The publication by Republic of an agreement signed between the trade unions and Ama, the municipal company in Rome that disposes of waste, has caused a controversy in local politics. The agreement, in fact, includes a clause that provides for incentives to employees if the rate of sickness absenteeism is reduced between December and January compared to previous months: essentially a bonus so that garbage collectors do not give themselves sick and go to work.
The measure, evidently taken to contain the problem of accumulation of garbage in Rome during the holidays and that of absenteeism in Ama, was harshly criticized by the opposition. The center-left junta of the mayor Roberto Gualtieri has however denied that this is a bonus of this type, arguing that it is instead a normal productivity bonus.
The big problem of uncollected waste on the streets of Rome is now well known even to those who do not live in the city. It was considered the first important issue that the new mayor of Rome should have dealt with, and in fact Gualtieri in recent weeks had presented an “extraordinary plan” to speed up the cleaning of the streets until the end of the year, pending more projects. structured.
It is a problem that has many causes, linked to the morphology of the territory of Rome and conflicts of attribution between the municipality and the region, but to which some inefficiencies of Ama also contribute. According to the data cited by Republic, in the first six months of 2021 on average 15 per cent of the staff was absent: “Every day 1,074 of Ama’s 7,162 employees did not stamp the time stamp for a daily loss of 6,445 hours of work”.
It is evidently the reason behind the agreement reported by Republic, which provides a series of individual bonuses for those who will be most present during the days of the extraordinary plan, thus renouncing to ask for leaves and holidays – “360 euros gross to those who will never be absent between now and the end of the year, 260 euros to those who will be absent for a maximum of three days and 200 for those who will abstain from work for a maximum of five days ”- and above all the collective ones, the subject of the controversy. It is expected that between December and January Ama’s employees will record “a reduction in the rate of absence due to illness of at least 10%” compared to the rates recorded in September and October.
Sabrina Alfonsi, Councilor for the Environment of the Municipality of Rome, explained that “the bonus is linked to the availability of the worker to guarantee maximum attendance and provides a reward for those who decide to postpone their holidays and their hours of leave at the end of the extraordinary cleaning plan ». According to Gualtieri it is not a bonus for those who do not give themselves sick, but a normal productivity bonus.
The opposition of the center-right, on the other hand, argued that these are “shortcomings”, hoping that absenteeism is, on the contrary, countered with “tighter controls and severe disciplinary measures”.