City Sanitation Agreement Still Raising Concern

(Memphis) Memphis Sanitation workers  could be adding 100 more stops to their routes.

It’s part of a tentative agreement signed between the union and the City of Memphis  Monday. The agreement also calls for some new trucks and the creation of a supplemental retirement plan for senior workers.

AFSCME Union Vice President-Elect Keith Johnson was at the table with pen in hand, but now admits, no one ever got the sanitation workers input on working more.

“You have to get a response from the people who are out here and gonna actually do the work. They have to be a part of the process,” said Johnson.

He said the workers have a lot of concern over how 100 stops can be added when workers aren’t being added.

AFSCME’s  Executive Director says workers haven’t been in on discussions because it’s still in the planning.

Right now the plan is to shift crews and add more workers to a truck.
City Council members who didn’t know about the principal agreement also have questions about the cost.

“What we don’t want to do is increase the fees then 2 or 3 years down the road have to increase them again to make sure funding is there for the retirement plan. We don’t want to do that,” said Collins.

Councilman Harold Collins says it’s an emotional issue since everyone wants to make sure older sanitation workers get benefits so they can retire in dignity.

“If it don’t work then you can’t come back here and work. They are not gonna say OK you retired one year ago, we are gonna let you come back because the plan didn’t work,” said Johnson.

The city and union say the principal agreement is just a starting point and will be fine tuned.

It will be back before the city council September 3.

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