Tuesday, January 04, 2011

As The Feds Investigate, Another Storm Approaches NYC

This is the front of our house after receiving over seventy inches of snow last month. And with less than a handful of plows our Highway Dept. kept the village streets clear and also picked up the garbage every week without a hitch. Our village workers make much less than NYC sanitation workers:
The current starting salary of a Sanitation Worker is $31,200 per year. The current labor agreement provides for periodic increases to a maximum of $67,141 after 5 1/2 years. In addition to the basic annual wages, Sanitation Workers may also earn differential payments based on their specific assignment and overtime.

It was reported that hundredsof NYC sanitation workers earn over $100,000 per year prompting outrage by NYC tax payers who have lost their jobs due to the poor perofrmance of the economy. It doesn't help that billions of federal stimulus dollars were used to shore up failing public sector union pensions funds.

According to the Manhattan Institute's "See Through New York" database of 2009 pensions, nearly 180 retired employees make over $66,000 year -- in other words, over and above the maximum salary of currently working employees. In fact, 20 retirees make upwards of $90,000 in retirement, up to $132,360.

[...]According to an October report from the Empire Center for New York State Policy, New York City has nearly $63 billion in unfunded liabilities for government retiree health benefits -- effectively shoveling $7,343 per city resident into public workers' pockets.

Councilman Dan Halloran asked the feds to look into this after nearly a half dozen City workers informed him of the job action.

The investigation by the Brooklyn U.S. Attorney's public integrity unit was prompted by Queens Councilman Dan Halloran's revelation that guilt-wracked sanitation and transportation workers had confessed an alleged work slowdown to him.

If the claim is true, the feds could examine whether wire or mail fraud statutes were violated by workers pocketing overtime pay during an illegal job action, sources said.

Of course not every worker is a lazy slug, but apparently enough are. If the union is found to be complicit in this action, look for some horrendous lawsuits that will break them. Hey, this is the Big Apple, look for lawsuits anyway.


LL said...

My first thought was that this would be a blog on global cooling and the impending ice age, quickly becoming a matter of concern to Al Gore, who has jumped on that bandwagon...

But I digress.

There is a way to solve the public union salary and pension problem. (and I'm serious about this) Pass a nationwide law making it a CRIME for public sector unions to contribute to the campaigns of politicians who can vote on salary/compensation issues.

sig94 said...

LL - Actually I was and still am a member of a public sector union (PBA) and for the most part politicians did not vote on our compensation package. Most of the time an arbitrator decided this issue as we could not find common ground with City Hall.

I feel that NY's Taylor Law should be reinvigorated to address this. If you use your job performance as a weapon against the public, you lose your job and go to jail.

As often as City Hall screwed us over (and they did that quite a bit) the PBA would never think of asking the members to ignore public safety matters. We were cops and took pride in our work.

USA_Admiral said...

The bigger cities seem infested with rot and corruption. It is startling the inability NYC to handle snow.

It makes you wonder what will happen when a real disaster happens in the big apple.

sig94 said...

Admiral - I hope and believe with all my heart that, like 9/11, there are yet many who will sacrifice for the common good.

Ajlounyinjurylaw said...

Bigger picture is Safety should come first. I would love to live in a city that has less injury and doesn't smell like garbage because of lack of resources.