Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Why Garbage Will Be Outsourced

Does CUPE leadership have a clue what is happening to them. And by that I do not mean the Union leaders in Windsor only but in Ontario and nationally as well?

And the CUPE workers, are they so beat up that they are allowing their UNION not to represent them forcefully? If so, start looking for new jobs. Or better yet, a new Union!

Can you imagine, no one from CUPE complaining that matters involving outsourcing and tendering were handled behind closed doors out of the sight of the public by the Mayor and Council and without allowing CUPE to have its say as a delegation? What section of the Municipal Act allowed this?

Clearly NOT section 239 (2)(c) since they were NOT dealing with "labour relations or employee negotiations." Or was Miller Thomson hired to pretend solicitor-client matters were being discussed?

I heard to be fair that a number of the Councillors did want to kick it out into the public agenda but on a tie vote, guess who cast the ballot to prevent it. After all, nothing should stall things off so the the ambitious Edgar (aka Eddie) timetable would be delayed.

CUPE still does not get it. They are still being blamed for everything and the garbage workers in particular. As Gord wrote:

  • "If it weren't for the garbage issue, how many Windsorites would even know CUPE services have been withdrawn? Damn few."

So outsource garbage so the City can screw the rest of the CUPE workforce and no one will know a damn thing or care either. The daycare workers prove the point.

Do you want to read a wimpy Press Release? Here it is from CUPE Local 82 which represents Garbage workers:

  • Contracting Out Garbage Wrong Move for Windsor Council-Profit Motive Will Hurt Service, CUPE Warns

    WINDSOR, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 2, 2010) - The union representing municipal solid waste workers in the City of Windsor is warning residents that quality of service will deteriorate if Mayor Eddie Francis and Windsor councillors go ahead with contracting out and privatization plans for municipal garbage collection.

    "We are shocked that council would risk the quality of service for residents and open the door to privatization, a move that will inevitably see good jobs and decent wages taken right out of the local economy without achieving cost savings," said CUPE Local 82 president Jim Wood. "What's really frustrating is their determination to contract out services regardless of the cost risks and loss of control, and despite all the work this local has put in with the administration, looking at ways to guarantee continuous service and our continued work on service efficiencies."

    CUPE Local 82 worked for weeks on a submission to council, pointing out the risks of contracting out, including cost over-runs, lower quality service, loss of control over vital public services, increased liability, disruption to other programs like summer student employment, and other problems.

    "Last spring council rejected the idea of contracting out, in recognition of the quality of our public service, that has operated in the City with essentially the same budget for the last 20 years," said Wood. "Through the decades we have worked with the administration to improve the service, and won accolades from residents – but immediately following last summer's strike, council adopted a motion to tender our services to the private sector. No matter how much information we provided about the risks of such a venture, and despite warnings from management about some of those risks, council seems hell-bent on putting our work to tender."

    "Shutting daycares, privatizing services and eliminating good jobs seems to be the new mantra at Windsor city hall," said Wood. "It's very disappointing that council is tearing apart families and the community at a time when they should be rebuilding and revitalizing our city."

Wow, reading that I am impressed! Who writes this stuff anyway?

Imagine this

  • "CUPE Local 82 worked for weeks on a submission to council"

Pray tell, what did it say? Where is it ? Can I or any person in Windsor see it to read for ourselves? Has it been posted online and if so, where? Why make me search for it.

Quality of service...Who gives a damn! Is that the best that CUPE has got? I posted a nice memo from City management telling us that the City could pay millions of dollars more for outsourcing. Why wan't this made a significant part of the release for heaven's sake.

There is a knowledgeable City manager saying to his Senior Management that this is a dumb move and CUPE does not capitalize on it. Oh Jim Wood did say in the Star article:

  • "The head of the union representing municipal solid waste workers says if the city privatizes garbage and recycling collection, the move could cost taxpayers more than $1 million per year.

    CUPE Local 82 president Jim Wood said he has compared the costs of Windsor's publicly owned collection services with those of private collectors in the county. "We're cheaper than that," he said. "I don't think the city's going to save any money."

Who cares what Jim thinks, no disrespect intended, or what self-serving calculations he makes. Why didn't he release this memo, something even Councillors had not seen until I Blogged it!

Why didn't he ask if that manager who wrote the note was at the in camera session? If not, why not? Why isn't he screaming "cover-up!"

And how about this, in a time of financial restraint, the City has to hire a big name Toronto law firm because the City cannot do a Tender package properly. Where is CUPE denouncing that?

Helga conceded that Jim is right:

  • "But sometimes it takes a while to achieve savings from outsourcing,” Reidel said."

But CUPE will never capitalize on this either.

I thought I would be helpful to the workers. In case the garbage workers wonder for whom they will be working, and at a much lower salary if they would be allowed to work there at all, Gord told them last April:

  • "We arrived at the Windsor Disposal Services Ltd. yard on Deziel Drive, south of E.C. Row, expecting the usual line-up and runaround that patrons endure at the city's Central Avenue transfer station.

    Wrong. For starters, there was no waiting. And only a handful of busy-bee workers, not the customary bloated platoon overseeing the rigmarole. I swear we were in and out in under seven minutes. And the bill for close to 240 kg. (520 lbs.) of junk and garbage? The grand sum of $13.10.

    It pains me to think how many times I've been to the city facility and paid through the nose for a trailer-load, thinking that was the only option, while this alternative, offered by an award-winning Windsor company, was just minutes away."

And in August

  • "Do we like being held hostage every contract? Did we enjoy hauling our own junk to the dump? That gets tiresome after a while, even if the nice folks at Windsor Disposal Services and Pillette Recycling bent over backward to make it a positive experience."

How about this story:

  • "City and county politicians agreed unanimously Wednesday to award an eight-year, $25.6-million contract to Windsor Disposal Services to run the regional recycling program...

    Francis, who seldom goes to waste authority meetings, participated Wednesday by teleconference call -- a procedure never used before in the county for a formal meeting with votes on motions."

WDS works for some of the County towns already don't they? Looks like they may get the City job too thanks to CUPE leadership.