The following letter is offered by Lynette Medeiros of the Hoboken Municipal Employees Association.
At a time when people should be focusing on staying healthy, Hoboken Municipal employees are now faced with the reality that they will no longer have their jobs or the security of knowing that after the COVID-19 crisis dies down, they have job security in which to return. Other employees who were not laid off were forced to retire, some after dedicating 34 plus years of service. Those employees have served Hoboken during some of the darkest times and never wavered in dedication. Employees had come to work when the City was literally burning to the ground, during hurricanes, snowstorms, and even pandemics. They were rewarded with not even a sentiment or a thank you. In fact, all they received was a callous letter that stated the City would ship their belongings FEDEX, or they should arrive at City Hall in order to return any items that are property of the City.
The other employees that were not forced into retirement or laid off will be demoted to lower positions in which they will be confronted with receiving the lowest salary range of the unfortunate individual in which they are bumping out of a position. The trickle effect is devastating. Individuals will be forced to accept salaries that do not even come close to the cost of living. Individuals and their families are going to suffer. At a time when stress and anxiety is so detrimental to the immune system, employees now have the added burden.
Instead of cutting stipends and costs in other areas, they cut long time employees and institutional knowledge that can’t be imparted. It’s unfortunate that this administration feels now is an excellent time to get rid of employees and blames and exploits the pandemic. The reality is this started way before the pandemic. The pandemic has just become another excuse for financial mismanagement and a top-heavy administration. Departments throughout the City have been decimated, and so has the morale. At a time when the country has banned together, and corporations have united to help employees, this administration chose to throw theirs in the trash.
Hoboken Municipal Employees Association