Union Members’ Petition Implores WPCA To Retain Manager Of Wastewater Treatment Plants

As the city prepares hundreds of millions of dollars in improvements to upgrade sewage treatment plants funded by the Clean Water Act, a consortium of five labor unions whose employees are responsible for maintenance of the plants has urged The Water Pollution Control Authority to keep in place Inframark, the national company responsible for its management and operation.

The WPCA is planning to seek competitive bids with the expiration of its contract with Inframark. The company is open to participate in the process.

“The benefits realized from this management style include efficient facility improvements and maintenance, higher employee morale and reduced safety-related incidents,” the union members wrote in a petition signed by roughly 90 percent of the rank and file, according to union leadership. The members include union affiliation with Teamsters, AFSCME and IBEW.

See Union Petition.

Supporters of Inframark also cite the seamlessness of keeping the company in place as the WPCA prepares a major overhaul of its infrastructure.

“Facility improvements are underway, there have been fewer safety-related incidents, nitrogen levels have been reduced and worker morale is high,” says Carlos Agusto, AFSCME Local 1303-362 President. “Members support current management because they’ve played an integral role in improving Bridgeport’s WPCA.”

“Management and morale at the WPCA has improved substantially in the past months and years, says Dan Mcinerney, IBEW Local 488 President “Management is listening to frontline employees and as a result current operations are running more efficiently. It’s critical that this trend continues as the city moves forward in constructing and bringing new treatment plants online.”

Save The Sound, the watchdog organization of Long Island Sound, heralded the modernizations of the antiquated plants as a clean water victory in Bridgeport. Sound Keeper Bill Lucey says key to the future of water quality is separating storm water from the sewage collection system, particularly in the West End the most problematic area.

Design money is in place with construction work to the West End plant anticipated to start summer of 2023. “There needs to be robust funding for a long period of time,” says Lucey of modernizing the sewage treatment infrastructure.

Letter from union rank and file.


One comment

Leave a Reply