Monday, August 9, 2010

Rats And Bedbug Complaints Increase; Pest Control Aides Eliminated

After posting video of a 'Rat Zoo' in Collect Pond Park that was widely reported on elsewhere in the news, a reader emailed to comment on recent layoffs affecting 70% of all city Pest Control Aides by the Dept. of Health, in effect decimating the department in all five boroughs. Zita Allen, with District Council 37 of American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees, noted: "Isn’t it ironic that the NYC rat problem comes just months after the Dept. of Health laid off 70% of the city’s Pest Control Aides."

According to Allen, Manhattan had only six CPCAs for the entire borough; four have been laid off, leaving just two. CPCAs work to prevent not only rats, but bed bugs, which have reached epidemic proportions in New York City. In follow up emails, he expounded further...
Effective Friday, May 14, the city laid off 70% of the 84 CPCAs employed by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and another 6 on May 21s, claiming it will save $1.5 million. CPCAs make on average $27,000/year but last year brought in $6.3 million in pest control fees.

These layoffs make no sense. In addition to cutting revenue-generating staff, they cut workers whose services enhance our quality of life.
But as NYC Pavement Pieces reported in January of 2009, New Yorkers are dirty slobs, especially in public. New York City is a filthy city, mostly the cause of humans. Landlords and Superintendents leave trash out a day or more before scheduled picked up, and don't use rat resistant trash containers. Residents eat outside and leave their leftovers in the park or throw it right onto the ground. "All the efforts that we’re making and the money that the city is spending in order to try to address that effort is going to be wasted if the communities themselves don’t take action," explained Ray Carrero, Quality of Life Director at the Community Affairs Unit of City Hall.

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