Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

More Items Of Interest

More thoughts for you to consider and a photo of Councillors Jones and Lewenza going to Council:


Supposedly it is over PRBs for new hires.

Sure PRBs are an issue. Under Eddie Francis, the unfunded liability numbers have skyrocketed from $170M to $290M. Please, do not ask me for comparables...I am just using the same numbers that City Hall has used in the media in the past! Good enough for them, good enough for you and me, dear reader.

But wait a minute. There were only a handful of new hires last year so those people are not responsible for the big numbers.

Here is the startling revelation made by the Mayor on CKLW on Tuesday that completely shocked me as you can hear for yourself:

  • "They decided to take their membership out on strike on an issue of Post Retirement Benefits that does not effect employees for the next several years"

Is the Mayor effectively saying there will be no new hires in the foreseeable future? If so, why is the City being so hard-nosed about the issue today? There is no financial impact immediately although there would be over time, much later in the future, as people retire and new employees are hired.

Therefore, we have the time NOW to resolve the differences given what the Mayor claimed!

Why can't the City set up a Committee with CUPE, as was proposed before, to deal with this issue to arrive at an amicable resolution in the near term? At the same time, the City can consider how the Windsor Public Library dealt with PRBs and act in a similar manner with CUPE and citizens being fully informed!

I just do not get the need for the strike to be prolonged. Unless of course there is another agenda at play.


Their members were around at the big Friday CUPE meeting. And their leadership was well represented at the Council meeting picket line I am told. Perhaps that explains the seeming difference in tone in picketing over the last few days. Much tougher than before.

If that is so, my theory is playing out. What it means is that the Mayor and Senior will resolve this at the appropriate time with a few FO's thrown in for good measure to keep the audience amused and happy.

It means as well that CUPE Windsor members might switch unions. More importantly, Dwight and Sandra could be in big trouble as well if Eddie has a new E-army of CAW members behind him.


  • "I am disheartened at how negotiations have been handled from the media scrutiny to the division of the community and certain people playing into that division. A fair deal can be reached that will not increase your taxes. If we can accelerate 5 years of capital projects to 2 years we are not as financially strapped, as some of my colleagues will lead you to believe. A fair deal can be reached."


Have affidavits ever been signed or was that just cheap melodramatics to distract the masses, again? That seems to be a very favoured approach to take.

Here is what the City said in its Labour Board answer.

I like how narrowly the Response was drafted. Look at the limited number of people for which the City takes responsibility.

Moreover, and here is the important part....everything is tied directly to the media eg source of details obtained by the media. There is no denial that they leaked information to a person who then was the source of the details obtained by the media.

I especially liked "does not admit it....was responsible for leaks to the media." The City could be responsible for leaks to the whole world but not to the media. Accordingly, the City is saying nothing wrong. Accurate but narrow!

If the City admits that it is not aware of the source of the leak, then why did it cast aspersions at the head of another local union? Was that a cheap shot so the media will run after him and make him squirm in preparation for new bargaining talks after the Baird bus decision?

Gee, do you think that someone in on the City's Response preparation was the person that Councillor Halberstadt referred to in his BLOG. We need an Integrity Commissioner investigation on that too now:

  • "It has become clear now that the infamous "leak" (to the A Channel) of the bargaining positions of the city and CUPE was perpetrated by CUPE National. Details were perhaps verified by one or more people on the city side."

Since the City now claims it does NOT know the source of the leak, the Councillor better give CUPE an apology! And the Councillor ought to get better sources.


The Star published incorrectly in my opinion the following. I believe that these comments were prejudicial to CUPE's position:

  • "Mayor Eddie Francis’s bid Monday to do away with post-retirement benefits for politicians drew an angry response from union leaders representing striking city workers..."

    Francis later told reporters the idea to seek a repeal of the post-retirement benefits for elected officials, approved in a council bylaw in 2003, came to him earlier that day. He said it was in response to CUPE advertisements and recent union leadership statements asking why such benefits are good for politicians but not for employees.

  • "So on Monday night, Mayor Eddie Francis tried to get council to eliminate the benefits for politicians."

  • Mayor Eddie Francis claimed he was "trying to save (taxpayers) money" Monday night when he introduced a last-minute motion at council to end post-retirement benefits for municipal politicians.

Here is the original version of the Motion and the corrected one. In neither case were politicians giving up PRBs!


From Today's Trucking Online:

"Welcome to Dirt-troit, Michigan"