.We need wind proof uniform’s weather proof. That job is ruff and people think it’s easy. These new guards needs to be trained way better. Real Crossing help parents out alot with there children. They also stop crime in school area before it happens. So many guards that was good reports people and they came out to be sex offenders. Found missing kids crossing these streets. So don’t think real Crossing Guards she be paid under paid? The old gods have been waiting for retro money. They rob money from the old god. Any God back pay reto never got the right money for years. When Miller was around as they boss. After Miller had passed away still old gods no money for so many years are still waiting for the retro. They gave these new guards not the old gods. They doesn’t care if some had to retire. new gods got retro money ok old god was train better and the trainer got paid better. These old Gods didn’t get the original pay in full of reto money. Alot of these new guards are getting in these streets not nothing the safe of them or the kids. Old God when Miller was alive if they wasn’t ready. They had to stay with trainers for months. Until they new what the job was about. How to do they job? These new supervisors need to know how to talk to their workers with respect.We need the best out of these new ones. What ever happened to the Union money that went to giving back in December? They used to have Christmas parties with the police and fire department and other workers. We need to bring our old system back and we better pay for that hard job that job not easy we need more speed bumps to save lives. We need the meters to tell how fast cars go in the school zones the safety reasons for the Crossing Guards safety. If any guards get hit while in the school zones. The drive should be in jail. It’s like running a red light and hit that pole. Children’s safety is always important to real Crossing Guards. These parents and school rely on their children safety going to school. These guards she be making 28 dollars hr. Less guards because survivors are not training but telling the old guards how to train. The old guards was better trained. They need all the time the best medical insurance because the kind of job they have working outside in really bad weather.So please respect and do more honoring to the good crossing guard? The city doesn’t speak out crossing guards corner has less accidents in corners that don’t have a guard on it.