The Department of Sanitation Services in Dallas is continuing to experience a temporary laborer shortage, which has resulted in service delays since the week of June 28.
According to the Department of Sanitation Services, the shortage is primarily affecting the on-time collection of recyclables and routes that use non-automated trucks.
The laborer shortage is attributed to below market wages, compounded by the current vendor, Results Staffing, winding down operations with the City of Dallas, the Department of Sanitation Services said.
A new temporary laborer staffing agency, A & Associates, is scheduled to begin operations with the city on Aug. 16.
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This new temporary labor contract will involve a living wage increase to $15.21/hour, and it is currently scheduled for City Council consideration and approval on Aug. 11.
Dallas City Council Member Chad West said in a Facebook post that he is advocating for market-rate pay in the next budget for sanitation workers so the city can "continue to attract and retain people to do this important work."
Sanitation and the Office of Procurement Services have been working with Results Staffing since this past spring regarding contract compliance issues related to staffing availability.
Those efforts have been largely unsuccessful, the Department of Sanitation Services said, but on July 28, Results Staffing committed to continue recruiting during the wind down and transition, and also agreed to extend operations for up to two weeks to facilitate a smooth transition to A&A.
Staffing levels continued to decline, and on Aug. 4, Results Staffing notified Sanitation that they were no longer willing to extend services and would cease operations with the City on Aug. 15, the Department of Sanitation Services said.
To mitigate impacts of the situation on customers, the Department of Sanitation Services said one laborer is working on the back of trucks instead of the usual two. Sanitation truck drivers, when available, are working on the back of trucks.
The Department of Sanitation Services said that equipment and personnel, including temporary laborers, are being reassigned around the city each day to spread out service delay impacts as much as possible, so that no one area of Dallas is disproportionately impacted over others.
According to the Department of Sanitation Services, though the department is working with A&A to contact all Results Staffing employees that wish to continue working with Sanitation and facilitate the transition between the companies, the department does not believe that A&A will be fully staffed their first week.
The department said it anticipates that staffing will gradually return to normal by early September.