TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg and Senator Shirley K. Turner which would set basic standards for the privatization of public services contracts, including a requirement that privatization would yield cost savings to the taxpayers which are not based on increased charges, reduced services or lowered workforce standards, was approved by the Senate Labor Committee today by a vote of 3-2.
“Recently, there has been a major push to privatize public services, under the context that privatization can save taxpayers money,” said Senator Weinberg, D-Bergen. “However, when such privatization is done at the expense of the quality of services, or when cost savings are achieved by paying employees a substandard wage or charging the public additional fees, then we really have no place engaging in such privatization contracts. This is about ensuring the continuity of services, and protecting public employees and tax and ratepayers of New Jersey from hidden charges and wage and benefits reductions resulting from privatization contracts.”
“Our State’s public workforce provides a level of service to New Jersey’s taxpaying public at a cost that I think would be hard to match from the private sector,” said Senator Turner, D-Mercer and Hunterdon. “While there may be instances when privatization makes sense, the employees and the public must be protected and the integrity of services must be preserved. If savings cannot be achieved while adhering to these basic standards, then privatization isn’t in the best interest to New Jersey.”