NJ MVC closed today due to furloughs

May 18, 2009 4:09:44 PM PDT
The New Jersey Motor Vehicles Commission spent a day out of commission.Workers had to take a furlough, meaning they were not at work and were not getting paid.

While the move saved millions of dollars for New Jersey, a lot of people were less than happy.

That's the reaction of some people who came to the Baker's Basin Motor Vehicle agency in Lawrence today looking to do business.

It wasn't until they reached the door that they learned from a paper taped to the glass that MVC offices statewide were closed.

2,400 state employees who work for Motor Vehicles all took a mandatory day off with no pay by order of Gov. Jon Corzine. Customers weren't happy about it.

"We can't get no registration, no change of title, no nothing," said Frank Marano of Newark.

"It's annoying. It's really annoying. I mean, if they said something on the radio or TV or something, any kind of notification that it wouldn't be open, it would be as bad," said Diana Maurer of Ewing. "But, to come all the way out here, it's ridiculous.

Most state workers must take 2 unpaid furlough days, which Governor Corzine says may save up to $25 million.

"There are furloughs going on across the country. This is not unique to New Jersey," Corzine said.

Corzine says furloughs are preferable to layoffs.

But at a demonstration in Trenton today members of the state workers union CWA said these unpaid days are still hurting employees.

"When you talk about shared pain, let's talk about who's taking the pain now. We're taking the pain," said Rae Roeder of CWA Local 1033.

"I'm cutting my food to be able to pay my mortgage, my light bill, the car payment, insurance," said Bessie Reyes, an MVC employee.

Some people who found the motor vehicle agencies locked today say theyre feeling the same pinch, losing money themselves after taking a day off from work for nothing.

"I lost my license and had to get a new one, so obviously I had to take off work, and now I'm out money," said Jess Tindall of Robbinsville.

"I understand the state needs to save money, but it's such an imposition for all the other people affected," said Sandra Holland of West Windsor.

All motor vehicle offices will reopen on Tuesday.

Inspection stations, even the ones next door to MVC offices, were open today. That's because they're privately run businesses.

The next wave of state furloughs comes on Friday, when 28 state agencies and commissions are off the clock.

Monday is the Memorial Day holiday, and then another seven agencies are furloughed Tuesday.

Each worker will also face a second furlough day next month.

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