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Working hard for their money
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“[The board has] a union-busing attitude, and we have no hammer. We can’t strike under the Taylor Law, and we do the best we can to get a fair contract for the workers, but it is impossible to get anywhere with them. I have been with the local for 20 years and have never seen anything like this,” Gatto added.
At the low end, Gatto said, workers earn $23,000 a year, causing many of them to need second jobs to support their families.
“That is below the state’s poverty level,” Gatto pointed out.
At the top end, a worker with more than 20 years at the district can earn about $70,000, he said.
“Our workers got a bad rap after Sandy,” Gatto said. “You can’t put furniture in garbage truck, and everybody’s life possessions was piled at the curb after the storm. It was like trying to put a band-aid on a gunshot wound. We worked all sorts of overtime and the men were promised a new contract, a good contract, if they went out and worked the overtime that was necessary to get things done. They came in a 4 in the morning and went home late even though their homes and families were devastated as well. The promise was never kept. The men got promises of more hours rather than raises.”
“We were just strung along,” he concluded.
Insiders, who asked not to be identified because they fear retribution, say that air conditioners were removed from the trucks to save money, but that foremen and other supervisors get new air-conditioned SUVs. In addition, they say, the men get no lunch break nor any other breaks during the work day and often have to work in 100-degree heat.
According to Gatto, there are nine foreman for 47 workers, a ratio higher than that even of the New York City Sanitation Department. Those foreman, insiders say, earn upwards of $100,000 a year.
And, while the district provided a two-page budget to the Herald without enumerating individual salaries or expenses, a town audit three years ago revealed that Charles Scarlata, the district supervisor was earning more than $200.000 a year at that time. In addition, according to that audit, Scarlata was due a deferred compensation package of $25,000 a year for 15 years after he leaves the district.


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

Monday, August 5, 2013 | Report this

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

Monday, August 5, 2013 | Report this

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, August 7, 2013 | Report this
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