Tue, Jun 26, 2012 - Page 11 News List

Taichung lacks 1,200 sanitation workers, only hiring 84 next year
清潔隊缺一千兩百人 台中明年只補八十四人

Sanitation workers line up in front of garbage trucks in Hsinchu County on June 3.
新竹縣清潔隊員六月三日於在其垃圾車前排排站。

Photo: Liao Hsueh-ju, Liberty Times
照片:自由時報記者廖雪茹

The Taichung Environmental Protection Bureau’s workers’ union held a meeting with representatives from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) city council caucus last Thursday to discuss the city’s lack of sanitation workers and their excessive workload. The head of the bureau, Liu Bang-yu, said during the meeting that the bureau is planning to hire 1,200 sanitation workers over the next three years, but that next year they will only be able to hire 84 people, continuing the serious deficit of sanitation workers in the city.

However, Taichung Mayor Jason Hu told the media last Thursday that the bureau should review the efficiency of its workers before doing anything else, adding that every agency complains about a lack of personnel, and when they fail to perform their tasks or make mistakes, some claim it is because of staff shortages. He also said that after the city and county merged the number of sanitation workers remained the same.

Lee Tien-shen, DPP caucus whip, says that among all of Taiwan’s five special municipalities, the ratio of sanitation workers in Greater Taichung is the lowest with one sanitation worker for every 970 people, while the ratio is 1:956 in Greater Tainan, 1:800 in Greater Kaohsiung, 1:520 in Taipei, and 1:500 in New Taipei City. Lee says that he hopes the mayor will take the opinions of low-level sanitation workers more seriously.

Chao Yi-tse, president of the bureau’s union, along with other union leaders, went to the meeting last Thursday to speak out for sanitation workers, saying that despite an increase in workload after the county and city governments merged, the number of sanitation workers was never increased. Some tasks include collecting garbage, sweeping roads, collecting recycling, and disposing wastewater, but as districts continue to be redrawn, not only does the number of people a single sanitation worker has to service remain the highest among all five of Taiwan’s special municipalities, the area to be serviced is also the largest.

TODAY’S WORDS 今日單字

1. union n.

工會 (gong1 hui4)

例: The workers at the factory formed a union to protect their rights.

(工廠員工成立工會以保障他們的權利。)

2. workload n.

負荷 (fu4 he2)

例: Everyone’s workload naturally increases as more people leave the company and the company refuses to hire new people.

(許多人辭職,可是公司沒有補新人,每個人的工作負荷自然增加。)

3. wastewater n.

廢水 (fei4 shui3)

例: Local residents are fed up with the city’s improper disposal of wastewater and the pollution it is causing.

(民眾受不了市府對廢水處理不當及其造成的污染問題。)


Chao says that the bureau currently employs between 400 and 500 temporary sanitation workers, but that they receive a lower rate of pay than regular sanitation workers doing the same job. Some temporary workers have been working there for up to 10 years, and still do not get paid as much as regular employees, which he says needs to be changed.

City councilor Chen Shu-hua says that one sanitation worker in Hsitun District has to service 3,000 residents, and questions how much pressure is put on one individual, adding that the city government should adjust the number of personnel working in each district.

Liu replied that the city currently employs around 3,000 sanitation workers, including temporary workers, but that after the city and county merged, the workload did increase to include other tasks, for example, collecting recycling and disposing wastewater, and admits that the current workforce is indeed not big enough, but says due to a lack of funding, they will only be able to hire another 84 new employees next year and will have to continue its struggle to hire more people.

(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)

台中市環保局工會上週四向民進黨議會黨團陳情,表示清潔隊員人力不足、工作負荷太重,而環保局長劉邦裕也在會中坦承,環保局的三年計畫是要再補一千二百人,但明年只能先補「八十四人」,需求及供給之間有嚴重落差。

但市長胡志強上週四面對媒體詢問,則表示「做出績效再說」,每個單位每次都抱怨人不夠,甚至事情沒做好,提出的解釋也是人力不足,但事實上縣市合併,清潔隊員人力並沒有減少。

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