Citizens Budget Commission

In DSNY Life, Finance, Labor, Medical, Retirement, Sanitation Worker by Samuel RiveraLeave a Comment

A recent CBC report on garbage collection in the city found “A surprisingly high cost” and “inefficiencies that the city should address in its upcoming negotiations with Sanitation Workers”

Read the Chief article on June 6, 2014 by Mark Toor

Let me count the ways.

Should sanitation workers have to live in a city we can’t afford, yeah that’s right they are forced to live in the city or nearby where cost have gone over the roof in almost everything, its not just the poor dealing with high cost from living in this city to trying to have a family dream of improving their lot in life.

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Oh yeah!, the same people that advocate family, is the same people that don’t have a clue or just don’t care on what sanitation workers go thru in their careers to have a family life, they, the sanitation worker, have to sceam and sceam just to get to go to their children birthdays, family weddings and almost all other family functions that come in a course of a lifetime(it might not be important to you but to the sanitation workers its a big deal(OUR FAMILY). Now I know the argument that goes with this. Why take the job ? Because we pass the test and we want the best for our family, that’s why. sanitation workers don’t retired millionaires, all that is asked if for is a fair pension so we can rest our bodies that have been put thru the elements for 20-30 years.

My body, Oh! My body! Look at it this way, put a piece of metal outside for 20-30 years thru elements: The heat, cold, rain, wind and of cause the snow and see how that piece of metal looks after those many years. I know those arguments also, they should take care of their bodies better. Fatigue (material)

Example: Your first workout shouldn’t go any heavier than “just” the bar, which means the bar without any added weight. As we know from strength training equipment, a standard barbell weighs 45 lbs (20.4 kg). Now, don’t be discouraged if this seems really heavy – especially on upper body movements. When I started out, I could not bench press or overhead press an empty barbell.

Most sanitation workers start picking up 5 tons+ a day from day 1 after orientation, which in most cases is within a month after appointment.

Lest not forget the safety issues, I’m only going to list my injuries and ailments over my 24 years(17 as a Supervisor), they are sanitation workers with a worst history, mind you I smoke and I have been somewhat healthy over my life, Thank God.

First 7 years as a sanitation worker Bronchitis, Tendinitis, broken pinky(that I didn’t know I had until 3 months later) garnered on my last stop, my right foot run over by a Supervisor’s car, countless back spasms , cleaning solvent in the eye, countless sprains and of cause colds and flus. Everyone of those job related except one. I also had some close calls, fence pipe flew by my head while cycling hopper, tailgate opening on me(Thank God I was to the side of the hopper), rats jumping out on me on 3 occasions while working and I don’t forget those 2 times that a cold shill went down my back when a car went right by me while going to the truck and it just miss me by a inch or less that is never a good feeling.

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Fatigue is another thing the sanitation worker has to deal with, never mind not having time on the job, when it comes to winter nobody is safe, you are just a number. Round Robins are a norm around here(4-12,8-4 and the graveyard 12-8), the argument is go home and get some sleep, easier said than done. The 12-8 shift alone is a killer, you can sleep for 48 hours and get sleepy on that shift. My memory from a round robin I did was in my first year, went to Q7 on the 12-8 shift of the round robin and on my way back fell asleep on the left lane and woke up on the right lane overlooking the street below me on the Van Wyck Expressway , SCARY! OSHA

Forget being a Supervisor, it doesn’t get any much better, better salary but you are going to earn it and in the present day doesn’t look like a good carreer move for some, especially young families with children. There are other problems associated with this title which I think are just as bad or worst in some cases.

That’s just some of the exploits sanitation workers goes thru, that’s not counting some of the more serious things like they risk their lives with every bag they throw in, not knowing if that bag has a chemical or an object that can cause them their lives.

I know the argument, they knew what they were getting into, well I didn’t have a clue on how dangerous this job was until I lived it, and I think I’ve earned every penny of my pension. Since when has a fair pension for a job well done become a bad thing?

Now, how much do you really think this person is worth? I believe the salaries and benefits are not or should not be in question, the answer is in the atmosphere of todays politics in which I’m not even going to touch, I’ll leave that up to the professionals to answer.


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