San Bernardino Seal

By Ryan Hagen, The Sun
Posted: 11/17/15 – 12:42 AM PST |

SAN BERNARDINO >> After years of uncertainty going back at least to the first month of bankruptcy when the city started moving forward with outsourcing its refuse services, 72 city employees learned Monday night who their new employer will be: Burrtec.

Employees and city officials both largely applauded the move, which will bring $5 million upfront and then $2.8 million a year in franchise fees for the city for the next 10 years.

The company also pledged to employ existing full-time employees, retain salary levels and benefits, and give employees another $6,900 as a bonus.

Customers will pay the same rates for now, though that’s not guaranteed, said Andrew Belknap of consultant Management Partners, who recommended Burrtec.

Along with outsourcing fire services, Monday night’s vote to outsource trash and related services was one of the keys to the bankruptcy exit plan the city submitted to bankruptcy court in May. Unlike with fire — and unlike the situation when the city first moved to outsource its refuse in 2012 — employees and residents who spoke were in agreement that a company should take over job.

The disagreement was over which company, with Athens arguing that the city’s Request for Proposals process was flawed. Multiple employees from Athens argued that they — not Burrtec, as a team of consultants and staff concluded — would in fact save the city more money and would also treat employees better.

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