If Referendum Fails, Layoffs Could Begin May 13
Notices went out to township employees Tuesday
The township has notified 171 employees that they may be laid off May 13, officials confirmed Tuesday.
The layoff notices went out Tuesday in order to comply with a state civil service law that requires notice to be given 45 days before layoffs can start. In a plan submitted to the state Department of Civil Service earlier this month, township officials said that if a planned referendum allowing the township to exceed a 2 percent tax levy cap does not gain the support of voters, all 171 employees will be laid off in order to meet the cap. If the referendum passes, no layoffs will occur.
If the referendum – which will appear alongside a separate ballot measure April 27 asking voters to approve next year’s school budget – does not pass, some employees will most likely be let go on May 13, but some will stay on for a few weeks as the township reorganizes its operations.
“Many, many people will probably go on that date or around that date,” said Mayor Stephen C. Acropolis, referring to May 13. Some employees, he said, such as those who handle trash and recycling pickup, will continue for anywhere between two weeks and one month. During that time, Acropolis said, the township council will most likely pass ordinances mapping out how residents will handle using private haulers to undertake sanitation services.
John Menshon, leader of the local branch of the Transport Workers Union - which represents the bulk of the township workers – confirmed layoff notices were handed out Tuesday to employees, including himself.
Acropolis said that although the exact number of employees to be laid off could change slightly due to retirements, large-scale township services such as trash pickup and recreation programs would not be salvaged unless the referendum, which will seek approximately $8.4 million in excess of cap from voters, passes.
“There are some people who think that if the referendum fails, Brick will pull a rabbit out of its hat and we'll actually keep the programs. They say it’s a scare tactic,” Acropolis said. “Well, I'm not a good bluffer. I don't play cards.”