October 4, 2015

Raise pay for sanitation workers in Oxford

Published 9:32 am Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Citizens of Oxford, I invite you to join me in expressing our appreciation of the city’s sanitation workers — those who tend our garbage, recyclables, home rubbish and garden debris. How fortunate we are to have such services that remove from our premises anything we want to discard!

No matter how heavy the furniture we set on the curb, no matter how many thorns or how much poison ivy in our garden trash, no matter how rotten our kitchen garbage! Nothing is left behind for us to mess with.

Our sanitation workers begin at approximately $12 per hour. I propose a significant annual raise for all of them. I know their pay scale is a little above the national average, but I think a higher pay scale for our sanitation workers is an ideal place to begin to honor the work of all who give an honest day’s labor.

I propose a $100 per month salary increase for these workers, with that amount deducted first from the monies set aside for raises for city employees before others are given increases. Further, I propose that same increase for the next five years. Let’s think about ‘living wage’ at the same time we’re concerned about ‘affordable housing.’ I urge you to please contact your mayor and aldermen and request a substantial raise for our sanitation workers. (The Board votes on the budget on Sept. 8.) Let us use our influence to let our garbage collectors know meritoriously of our appreciation.

Everyone wins when wages are decent. All have an adequate standard of living, and all have self-respect as citizens of the community.

Ann G. O’Dell