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Saturday, July 4, 2015
Working hard for their money

Part 2 of a series of articles about the Oceanside Sanitary District #7.

Hempstead town officials say that it costs more to collect garbage in Oceanside than in the remainder of the sanitary districts in the town – nearly five percent more.
Sanitary District 7 in Oceanside, one of two districts in the Town of Hempstead that does not receive sanitation services from the town itself, serves 13,000 households in Oceanside and small portions of Baldwin and East Rockaway. It also serves 950 commercial businesses and has an annual budget of about $8.65 million.
Sanitary Board members are paid $7,500 a year and receive medical benefits. According to Hempstead Town officials, the average Oceanside homeowner pays about $600 in district taxes each year.
Of that $8.65 million budget, a little more than half, $4.6 million goes for salaries and wages, commissioner compensation and various professional services, such as legal and audit fees.
Another $216, 500 goes for equipment and vehicles.
Why does it cost more to collect garbage in Oceanside?
Dan Gatto says that it’s because of the bloated salaries paid to those at the top, those who run the district for the elected five-member board.
“There is a ridiculous salary schedule in Sanitary Distrct 7,” said Gatto, who is the president of Local 854 of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the union that represents the district’s workers and who has to negotiate with the board. “The board says it has no money for the workers who actually pick up the garbage, but they have plenty for the people at the top.”
Gatto said that the workers have been without a contract since 2010 and that he cannot get the board to provide a fair contract.
“They have made two offers, both of them unacceptable to the men,” Gatto said. “While the people at the top make a lot of money, the workers at the low end make less than the sanitation workers in other districts in the town – much less.”
The union has had two fact-finding meetings and went to an arbitrator. They are awaiting the arbitrator’s report before going back to the district board for a third try.

Comments

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Sandeep

Why dont the garbagemen just quit if they think they are underpaid and working conditions are terrible.

Monday, August 5, 2013 | Report this
MBoz125

or maybe Sandeep they just shouldn't get paid well below the poverty level like the article says

Monday, August 5, 2013 | Report this
schools

Two problems with Oceanside, those at the top are extremely overcompensated and garbage pick up 3 days a week Is an unnecessary cost when other jurisdictions have 2 a week, Why exactly do taxpayers need to fund health plans and a salary of $7500 for commissioners that meet 3 times a year, absurd.

Monday, August 5, 2013 | Report this
Sandeep

If they are paid poverty level they should quit.

What is often not mention they dont quit in spite of low salaries because they have amazing benefits, and a pension and free medical for life.

They abandoned Oceanside after Sandy and left whole town to fend for themselves. If they had half a brain they would have worked around the clock after Sandy even donating their own time working for free if they had too.

Then hit the town up for a big raise a few months later while we were all thankful.

They are like the employee who shows up late and drunk asking for a raise. The time to ask for raise if after you did unpaid overtime, came in on weekends etc.

Tell you what double their pay. Fire the board and commissioners and cancel their free medical for life and pensions.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013 | Report this
Gforrights

Did you really just say why don't they just quit? They have families to feed, bills to pay, mortgages, etc. It's not that easy to go out and just find a job. Have you seen the job market, lately? You're missing the entire point of these articles. These guys work harder than most people I know and they're NOT compensated for it. Yes they get benefits and a pension, but most jobs offer that. Their dental is horrible and offers hardly anything while the commissioners and supervisors have the BEST dental you can get. Their pension is based on what they make, so when you're making $25,000 a year, how much do you think their pension will be? Stop judging and making comments about something you know absolutely NOTHING about! And they abandoned Oceanside? I hope you're not referring to the actual loaders and drivers? They were out at 4am and getting home sometimes around 6 or 7 cleaning up these streets. A lot of these guys lost their homes and belongings and still came to work. Unless you were out with these guys, route to route, picking up ENTIRE homes that lay on the curb, then don't judge or say they abandoned Oceanside. You have to realize also, people for months, were laying mounds of garbage in front of their homes. When one street got cleaned, the next day, it was full again. When you have 44 guys on trucks, it's not that easy to clean up a community in one day. They did the best they could. The ones who abandoned Oceanside, were the commissioners and supervisor who decided to go into hiding while the loaders and drivers did all the work. Another big issue that you're overlooking is that these guys have gone almost 3 years without a contract or a raise. While not receiving a contract or raise, they still come to work and clean our streets. Tell me why other districts salaries are double what these guys are making? They pick up the same amount of garbage if not more! The problem lies with the supervisors and commissioners, it always has. Do not blame the worker who gets $25,000 a year a say they should quit their job.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013 | Report this
lifelongER

If an administrator is among the highest paid public employees in the region and employs some of the lowest paid in the region, that's indicative of a problem. Let me save you some time determining what the problem isn't; it isn't that those on the lower end haven't quit yet.

If you're going to run a political machine, at least have the decency to pay liveable wages.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013 | Report this
Sandeep

Very few people have dental at all. Most companies do not provide it. Also Town of Hempsted trucks came by and picked up garbage after Sandy I never saw an Oceanside truck.

Yes folks who make 25k should quit their job. My garage men are well dressed, professionally, looking guys in shape who work hard and are for most part speak perfect English and all look like US citizens and most are either White or Black. They look like they could be bond traders or personal trainers.

Why do they work for 25k is my questions. With all rebuilding after Sandy if they did construction for instance they could easily make 100t to 200K a year. Heck GM pays folks in Rockville Centre to sell GMC trucks on average 100K a year with benefits.

They also have truck drivers licenses and they make almost 100K a year. Heck I bet they could even take nassau CC classes at night for free.

It is not an insult why dont they quit. I would never tell an overweight middle aged ilegal who barely spoke English to quit a 25K job, it is just they are qualified, healthy, young, professional Why do they work for 25K. Even better why did they apply for the job?

Heck why not be a Cop or a NYC Sanitation man. My buddy is a NYC garbage man and in year 20 he made 100K a year. Why are they doing this job. Just quit.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013 | Report this
lifelongER

If these were private sector jobs, your argument might hold water. However, the taxpayers have expressed their dissatisfaction with the undercompensation of workers and wild overcompensation of administrators. What do you plan to do about that?

Wednesday, August 7, 2013 | Report this
Gforrights

At Sandeep, the TOH did come in and assist, we are all very grateful for that but if you didn't see an Oceanside truck then I am sorry, you obviously weren't in Oceanside for the entire duration of the Sandy clean up because they were out day and night cleaning up our streets. The TOH was called in because we needed help. These guys couldn't clear the streets quick enough with all the devastation that occurred in Oceanside. Did you drive around and actually look at what the streets looked like? Practically every block had devastation, some more sever than others. There were blocks being cleared and then full again the very next day. You had construction workers putting their clean up on the curb for the Oceanside Sanitation to pick up when they are supposed to dump it themselves. This became a huge issue, which lead to many delays. Home owners were notified that they needed dumpsters for large clean ups and if they had construction workers there, those workers needed to supply the home owner with a dumpster. A lot of these construction workers put it on the curb to avoid dumping fees. These guys, despite having these issues, still picked up the garbage. We are a private garbage sector, the TOH has probably triple the amount of trucks. No one knew this was going to happen, let alone the drivers and loaders. The problem was the commissioners and supervisor Scarlata had NO plan whatsoever in place just in case something like this occurred and with all the warnings that we received weeks before this, they should have had something! They should have called the TOH earlier, instead the TOH came because WE the Oceanside residents begged for help and not just because garbage wasn't being picked up soon enough but because we knew these guys, the loaders and drivers, needed HELP! So please refrain from false statements that you didn't see one Oceanside truck, that is just ridiculous. And Sandeep, these are garbage men. They pick up our nasty, gross garbage.... why would they be dressed looking like bond traders? That doesn't even make sense. They wear specific uniforms that protect them from waste and hazardous materials. Their uniforms are always tucked in and neat but you can't expect someone who is picking up tons of garbage to look like he works on wall street. And I don't know where you are going with the "speaking perfect English" statement, but I can assure you that everyone that works at Sanitation District 7, all speak English! They are for the most part all Oceanside residents or were at one point. They are friends and family members and some have been there for decades. Even guys there that have been employed for 25+ years max out at around $65-$70,000. You honestly think after putting in 25+ years for a district, that you should max out at $70,000? When your supervisors, some who have been with the district for half that time, are making $100,000+ a year? Again, the job market sucks! SUCKS! These guys should not have to quit their job, lose their benefits and what they have worked so hard for, for many years, just to make the money that they are supposed to be making with district 7. They are severely underpaid and this is why these articles are being written. To make people aware of what is going on and get these guys what they deserve, not so that they should quite their jobs.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013 | Report this
osfd442

At Gforrights, you hit the nail right on the head.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013 | Report this
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