Councilman Musella Starts Petition Against Parsippany’s Labor Agreement

Over 300 signatures were collected in 24 hours; Taxpayers unite petition to repeal project-labor agreement mandate

Parsippany-Troy Hills Mayor James Barberio holds up a copy of the mailer sent to all Parsippany residents to repeal the PLA

PARSIPPANY — A petition to reverse the heavy-handed and expensive blanket Project Labor Agreements (PLA) started circulating throughout Parsippany. In the petition, residents are demanding Parsippany officials who supported the PLA to make more sensible decisions around the use of public funds to benefit Parsippany residents, and not to cave into out-of-town, political interest groups.

The petition flyer was mailed to all Parsippany residents
The petition flyer was mailed to all Parsippany residents

On October 18, the Parsippany Township Council voted 4-1 to mandate blanket project labor agreements for all township capital projects over $5 million. Under this approved PLA sanction, taxpayers will be paying 25-37% more for major township development projects during this time of severe inflation and potential recession the township and country are experiencing. The cost overrun estimates are based on the increased project costs in towns that have already adopted PLA mandates, such as Toms River and Montclair. (Click here to read a related article)

The PLA means that municipal public-works projects costing at least $5 million must have a pre-established collective bargaining agreement. This gives certain unionized workforces advantages in obtaining contracts for these projects.

Supporters have said the agreement helps guarantee skilled labor and eliminates delays that can arise from labor conflicts or worker shortages. But critics, including Musella and many residents, say such arrangements will drive up costs for the township trying to work its way out of budgetary woes.

The Petition’s goal is to convey to the Councilpersons who supported the PLA that this culture of overburdening taxpayers with pricey mandates is causing community members financial harm while driving other residents out of town to less expensive areas.

Musella wants to obtain 1,000 signatures before making a case to the council and Mayor James Barberio to reverse course on the project labor agreement ordinance. At the time this article was written, almost 24 hours after the petition was started there were over 300 signatures.

The audience attending the Council Meeting on Tuesday, November 22.

At the council meeting on Tuesday, November 22, Mayor James Barberio responded “I got the letter today with regards to the PLA, the repeal of the PLA. There’s a lot of misinformation that the councilman is spreading out there with regard to the PLA and the residents don’t know all the facts. I don’t want the residents of Parsippany to be misinformed. There is an organization called the ABC, Associated Buildings and Construction and their propaganda keep going out. I haven’t seen one member of them come here to ask the council any questions whatsoever. None whatsoever. So maybe they’re using the Councilman as a piece to do that. Don’t know.”

Parsippany Focus emailed each council member and Mayor Barberio on Tuesday for written comment, but there was no response from the four council members who voted for the PLA, nor the Mayor.

Residents can simply click here to sign the petition.

Union workers met at International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 102, 50 Parsippany Road, on Tuesday, October 18, and drove in caravans to Parsippany Hills High School to attend the Council Meeting. The meeting was moved to the high school due to the large number of union members expected to attend. Pictured is a truck with the Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters logo. A large video sign on the side of the truck displayed the image “PLA ALL THE Way.”
Vehicles owned by International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 102 were parked at Parsippany Hills High School on October 18