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The State

November 04, 1986

San Francisco's street sweepers will get up to $4 million in back pay plus a raise in salary to $28,397 after a court decided they should be paid as much as common laborers. The 124 sweepers now on the payroll and those who have left since the suit was filed will receive up to 10 years in back pay, plus interest, and a raise from $12.36 to $13.60 an hour. Albert Ambrose, chief of the city's Salary Standardization Section, said the sweepers' new pay scale puts them on par with some city social workers, fingerprint technicians and dental hygienists. Earlier this month, the state Supreme Court declined to review a decision of the Court of Appeal. The city said laborers are entitled to more than sweepers, but the appellate court held that the sweeper classification is the same as laborer. "We always paid street sweepers less than laborers," Ambrose's assistant explained, "because we felt the duty of a laborer was worth more."

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