New York, NY – Storm Hit City On Eve of 100 Sanitation Supervisor’s Demotion


    New York, NY – The snowstorm that paralyzed New York this week struck just before 100 of the supervisors coordinating the city’s plowing fleet were to be demoted to lower-paying jobs in a budget-cutting move.

    The timing of the demotions, scheduled for Jan. 1, ignited speculation that disgruntled sanitation department foremen had purposely sabotaged snow removal.

    “I don’t think it took place, but we are going to do an investigation to make sure that it didn’t,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Thursday.

    Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty said he was also concerned, but had seen no sign of a job action, just dedicated workers. The heads of the unions that represent sanitation supervisors and rank and file workers said the rumors were false and insulting.

    The demotions would cost the supervisors about $5,000 in base pay and, combined with the elimination of another 100 similar positions through attrition, are supposed to save the city $20 million a year.

    The Sanitation Officers Association, which represents about 1,000 supervisors, has been fighting the demotions in court.

    Joseph Mannion, the union’s president, said the supervisory shake-up hurt snow removal.

    Many positions for foremen have already been eliminated, he said, which meant fewer people available to coordinate the fleet.

    Part of the city’s reorganizing plan had also been to use some of the savings in management costs to hire 100 new uniformed sanitation workers, meaning fewer people would be overseeing plows and more workers would be driving them.

    Bloomberg dismissed the concerns Thursday.

    “The budget had nothing to do with this,” he said. “We thought we had an adequate number of people, an adequate number of training and the right equipment.”

    Mannion and Harry Nespoli, president of the Teamster’s local that represents sanitation workers including plow drivers, also denied a city councilman’s claims that sanitation workers’ bosses encouraged a slowdown.

    Dan Halloran, a Republican council member from Queens, said no one was explicitly ordered to leave streets unplowed, but three sanitation workers told him that certain supervisors made it clear that workers who slacked off wouldn’t be punished.

    “They were told, ‘If you miss streets, you’re not going to be written up,'” said Halloran. “‘You’re not going to get checked up on. Take your time.'”

    Nespoli said his drivers wouldn’t follow an instruction to sandbag a job.

    “If they are doing it over a radio, anybody, then it is recorded,” he said. “My members are out there working, and they are plowing.”

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    1. This is Bloomberg’s way of saying its not my fault blame the union

      The fact is its not the union’s fault that Bloomberg didn’t declare a snow emergency

      Its not the unions fault that Bloomberg unlike Giuliani didn’t call in the National Gourd

      Nice try Mr. Mayer !!!!!!

    2. lets do math…
      100 demotions x $5,000 pay decrease – total – $500,000 city saving. the total of savings has to be $20,000,000…are you telling me that $19,500,000 is saved from 100 less employees – that would be, AND CHECK THIS OUT! that they avg $195,000 a year…
      ARE YOU FRIGGIN KIDDING ME!?!?!?!?!?!?!

      • Why don’t people read before they curse and shoot their mouth. It clearly says that they will also be losing 100 more positions through attrition. When you include a supervisors pay of over $120,000 plus the Citys portion of Fica plus a $25,000 health insurance policy plus pension costs for each employee, the total cost of eliminating an employee reaches close to the $200,000 range.

        Thats why the City is broke. The base pay does not even include overtime mandated by their union which is prohibitive. (They also work the longest hours in the last year before retirement so that they get more money from pensions than they made as a working employee). On top of that add their fringe benefits, it simply kills the tax payers. I don’t necessarily like Bloomberg. But this is not his fault it is the City and State officials that sell themselves to the unions prior to every election. The State is even worse than the City.

        • Please correctly read my comment before shooting off your mouth. The math of $195,000 is based on the estimated income packages of thos jobs that are lost thru attrition…We agree, these ridiculous packages of union employees is the reason our city is broke, I would just appreciate someone being able to read and process information correctly before being critical for no reason..

      • they factor in at least 43% on top of salary for benefits (health ins, pension etc) and even of the 20 mil is inflated – it just cost the city ie u and me, hundereds in millions in lawsuits.

    3. Nespoli’s words are mere rhetoric. The proof is in the pudding. Never before has the NYDS produced such dismal results in response to a snow storm. Actions speak louder than words. I invite the union leader to produce concrete proof which substanciates his remarks. The evidence of the poor performance by the NYDS and of eyewittness accounts seem to contradict everything Nespoli has said.

    4. The first 24 hours makes all the difference and Bloomberg messed up the first 24 hours and after that everything is downhill and impossible to catch up later.

      1) Bloomberg messed up in the first 24 hours with not calling it a Snow Emergency to and stop all busses and trains off the road.

      Not doing that makes them all get stuck and then it takes 1,000 more works and 5 days to pull out the stuck vehicles.

      A Snow Emergency announcement by Bloomberg would have saved us 5 days worth of towing disabled cars busses and trucks.

      2) Bloomberg gave the orders form city hall to not allow overtime – i.e. not allow sanitation workers to be fully waiting and slating BEFORE storm dumped the snow.

      Losing the first 24 hours makes all the difference.

      If you do the first 24 hours correctly then within 24 to 48 hours all roads are clear.

      If you loose the first 24 hours, then it takes a week to two weeks to make up for the error.

      It’s almost a week later and we are not yet finished “making up” for Bloomberg’s first 24 hours of neglect.

      Don’t blame the unfortunate “fast snow fall” because L.I., NJ and Conn and Pen. all had the same amount of snow and they didn’t mess up like Bloomberg.

    5. Remember what President Reagan did to the Air Traffic Controllers that went on strike – HE FIRED THEM!!!!!!!!!!! and that’s what we need to do to the “Garbage” Head and ALL THE SUPERVISORS. The city will find new ones – all they need is a High School Diploma and there are many HS graduates looking for jobs.

    6. It is quite obvious from his actions that he not only deserved the demotion he deserves to be fired. Lets all demand that he gets what he deserved. The people of this fine city did NOT get what THEY deserved.


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