Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Thursday, January 07, 2010


Here is what a reader sent to me. The war with CUPE is continuing.

That is why CUPE has no choice but to fight aggressively on the bad faith claim against the City and to go after back wages, all $30M of them. I trust that Edgar (aka Eddie) will be the first City witness who will be cross-examined. I'd like to BLOG a copy of that transcript!

Being a push-over will accomplish little for CUPE. Peace in our time with Edgar and the hardliners will not work since slamming CUPE and the Lewenzas is their re-election meal ticket.

See if you can find the irony in what follows as well:

"Hi Ed, I have not emailed you in a while, but I enjoy reading your blog each and every day. Well, things are heating up at the City lately, rumour has it that 100 CUPE members are going to be laid off soon. Then yesterday, we get the following email. Asking the members to do job duties of members (caretakers).
  • To Staff : 400 CHS

    Please review the attached email provided by Facilities Operations.

    Effective Monday, January 11th, 2010 each of us will be fully responsible for dispensing of our recycled material and trash to centralized deposit bins placed on the 1st and 3rd floor areas.

    We will carefully monitor to determine that there will be an adequate number of deposit receptacles for our area to meet our needs as we transition to this new process. Plastic garbage liners will be available at each deposit station.

    All of us will need to make a concerted and conscientious effort to dispose of our desk side garbage and recyclable material on a daily basis.

    Your compliance to this change is appreciated.

    Thank You


Well, needless to say there was alot of talk about what are they trying to do to the caretaking staff now? So apparently Jean Fox sent the attached to John Micelli:

  • -----Original Message-----
    From: Jean Fox
    Sent: January 5, 2010 3:58 PM
    To: Miceli, John

    Subject: New Recycle & Garage Collection Initiatives

    Good Afternoon & Happy New Year John:

    I have received a number of calls and e-mails from members today in regards to the recent announcement regarding recycle & garage collection. In reading the announcement this new initiative is supposed to increase levels of efficiency and effectiveness and provide more effective customer service and customer care. Please don’t give me that line. The new initiative is designed to reduce the workforce, plain and simple, asking staff to do the duties of a caretaker, in no way increases the level of efficiency and effectiveness in their positions. Having staff take time away from their job to empty garbage does not increase customer care. Taking staff away from their desk means that they are not available to answer phones, wait on customers or complete assigned work. What this new initiative does is create hard feelings among staff that see others taking over their job duties.

    In addition to the above, caretakers wear appropriate clothing while performing their job and there are also possible Health and Safety issues. The union has never had discussion with the employer in regards to this initiative and feels strongly against it and will be advising the membership not to do the work of caretakers. Should you wish to discuss this matter further I would be happy to meet with you.

    Jean Fox

    President Cupe Local 543

Things are going to get bad before anything gets better. There's already been quite a few cases of bumping going on and if rumour is true, another 100 people and what next, will they be asking caseworkers to write parking tickets? Anyways, I thought you may have some interest in these tidbits of information, have a nice day!"

Does the name John Miceli sound familiar? It should. He is the head of PETU, the new non-union and managers' UNION at City Hall. Thus, we have a CUPE union President fighting another soon-to-be Union President while Management laughs themselves silly.

And what is so awkward for Miceli? His members would need CUPE for their wage and benefits increases. Here is why their deal with the City fell apart:

  • "The offer would have given PETU members health benefits similar to those of the city's inside workers, who are represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 543.

    But it didn't include similar wage increases, and "that issue is very important to the membership."

We better hope that we have a new Mayor who can get along with Unions or the 101-day strike will not last very long as a record-setter. It is getting too complicated and too ugly!