Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Thursday, July 16, 2009

BLOGExtra: Waiting For The Other Shoe To Drop

How quickly things change as more "information" comes out. Finding the truth may be the key.

Gossip, rumours, worries for CUPE members and a sleepness night for many. That is what happens when the Mayor's counter-offer is kept secret.

I feel sorry for the CUPE Presidents for all of the noise that is going around but they brought it on themselves. I can imagine that they may not now know what they are going to do at the meeting until they get there and feel the mood of the crowd!

Sure, the meeting is scheduled and the CUPE membership wants and deserves a vote but if circumstances change, then the Presidents must change with it. And so do my thoughts.

Word is getting out that not much has changed from what the City has offered already.

However, there is a more ominous sign. I have heard a rumour from several sources that the City refuses to provide a "Back to Work Protocol."

That is an agreement with terms like:
  • "Model Protocol for Return to Work After a Strike

    1 The administration agrees that no disciplinary measures shall be taken against members who were on strike for their actions during the strike.

    2 There shall be no discipline imposed on members for breaches of any policy arising from the work stoppage."

Its purpose is:

  • essentially the rules by which the two sides will operate as things return to normal... It's designed to make sure that there is no bad blood, and that things can return to normal as quickly as possible."

If none is provided then anyone who did anything unbecoming on the line can be reprimanded or even fired.

It's payback time. The people who may want to be concerned are those who walked in front of Eddie's house. Didn't a City Manager take photos of the workers?

It is easy to guess who would be #1 on the Hit list I am sure.

This suggests to me that Eddie may NOT want a settlement either for some reason. He would expect that the Union will turn down his counter-offer so that he can implement his next step.

It may be that, as I suggested, a REFUSE TO VOTE approach at the meeting may be the smartest move!

The CUPE leaders should give CUPE members the option NOT to vote. I am sure they would take it if it was explained properly. Otherwise CUPE is giving Eddie for free the knowledge about how strong or weak the members' support is and allowing him to punish workers for their strike activities. Let members speak and if the clear majority is saying to toss out the Mayor's counter-proposal, the CUPE Presidents should just ask whether a formal vote is needed at all.

CUPE can accomplish almost as much as what I advocated for in my previous "NO" BLOG by not voting too.

That should throw Eddie off his game plan. Force him to call in the Ministry to supervise a vote.

I have no official confirmation about what is in the Counter-offer. All I am saying is that CUPE needs to be smart in its strategy for what is to take place at the meeting. All of these factors need to be taken into account before members are asked to do anything.

UPDATE: Thanks to a reader, I have this new information:

To: Hatfield, Percy
Sent: Wed Jul 15 18:37:12 2009
Subject: Job Protocol Language

Wednesday July 15, 2009 6:30pm

Hi Percy,

However, one piece of information is floating around out there. If the information is correct, then I think the outcome becomes more predictable.

Apparently the city's "Offer of Settlement" does NOT contain the job protocal language that was part of the union's last offer. Job protocol language is ALWAYS a part of every settlement because it protects workers from such things as disciplinary actions.

In essence, the absence of such job protocol language leaves members at risk in various ways...

If the rumour is true, what boggles my mind is that 10 councillors would ALL approve of an offer that deliberately counters the union's proposal by removing that language from the from the "Offer of Settlement".

Many union members who might otherwise vote to accept the city's offer may feel that they have no choice but to reject it. If the rumour is true, I think the city may well have shot itself in the foot this time!

I guess we will all find out tomorrow.


Subject: Re: Job Protocol Language

Date: Wed, 15 Jul 2009 18:40:34 -0400


A protocol is or has been worked on today by a unanimous vote of council.