Morristown Parking Authority promises jobs for displaced workers; The union says it is filing complaints

City says 7,000 summer jobs are available for Boston youth ages 14 to 18

Morristown Parking Authority This week he pledged to offer jobs to garage attendants who will be replaced by automation in the coming months.

But the union that represents the attendants and enforcement personnel who write parking tickets plans to file complaints with the state Public Labor Relations Committee.

“I advised the union’s lawyer to press charges,” Charles Hall Jr. , head of the 108th locality of Federation of Retail Stores and Department Stores, Thursday said.

Morristown Parking Authority Employees Protest Automation And Other Grievances, April 11, 2023. Photo By Kevin Coughlin

The union alleges that management negotiated in bad faith, by withholding its automation plans for three public garages until the last minute during contract talks.

Hall is seeking guarantees for severance pay and three months of extended health coverage for midwives who are unable to accept reassignment.

After a closed session of the Parking Authority’s Board of Directors on Tuesday Nicole Fox issued this statement:

Mpa Executive Director Nicole Fox At A Board Meeting, April 18, 2023. Photo By Kevin Coughlin

The Board of Directors is committed to ensuring that any cabin attendant who wishes to continue to work at the MPA obtains a job. The Board of Directors will continue to bargain in good faith with the federation to this end.”

Hall replied, “It’s good to hear that the MPA says it’s going to do the right thing for the staff.” “But let’s not forget the disregard and disrespect that happened to the staff.

“In our negotiations with the MPA, we have proposed terminating those employees who may not continue to work. The MPA has flatly refused to terminate.”

The union leader also confirmed that management has refused to provide reimbursement for medical benefits, which he said is a common request when companies are closing workers or replacing them with automation.

“Some employees may not be qualified or physically able to do the job and therefore may be laid off. Layoff attendees deserve a fair deal,” Hall said.

Union members sit outside city hall last week, accusing Fox of anti-union acts and harassment since her appointment in 2024. Fox has denied those accusations.

“The employees weren’t responsible for their own performance at work and I talked about it,” she told Morristown Green.

Hall said his locals account for about 16 MPA employees, half of whom work in garage kiosks.

PERC did not respond to a request for comment about its role in such disputes. According to Hall, “PERC’s goal is to find solutions.”

Founded in 1956, the Morristown Parking Authority is a semi-autonomous agency that operates garages on Cattano Avenue, DeHart Street, Ann/Bank, and several surface lots. It also oversees 700 metric spaces and enforces neighborhood parking permits. Parking facilities built by the MPA helped drive a downtown renaissance in Morristown.
‘apple and orange’

MPA employees who picketed last week said they barely earn minimum wage, after years of work. They noted that Fox and other top MPA officials received substantial raises.

Fox told Morristown Green that this was an “apples and oranges comparison”.

“(Management) salary scales are consistent with these positions in other public entities. However, we are actively involved in negotiations for booth attendants. I cannot adjust their wages outside of union negotiations.”

Fox insisted the MPA did not oppose the union, explaining that the letter it sent in February 2024 to employees who were considering joining was intended to make them aware of how it might complicate efforts to reach a better contract.

Mpa Law Enforcement Officer Chris Comprelli, Left, And Local Union President Charles Hall Jr., April 11, 2023. Photo By Kevin Coughlin

“Unfortunately, the point has been missed,” said Fox. “Even though the federation was approved on May 16, 2024, we just received their proposal on January 30, 2023, despite some requests for them to send it to us so we can start the negotiation process. So, at this point, we’re almost a year out with little to show for it.” .

“At no time did the MPA do anything to interfere with the union, its members, or the process…instead, we did not want a drawn-out process that we knew was likely once in the union,” Fox said via email.

She said an enforcement officer’s claim that she violated a confidentiality protection by questioning his doctor was “completely false and inaccurate,” and she defended the MPA’s efforts to verify sick-day calls, efforts that one worker said included a 3 a.m. visit to his apartment.

“When I came in as CEO, I made the issue of holding people accountable, and that includes time and attendance monitoring,” Fox said.

“All employees have been notified in advance that they will be held accountable and responsible for their job performance. As I said before, management has the right to verify sick time and employees have been forewarned to match their behavior with the rules.”