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Tentative Deal Keeps Toll Collections on New Jersey Turnpike and Parkway in Union Control

(New two-year deal leaves toll collections on New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway in Union control.)

(New two-year deal leaves toll collections on New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway in Union control.)

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NEW JERSEY (CBS) – It appears toll collection on the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway will remain in the hands of unionized workers thanks to a new two-year deal that is being ratified by two unions and the Turnpike Authority.

Word was four of the seven authority board members were prepared to vote against any private company taking over. Professional and Technical Engineers Local 194 president Fran Ehret had offered several multi-million dollar concession packages over the last few months but heard nothing until now.

“They ended up giving us a proposal and it was take it or leave it. They gave us a very short window of opportunity, 24 hours to sign it and just till Monday evening to ratify it,” Ehret said.

The tentative agreement lowers salaries for full-time toll collectors to just over $49,000 a year. By the time it expires it is thought both the Turnpike and the Parkway might be ready to begin total electronic toll collection, no cash.

Ehret believes the deal will give her members time to find other jobs within the Authority.

Reported by David Madden, KYW Newsradio