mayoral candidate Catherine Garcia She says she supports pay equity, but during her six years as the city’s sanitation commissioner, she presided over a two-tier system that enlisted women and minorities in low-paying enforcement jobs, while white , male counterparts did the same work for higher pay and better benefits. Federal discrimination complaint fee.
“She has a good campaign going on, but in the department when she was dealing with sanitation, she didn’t help women or help with equal work or equal pay,” Dameka Dowdy told The Post.
“She was in a position to bring it to light, and she did nothing.”
Dowdy, a 48-year-old Bronx resident, is one of 13 sanitation enforcement agents who have filed a U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission claim against an agency claiming unequal pay.
The complaint was filed in February, months before Garcia endorsed The New York Times. got up in the election. He is now in the top tier of the June 22 primary candidates alongside Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and entrepreneur Andrew Yang.
Agents at the EEOC say that another agency division, the Sanitation Police, also issues summons, investigates complaints and enforces regulations — but they get paid twice the salary, unlimited sick time, prescription drug coverage and more. Get generous pension.
Unlike enforcement agents, police own guns and hold commercial drivers’ licenses.
“We’re different groups inside the department but when we’re doing the same thing, it’s crazy that there is disparity,” Dowdy said.
Sanitation police are political appointments drawn from a group of existing sanitation workers, making them largely white and male. Enforcement agents are civil servants hired from outside the department. They are mainly women and minorities.
The department introduced enforcement agents in 1981 to open a new front in its “war on war”. Agents were tasked with imposing fines on traders and landlords for dirty footpaths.
Sanitation police were to be freed up to focus on more serious violations, such as illegal dumping investigations, but they still did many of the tasks performed by their enforcement counterparts, from providing security at department facilities to ticketing dog walkers. tend to fail to clean up animal droppings. .
According to a copy of the EEOC complaint, police are paid an average of $77,000 after five years on the job. Dowdy, a black woman, makes only $50,000 after 15 years. Black and Hispanic male coworkers who are over 30 years old at the job earn a maximum of $57,000.
As a Mayor Candidate García Demand for better treatment of women workers.
“Women now need #equal pay. full stop,” she tweeted on March 24 In celebration of Equal Pay Day.
A month later, Garcia called on another agency for discriminatory practices.
“NYC’s foster care system disproportionately impacts black and low-income families and deepens the cycle of poverty. When a system produces racist and economically discriminatory results, that system needs justice and respect. Must be redesigned to serve everyone with.” tweeted in april.
Carmelita Gordon-Fleetwood, another black agent involved in the EEOC, said, “I find it so funny that she’s running for mayor and even saying that when enforcement doesn’t have some help with her. came, he wiped it away as if we were nothing.” matter.
According to an article by the Chief Leader, when agents held a rally in 2017 to push for equal status with the Sanitation Police, a spokesman for the then Commissioner García said that this was not possible as they would be appearing for a separate civil services examination. give.
Sandra Castro said, “I think that’s very unfair, and I think at least some of us should have been given a chance, if you’re not going to pay at least that, Give me a chance to join the circle.” who is also a black enforcement agent.
Philip Seelig, an attorney for the agents, who plans to file a class action lawsuit against the Department of Sanitation this summer after the claim is reviewed by the EEOC, said Garcia had the power to push for change.
Selig, one-time president of the Correction Officers Benevolent Association, worked with the former Corrections Department Commissioner Benjamin Ward In the early 1980s under Mayor Ed Koch to push for pension reform for his largely minority workforce.
“Commissioners can advocate and they can speak,” Seelig told The Post.
“She either turned a blind eye or wasn’t looking at the store and that’s her responsibility as commissioner,” Selig said.
A spokesperson for the sanitation department said that the two jobs are very different.
“Sanitation police are peace officers who carry firearms, and must have a commercial driver’s license so that in a snow emergency, they can be pulled from their normal duties and assigned to plow.
Spokesman Joshua Goodman said, “None of this is the case with sanitation enforcement agents, who are instrumental in complying with conditions and issuing citations, but cannot force a change in behavior and heavy machinery.” not authorized to operate.
Goodman said Garcia worked to close the pay gap by advocating for enforcement agents to get extra marks on the sanitation worker civil service exam so they would be eligible to become department cops and earn higher salaries.
“As a woman leading a majority male workforce, Katherine Garcia worked hard to change the system to recruit, promote, and retain a diverse team that reflects New York City,” of her campaign. The spokesperson, Annika Reno, told The Post.
“The numbers are doing their thing; the number of heads of color under Commissioner García nearly doubled to become a quarter of the department’s leadership. He also tweaked the department’s recruitment process to reach more under-represented communities. changed and as a result more black applicants than any other ethnic group took the final sanitation test,” Reno said.
“As mayor, Catherine will direct the city’s office of labor relations to negotiate with the SEA union to work toward equal pay,” Reno said.
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