Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Will CUPE Workers Buckle

CUPE workers owe it to me, to the citizens of Windsor but most importantly to themselves. We all need to know the truth about what went on before and during the 101 day strike. That can be done simply with the OLRB "bad faith" complaint!

For that, the CUPE workers need to vote to go forward at their meeting this week. Notwithstanding what their chance of success might be, and no matter what their lawyer may say about the odds of winning, good or bad, they need to do it because the war is continuing against public servants.

The issue is NOT a legal one but rather strategic. They desperately need to level the playing field. How can they do it:
  • Put Mayor Edgar (aka Eddie) Francis under oath and have him testify.
  • Put Helga Reidel and John Skorobohascz under oath and have them testify.
  • Put Councillors like Caroline Postma, Percy Hatfield, Ron Jones and Dave Brister under oath and have them testify too.
  • And do not forget about the union leaders too, both Jim Wood and Jean Fox need to be under oath and examined as well

It would be interesting to note how the Premier, Sandra and Dwight would react since they were so pro-City especially about Back-to-work legislation. Heck, examine them too!

We all need to know the truth out of their own mouths, subject to cross-examination too, for us to make intelligent decisions about what really happened, and not filtered by the Messenger. I want to know as an example:

  • who advised the City about strike strategy and when were they first hired
  • if Councillor Postma was right about the 7 week City non-negotiations
  • who was the leakor and why since the Integrity Commissioner and internal City report have never been issued after all of this time
  • what is the real story behind the stairwell meeting
  • why did Edgar reject the advice given about the Back-to-Work Protocol almost causing a near-riot and delaying settlement again
  • how could both sides reach a conclusion in less than a week at the end but not before
  • who talked to the Windsor Star and when and about what.

Whew, the onslaught against CUPE is continuous.

Of course, it is not directed towards CUPE alone but to Junior as well. Let's stoke up as much anti-CUPE feelings in advance as possible so that when Junior's bombshell comes out, assuming of course that there is one, no one will listen or, more importantly, care.

What a dumb time for CUPE to hold a meeting too on its OLRB complaint, mere days BEFORE Junior's Report is out, and in such an inconvenient location. Couldn't they wait? What happened to a more central and easily reached location like the Caboto Club? Could someone be trying to influence the vote?

Some may be foolish enough to support these types of suggestions: let's move forward and forget the past. We do not need another fight. We need to mend fences and re-establish a good working relationship with our employer, from a position of complete weakness of course!

I hope not but for those who are still doubters, here is what is going on


  • "I thought it was important for me to touch base with you and email seems to be the quickest way to accomplish that. I plan to continue with regular communications in various forms so that staff are continually informed about the direction and initiatives stemming from the CAO's Office.

    My first priority, as CAO, is to bring City Council a proposal for a revised executive organizational structure. They have requested this now because the vacancy of two General Manager positions has left our senior team reporting structure unclear. Council has not made any decision on changes to the structure, but has asked me to prepare a report in consideration of the groupings of the programs and services offered by the city, and as documented by our service delivery review committees last winter. For all of our benefit, this is an important step so that we are all clear about which departments report to which GM or CAO.

    The senior management team has, over the past 2-3 weeks, provided valuable feedback into the rationale for making changes or not making changes to certain aspects of the current structure. The report will likely be considered by Council within the next couple of weeks and I hope to bring you an update on their decisions at that time."

And here in the CAO Attachment is how the cutbacks will be justified when the Budget is discussed to make it easier to slash programs and thereby cut jobs:

  • "The then CAO and four GMs reviewed the comprehensive list of projects and initiatives and categorized each item as either A or B. Those items classified as A are initiatives or projects that are prioritized due to grant funding already received or available, capital budget funding already allocated and/or because they have an economic development impact. Some of the items are classified as A initiatives because they are required by provincial and/or federal legislation and for corporate health and safety best practices. The A initiatives are identified as the priority over the B initiatives. While the nomenclature “B” may suggest that the projects on this list are unimportant, this is not the case. The items classified as B’s on the list are also very important. However, these initiatives may require additional planning, resources and time to implement. As available resources (both financial and time) are limited, projects and initiatives classified as A are likely to be prioritized over those listed as B, should resource pressures arise.

    Note: The A and B lists do not include normal, day-to-day tasks of the department but rather major initiatives, plans or projects that departments will be working on over the next twenty-four months. Please note that in most cases, these A and B projects will be carried out simultaneous to the normal day-to-day work of the department.

    In many instances, successful completion of the projects, plans and initiatives rely heavily on input from multiple areas of the Corporation and pressure will rest with the responsible department. In addition, each initiative will require financial input in the form of the departmental Financial Planning Administrators, legal advice and contract finalization from the Legal and Purchasing departments, employment services and staffing from the Human Resources department, technology support and implementation from the Information Technology department and policy and approval from the Council Services department."

Hmmmm whatever happened to SDR?


  • How many have been issued so least 4 that I have heard about


DUH, Gord's name for this alone---the savings that the City made while its workers were out for 101 days---will remind people of our hero Mayor every time money is taken out of it. It continue to divide the City until at least the next elction. Or until more lay-off notices are issued, whichever comes last

  • "We are pleased to remove $X Million from the CUPE Strike Legacy Fund to waste on another mind's eye dream such as "Y." Oh do not worry, it is not taken out of our operating Budget or taxes. It's "found money." It is from the money saved by our Mayor and Council's genius in keeping those greedy union workers out for 101 days!"

Or is it the Sheriff deliberately stirring up the CUPE workers to ensure a "YES" vote!


Just read the anti-CUPE hatred coming out of people in the writings on the Star forum!

They really cannot be blamed after the Messenger did its job over the past few months. People have no idea how poor a job was done due to Council's handling of the strike.

One wonders if the same result will happen here as happened in Toronto once people know the truth when the Mayor there chose NOT to run again due to his failure.


It's a euphemism for slashing CUPE jobs and cutting wages no matter that a contract was signed as in England and Alberta.


  • "In other words, council has its work cut out for it -- if it is serious about a bottom line that includes a zero increase in the tax levy...

    Preliminary budget documents already point out that projected wage, salary and benefit increases will create new spending that would result in a four per cent tax hike.

    The report goes on to say "administration advises very significant service level reductions/eliminations will be required to achieve a zero per cent tax levy increase."


  • "The shadow chancellor set out a detailed range of cuts, including a one-year pay freeze for five million public sector workers, which, he said, would save the taxpayer £23 billion over the next five years"


  • "To help accomplish this, salaries for civil service managers will be frozen for two years,” the premier added. “And we will be asking the entire public sector to share in this effort.”

    The premier’s spokesman, Tom Olsen, said freezing the wages of 6,500 managers in 2010-11 and 2011-12 will save the government a total of $22 million. He noted the province could save hundreds of millions in additional dollars if unions representing government workers, teachers, university staff, nurses and doctors agree to a two-year pay freeze as of April 1, 2010."


  • "Good sign: Mayor Eddie Francis says council will have to do everything in its power to achieve a zero per cent increase on its operating budget of $314 million. Simply raising taxes isn't an option anymore, the mayor says, since our tax load is already too high."
  • "Bad omen: the city is hiring extra tax collectors to chase down its rapidly expanding list of tax debtors who owe the city $45 million. That's the most in Ontario, and double the provincial average.

    "People are hurting," says city treasurer Onorio Colucci. And their numbers "are increasing dramatically."
  • "divvy up the loot from the city strike"
  • "payback for enduring the CUPE onslaught"
  • "The vast majority of us invested money, time and sweat to keep our properties garbage-free for 15 weeks"
  • "we could have done so much more with those strike winnings."

It is not a tough decision to make at all for CUPE members, especially if they win at the hearing. Earn back some respect too. They only have everything to lose otherwise.