Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Sunday, May 24, 2009

CUPE Strike News

Just some local gossip about what is taking place. Take it for what it's worth...


Here is part of what they put out in a flyer. I did not include everything


Oooooooooooh, so that was the photo of the Mayor's car I assume that I posted the other day. No wonder the Star could run the story:

  • "A tale of two city parking tickets"

However, I wonder how the Star found out about the parking ticket of CUPE Local 82 president Jim Wood. Was it in plain view too as it was ticketed? Did someone take a photo of it too?

Don't you find it interesting that the Star could write:

  • "However, when CUPE Local 82 president Jim Wood, who represents the city's outside workers, was also ticketed by police during the strike, he had his fine forgiven after a call to the parking commissioner's office...

    She said fines can be forgiven if there are mitigating circumstances. "We do this for everyone," she added.

    The mayor said he could only imagine what people would say if he had asked for similar favourable treatment.

    "I paid the ticket," Francis said."

Hmmm I wonder why the Star did not interview Wood so he could tell his story the way the Mayor did. Naw, better to make it appear that Wood got special treatment.

Too bad that Diane Sibley is not a union member. CUPE could have filed a grievance on her behalf about her lack of memory:

  • "Windsor enforcement services executive director Diane Sibley confirmed the forgiven ticket.

    She said Friday she couldn't remember the circumstances but that "there isn't a day that goes by that I don't get such a request from everywhere and everybody."

She has been hit by the amnesia disease pandemic at City Hall too. Darn Tunnel fumes!

"F*****G LIAR"

Which senior person called a senior person on the other side that name and why?


Wikipedia says this about the play:

  • "Waiting for Godot follows two days in the lives of a pair of men who divert themselves while they wait expectantly and unsuccessfully for someone named Godot to arrive. They claim him as an acquaintance but in fact hardly know him, admitting that they would not recognize him were they to see him. To occupy themselves, they eat, sleep, converse, argue, sing, play games, exercise, swap hats, and contemplate suicide — anything "to hold the terrible silence at bay"

Here is how the CUPE/CITY negotiations have been described to me from the Union perspective:

  • "4 days of sitting around a #$%^ room waiting for the corporations team to contact the Mayor and council before opening their mouths. Can you tell I’m pissed off, if you can’t I AM."


18 CUPE members' cars were keyed downtown while they were picketing.


There was a suggestion that the City hired an out of town security firm known for their work in labour disputes. The price can be expensive depending on what a firm is hired to do.

Here is one story I found about costs in a town much smaller than ours:

  • "City of Kawartha Lakes population 74,561

    From Feb. 4 to March 28, city staff estimated savings in unpaid Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) wages at $2,464,134, with an additional $368,334 in savings from landfill operations and the parks and recreation department. Costs for the municipal strike included $947,611 for AFI Security, and an additional $979,722 in loss revenue from the landfill ($395,496), parks and recreation programs and rentals ($572,346) and parking - net of contract costs ($11,800).

    Estimated additional costs to the city include: landfill additional expenses ($4,320), courier ($2,020), information technology back up capacity and support ($15,637), public works tree removal from Mitchell's Road ($420), cell phone changes ($1,083), cleaning ($3,225), miscellaneous ($5,070), and non union overtime including winter control ($431,221).

    The report did not provide a breakdown of anticipated and budgeted winter maintenance costs and what the cost of contract snow plow operators were.

    The estimated $400,000 in savings is also being used to reduce the overall tax increase impact on residents."


I wonder what is blacked out:

  • Windsor Star May 20:

"The mayor held a news briefing shortly before midnight after a day-long media blackout as the city negotiated with CUPE Local 82, representing outside workers. He said there was an union offer at 12:15 p.m. and a counter offer by the city at 3:45 p.m., but that no offer followed from CUPE. At 9:48 p.m., the city ammended its offer, but there was no indication of progress. The mediator suggested that talks adjorn for the night, and resume today at 9 a.m.

“We can’t have the city putting in an offer at 3:45 p.m. and putting in another offer at 9:48 p.m. without getting a counter offer, that’s negotiating against yourself,” said Francis, saying he was “absolutely” disappointed. “We and the bargaining team, and city council, want to find a way to end the strike.”

  • Windsor Star May 22

"It's a slow process, but we're here ... at the table," Jim Wood, president of CUPE Local 82 representing almost 400 outside workers, said when talks resumed Friday at noon.

After all-day talks Thursday, negotiations at the Best Western on Huron Church Road had been suspended at about 3 a.m. Friday shortly after the union gave its latest counter-offer to city negotiators.

Due to a media blackout, no details were being divulged on how close or how far apart the two sides remained...

While not wanting to comment on details of the negotiations, Francis did express frustration with the slow pace of the latest round of talks, with many of the city's top managers camped out for three days and nights of mostly sitting around and waiting at the Best Western."


When it is an option during a media blackout
  • "Francis said that as the strike continues, the city may look at “other options” as they relate to retiree benefits. Another option is to ask the Ministry of Labour to step in and order a supervised vote on the city’s offer, the mayor said.

    “Those are options you have to weigh very carefully.”

I wonder if that is part of the City's 1,000-page contingency plan to deal with a strike by municipal workers. Mayor Eddie Francis has a copy

  • "to suggest management was well-prepared for a work stoppage."