GENERICO.ruEconomicsAmid climate tests, the capital's utility companies have raised prices

Amid climate tests, the capital's utility companies have raised prices

“Fuel and consumables have risen in price by about 20% over the year”

Moscow continues to be attacked by the climate: on January 11, the capital experienced heavy snowfall, and more frosts are ahead. This winter has been difficult for utilities – and it is not surprising that management companies are reporting rising costs for snow removal. The rise in prices in the Moscow region amounted to 15–30% per year, and the salaries of cleaners make a significant contribution to this. In some cases, their income exceeds the salaries of ordinary architects. MK found out how much janitors are paid now and how to alleviate the problem.

A survey of a number of management companies showed that the salaries of janitors in Moscow over the past year have increased from an average of 55 to 70 thousand rubles. Representatives of housing and communal organizations told RIA Novosti that the price of snow removal for the customer has increased by 15–25% in 2023. Moreover, this is in the best, “conservative” case: if the customer decides to change the contractor, the price jump can reach 60%.

Fuel and consumables have risen in price by about 20% over the year – therefore, by no less. Staff salaries also increased. These are not only cleaners, but also drivers and operators of cleaning equipment. As MK found out, in a number of cases, when hiring new personnel, prices are twice as attractive as a year ago.

“The situation is simple: there are not enough drivers, we are already offering much better conditions,” a company that provides solid waste removal in one of the districts of the capital told MK. — The competition for people is terrible: everyone knows about the shortage of truck drivers, including in large logistics companies. The army now requires a lot of truck drivers. We have no military risks, but the work is much less pleasant than on long-haul flights. Therefore, we offer a salary, let’s say, a little lower than the army. And the search for personnel is ongoing: there are still not enough drivers.

A similar situation has developed with drivers of housing and communal services organizations – contractors in this area directly compete for workers with each other. Salaries, according to one of the dump truck drivers working on snow removal, tend to 200 thousand rubles per month. However, we are talking about a significant workload: in difficult periods you have to overwork.

“We have always warned about this, but this year is probably the first when there has been no respite since the beginning of December,” says the driver.

There seem to be fewer requirements for wipers removing snow on streets and territories: a “heavy” category driver’s license and experience are not required. But the work is physically much more difficult, and this turns many applicants away from it. “We were forced to raise prices almost twice, there are no people who meet our requirements,” they told MK in one of the district “Zhilishchnikov” North-Western Administrative Okrug. — Requirements: first of all, a passport or a patent for neighboring countries and a willingness to work.”

The “elite” of janitors – people armed with motorized snow blowers – do not receive the highest salary in the sector: up to 80 thousand rubles, both in city and private companies. You can earn more than 100 thousand – but for this you need to be hired at a site where you will have to work with a shovel.

“You can buy motor cleaners, of course, but by decision of the owners, we only remove snow with shovels, so that there is no noise under the windows,” said Nikolai Shulgin, chief engineer of the management company of one of the club houses of the North-Western Administrative District. — There are shovels of different widths; in light snowfall, you can use a wide one, up to 2 meters. If you need to remove heavier snow, for example after a heavy overnight snowfall, a narrow (60 cm) shovel is available. But now most applicants are counting on motor units; it can take a long time to look for those who are ready to wield a shovel and at the same time speak good Russian.

Management companies of cottage villages and owners of private country houses have particular difficulties: for them, prices for snow removal have increased in proportion to all other customers. But due to the scale it is felt much more strongly. Sometimes they find non-standard solutions. “They asked me to also work on snow removal,” Maria, a citizen of Moldova who works as a nurse in a country house in the near Moscow region, told MK. “The salary was raised by 15 thousand rubles, it was physically very difficult, but I couldn’t refuse: otherwise there would be problems with further work.”

As always in such cases, large management companies (primarily Zhilishchniki) are in a privileged position simply due to scale. As a representative of one of the district management companies told MK, they have several options at their disposal. The main thing is to attract workers with favorable rates, while reducing the number of workers. Advantage: people will be guaranteed to clear the snow. Disadvantages: hands will not reach all the paths at once, so during heavy snowfalls there may be problems with cleaning. True, in case of really heavy snowfalls, it is possible to mobilize engineering staff for snow removal.

Another possibility is to attract a more accessible (and often asking for work), but inconvenient from a bureaucratic point of view, category of workers: “unpassported”. That is, non-citizens without a patent working as part of a “guest visit”, and persons without a fixed place of residence. As a rule, in “peaceful” times, management companies do not work with such people, but now is a difficult time – some, with the informal consent of management, use this reserve.

In general, if the situation becomes even more neglected, Moscow still has the most important reserve, the Zhilishchnik engineer suggests: cleaning standards can be revised. Returning to Soviet standards (which were in effect until about the mid-2000s): it is not necessary to clear streets and sidewalks down to asphalt. If we return to the usual sprinkling of ice with sand and compacted snow, servicing the city will become cheaper, and many Muscovites will only be happy.

The majority of street cleaners near Moscow are accustomed to counting themselves among the offended. The average salary is 30 thousand rubles, the schedule is irregular, the inventory is updated infrequently. There are many complaints about hard work: potholes on the roads, cars rusting in one place for years, and weather conditions interfere with cleaning. It’s also not always possible to find a common language with the residents. But if that were the main problem.

With the outflow of migrants to the region, many vacancies for janitors have appeared – that is, there is a catastrophic shortage of street cleaners in the region. In Krasnogorsk they are willing to pay as much as 40 thousand a month for their work, and in Odintsovo – 45. But in fact, most broom and shovel workers earn less.

The amounts are completely different when it comes to cleaning areas in private companies . For three hours of work, businessmen are willing to pay from 5 to 8 thousand rubles.

Well, as for a centralized increase in wages, it is not yet expected in the Moscow region.

And yet there is light at the end of the tunnel. Last year, at one of the meetings of the Moscow Regional Duma, legislators decided to increase the wages of the lowest paid workers of government agencies in the Moscow region. Deputies by a majority of votes supported an increase in the tariff rate of the first category of the tariff scale by 6.8%.

The document refers to such employees of government agencies as, for example, janitors and plumbers. Currently, 44 thousand workers work in government agencies in the Moscow region.

The changes will affect those whose work is paid at the first, lowest rate of the grid, that is, novice janitors and watchmen. From January 1, their salary without bonuses and allowances is 8,231 rubles.

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