Letter to the Editor: Repeal Project Labor Agreements Ordinance

parsippany focus

parsippany focusDear Editor:

At the most recent Parsippany Town Council meeting (October 18) a majority of the council caved to organized labor to pass Ordinance 2022:24 requiring the use of PLAs for any project over 5 million dollars. I was in the minority and part of a Goliath fight attempting to sway the majority of council members toward a position that protects the financial interests of Parsippany residents. Unlike David, we did not prevail; at least for now.

I believe my experience as a former union member (Local 333 and M.E.B.A.-2) and current employee in the public sector provides a unique and balanced perspective that is sensitive to both sides. I support the rights of all workers to earn a fair wage. Moreover, they are entitled to fair labor practices and safe working conditions. Their skills and technical abilities are admirable.

However, after listening to the majority at Tuesday night’s meeting, one might believe that hiring union workers precludes cost overruns, ensures the timely completion of projects, and guarantees quality workmanship. My experience proves different. In fact, cost overruns, and delays are so common in the public sector they are expected. Furthermore, if a newly completed project fails, the architect is likely the one accountable, not the workers.

Tuesday, October 18 was a sad night for Parsippany residents who were let down by the Mayor and the majority of the Town Council, elected to protect the fiduciary interests of the Town and its residents. My hope is that the fight to keep Parsippany fiscally solvent is not over. I encourage Parsippany residents to rally around Justin Muscella, the only council member with the courage to stand up against “Goliath,” and repeal Ordinance 2022:24 that requires the use of PLAs for contractual work above 5 million dollars.

Richard Corbett