Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Friday, March 12, 2010

A Pathetic CUPE Response

With that bemused expression on his face, I can just imagine the ex-CAO thinking
  • "Yes, that is what I think will happen. As for me, I expect to be out of here soon. Let the Mayor deal with it and be cross-examined."

Instead, what did CUPE workers get? They did not even get their bad faith claim heard by the OLRB who tossed it out because it was so narrowly framed. No chance whatsoever to get $30M of back-pay since their Union did not ask for any of it, not even one single penny.

Who can forget the job losses that CUPE workers are and will be suffering while citizens are being fed the story that the hardliners won.

We saw what Jim and Jean want:

  • "We were looking for something, (even just) a slap on the hand"

  • "Both sides said Friday it’s time to move on."
Can they be that naïve? Forget it all happened. It was all a bad dream.

Then did you read this pitiful Letter To The Editor from CUPE 543 President Jean Fox:

  • "Time to stop battle against CUPE

    By Jean Fox, Windsor Star March 11, 2010

    Mayor Francis' quote of "frivolous and without merit," regarding CUPE's bad faith complaint once again misleads citizens into believing that the labour board ruled on the merits of the complaint made by CUPE. In fact, what the board said was, and I quote, "to litigate these complaints would be a lengthy process and serve to reopen old wounds. I see no real reason to engage in that process in these circumstances as the parties have reached a collective agreement. Accordingly, the board declines to inquire into this application."

    The truth is, the OLRB made no ruling into the merits of the complaint whatsoever, but Mayor Francis would like citizens of Windsor to believe they did. Why? Could it be to try and discredit the union or perhaps pit taxpayers against CUPE? I would hope not.

    Members of CUPE face uncertainty with the elimination of jobs, bumping and threats of contracting out which is stressful enough. It's time to stop the battle against CUPE members and work on rebuilding this community."

DUH, Jean, who cares what you have to say now. In fact, I cannot believe that you even had the nerve to write a letter in the first place. First Jim with his too little-too late letter and now you. Both of you must be running for re-election! As if the letters will help one little bit.

You had the chance to clear the air, to let everyone know the truth, but you chose not to do so with your weak OLRB complaint. You could have demonstrated conclusively that the City acted in bad faith by examining Councillors who would have admitted it under oath. Yet you let the opportunity pass you by.

You had the chance to help your members overcome their financial woes and even the OLRB said so 3 times in their 2 page decision. Yet you let the opportunity pass you by.

Stop the battle--are you that out of touch? Slamming CUPE is the re-election battlecry for the hardliners! It's all they've got so they cannot let up!

Don't you get it yet, Jean. CUPE's supposed complete and total strike defeat with all of the job losses to come has resulted in this. This will be trumpeted as you take more hits:

  • "Budget Deliberations Achieve a Tax Decrease

    After extremely challenging operating budget deliberations, City Council was able to achieve a tax levy decrease in the range of $26 for the average residential homeowner versus the rate in 2009.

    In recognition of the challenging economic times faced by many citizens in the City of Windsor, City Council had committed to a zero tax levy increase. However, through the work and commitment of administration and City Council, the additional savings were found and a tax levy decrease was achieved.

    “This budget was very difficult,” said Mayor Eddie Francis. “Reduced revenues and increased costs have continued to impact the cost of delivering service to our community. However, our City Council was able to balance a number of competing factors, while also providing some relief to taxpayers.”

CUPE is the "additional savings."

They got the savings off the backs of your members, Jean, and will be applauded for it! Edgar (aka Eddie) already made the calculations on cost savings before the Budget was finalized. He was that confident of the results.

The real war has just begun and the other side knows there is nothing YOU can do to stop them---daycare, garbage, parking. What's next?

Actually, I like the idea of a class action lawsuit by CUPE members against the City for back pay or perhaps against the Union too. Given the $30M possible claim, I think there might be a lawyer or two who might work on a contingency basis. The legal fees would be quite nice after a victory.

Perhaps a grievance can be filed or a small claims court action as a test case. That would be less costly and more fun too, especially when it came cross-examination time.

I also like the idea of dumping CUPE, to be direct about it, due to their complete mismanagement of everything to do with this labour dispute or at least bringing in new blood. There must be another Union or two around who would like to pick up some disgruntled ex-CUPE members.

Do I really expect anything to happen? Not likely. Who would lead the workers now since they have been so abused emotionally and financially. Clearly action could have been taken with both the daycare and garbage issues to stop or at least delay the City but what has CUPE done about it? The usual.

I think the CUPE workers have had enough and really won't put up a fight with no one to guide them. Keep your nose clean, your mouth shut and you might not get fired! As a frustrated CUPE worker/reader wrote to me:

  • "But whatever. CUPE 543 members have something else to do and any excuse to not stand up. Hair to be done, nails to be polished, lunches to attend.

    Monday Council will be a celebration of the defeat of CUPE 82 & 543 on the bad faith bargaining complaint.

    And we're all gonna sit back on our fat, lazy, busy with something else behinds and blame "the union". Well there is no union... "the union" is NOT in the bloody office. The union is at the FRONT LINES. The office is merely a front for "the union". Coordinator for "the union". Made so weak by "the union" dragging its butt on the ground and "busy with something else".

    Well too bad, so sad. You lose, I lose, we all lose together.

    Pity the same can't be said for winning. You win, I win, we all win together. What a strange concept."