October 31, 2014
By Joe Maniscalco
New York, NY – Friday, October 31, is Halloween – but it’s also the deadline to register for the upcoming Sanitation Workers test. The most popular civil service exam in New York City hasn’t been offered in seven years, and people of color and women are being strongly urged to take advantage of this opportunity to further diversify the ranks.
“Currently, less then half of Sanitation workers are people of color,” Councilman Antonio Reynoso [D-34th District] said on Thursday. “And less than two percent are women. We’re calling on all interested New Yorkers to apply for this exam in order to increase the diversity of the Sanitation workforce.”
About 75,000 people have already registered for the Sanitation Workers exam, but Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez [D-10th District] said that he wants to see that number double.
“This is a good job,” Councilman Rodriguez said. “And not only because of the services the men and women provide cleaning our streets and picking up our garbage.”
The starting salary for Department of Sanitation workers is $33,746 per year, and can jump to $69,339 over the course of 5 1/2 years.
Applicants ultimately need to obtain at least a GED and a commercial drivers license by the time they’re appointed, but they can take the February exam without having either requirement.
The size of the Sanitation Department’s workforce has increased significantly since last February when union head Harry Nespoli called for the hiring of 400 additional workers to deal with increasingly harsh New York City winters.
According to Councilman Reynoso, the workforce now stands at 6400.
The department offers a wide variety of positions in addition to garbage collection, including enforcement agents and mechanics. High rates of attrition means that that many more positions are regularly available.
“We’re talking about an opportunity whether you have a high school diploma or you don’t have a high school diploma,” said Councilman Andy King [D-12th District], co-chair of the Black, Latino & Asian Caucus. “The qualifications just to get your name on the test is very simple. There’s no better job than one where you’re able to get a good salary, benefits and be part of a union that’s going to protect your rights.”
To find out more about the Sanitation workers exam, click NYC.gov/examsforjobs.