Toll collector suicided over NJ Turnpike pay cuts - union
The head of the union representing toll collectors on the New Jersey Turnpike says pay cuts were the cause of a suicide. Patrick Kelly, 58 a toll collector at the Turnpike for 26 years killed himself with a gun July 16. Franceline Ehret president of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers Local 194 is quoted in the Newark Star Ledger as saying Kelly's family believed he killed himself on account of financial problems exacerbated by Turnpike pay cuts.
Base pay for collectors is being brought down from $65,000/year to $49,500 in two yearly installments under an agreement between the Turnpike and the union. The Turnpike proposed to outsource toll collection to a contractor. Contractors can get qualified people to do toll collection for much less than the Turnpike paid.
The pay cuts were part of a deal to stave off outsourcing of toll collection.