This street sweeper owned by the city of Calexico is expected to be retired in January when the city waste hauler, Republic Services/Allied Waste, takes over street sweeping under a new contract. The driver of the sweeper has been reassigned to street painting. | Photo courtesy of city of Calexico
CALEXICO — A Calexico employee at the center of a squabble between a union and the city over the contracting out of street-sweeping services could have his position eliminated and be assigned to another, better-paying job, it has been learned.
To make the reassignment
official, the city council was expected to consider the matter at its Dec. 18
meeting, which was held after this newspaper’s deadline.
The proposal, according
to the meeting agenda, is to eliminate the street-sweeper position, reclassify
the employee to street painter and the revise the painter position’s salary
schedule to reflect a new range of pay.
“It’s a plus for him. We’re happy. But it took
a lot of negotiating. Really, there’s no other position in his area of what he
was doing,” said Lorena Minor, president of the Calexico Municipal Employees’
Association, which represents the employee.
The worker, who is a
27-year employee of the city, does not wish to comment or be named, Minor said.
The employee is already
working as a street painter and another employee is driving the sweeper until
it is retired at the end of the year, City Manager David Dale said.
The street-sweeping job will
be a casualty of the city’s new trash contract with Republic Services/Allied
Waste that will take effect Jan. 1. It includes an annual $245,000
street-sweeping component, a key element of the city’s Downtown Action Plan
designed to revitalize the embattled retail area.
The street-sweeping agreement
between Republic/Allied and the city will see the private firm provide two sweepers
and drivers to clean downtown streets three times a week and other streets the
rest of time.
The city has one outdated
and often broken-down sweeper, with one city employee assigned to drive it. It
covers the entire city, which Dale said often takes more than a month, and has
frequent break downs.
In negotiating the
contract with Republic/Allied, city officials conceded the fate of the sweeper
driver was not initially considered. Union officials got involved and
temporarily delayed the contract while talks were held to get the driver
another position, Minor said Dec. 12.
“This was a win for us …
it just took too long in my eyes,” Minor said. “At
the end of the day, the city manager was really open minded and ready to help this
said her only complaint is the salary schedule for street painter would be reduced from what it was before the position
was eliminated in 2011.
Dale confirmed the affected city employee would get paid five percent more than
what he was making as a street sweeper, Minor challenged that is 10 percent
less than what the painter position called for in 2011.
monthly salary range for street painter would be $2,945 to $3,580, according to
information in the agenda from city human resources manager Denise
agenda does not include what a street painter was formerly paid. However, the
information does show the monthly salary range for what will be the eliminated
street-sweeper post is $2,803 to $3,407.
The changes in salary
would cost the city an additional $1,547 for the remainder of the 2019-20
fiscal year, which ends June 30, according to Garcia. The costs would be paid
for from the city’s gas tax fund.