YONKERS, NY, July 16, 2010 — Yonkers Mayor Phil Amicone and Teamsters Local 456 Union President Edward Doyle, Jr. announced a tentative agreement late tonight that will bring back 33 laid off city workers allowing the citywide restoration of two-day per week garbage pick-up for residential customers in Yonkers beginning on Monday, July 19, 2010.
A $109 million budget deficit exacerbated by state funding cuts, the economic recession, and a lack of forward planning caused the city to institute a broad range of last minute service cuts and layoff of 145 city workers on July 1, the beginning of the city's fiscal year.
The budget cuts included moving from two-day per week garbage pick-up down to one-day and laying off 44 Teamsters, most of whom were sanitation workers in the Department of Public Works.
In the deal announced Friday, 33 of the 44 Teamsters would be rehired immediately. The job restorations would be partially paid for by a contingency fund appropriated in the city's Fiscal Year 2011 budget that was adopted on Wednesday by the Yonkers City Council and approved by the mayor on Thursday.
The agreement must still be ratified by the union's membership. A vote is expected to be held on Tuesday.
"This has been an incredibly trying budget process for everyone, especially for the laid-off workers and their families and for the residents of Yonkers who have had to endure service cuts. Today's agreement will bring back most of the Teamsters jobs that were eliminated with the expectation of bringing back the rest very soon due to the early retirement program. It was a tough negotiation that involved concessions on both sides and asking our taxpayers to pay a little more. But the leadership shown by union President Eddie Doyle, Jr., in his attempt to bring back the jobs of his members helped make this deal possible. I want to thank him for his concerted efforts," Mayor Phil Amicone said.
"The Teamsters Union realizes the seriousness of the Yonkers' budget crisis and our membership is willing to do their part to help maintain services throughout the city. After all, most of our guys also call Yonkers home. However, our main goal was to bring back the members we lost and I'm glad we were able to reach an agreement with the mayor that will do that," said union President Edward Doyle, Jr.
The practical effect of the deal will be the immediate restoration — beginning Monday, July 19 — of two-day per week garbage pick-up for residential customers. The city does not provide garbage collection for commercial customers.
The Department of Public Works is working to notify residents with automated phone messages starting this weekend. Residents are advised to visit the city website at YonkersNY.gov or contact the city's 24-hour Action Center at 377-HELP (4357).
Additional details about the garbage collection schedule will be released and published when they become available.