Mayor Sullivan's Keystone cop negotiating tactics has finally dug a hole so deep no one can hear him and his NPA colleagues seem unwilling to provide back up.
The Mayor has failed at the two most basic roles of a politician during a labour dispute.
1. Be consistent. "39 months is my final offer." "5 years is acceptable."
2. Say as little as possible - especially if you can not follow rule number one.
Mayor Sullivan has failed on both points. It is not surprising then that the GVRD and the City of Vancouver have employed The Wilcox Group as a countermeasure to the Mayor's ill-timed and inconsistent ramblings. The Wilcox Group is based out of Toronto and Vancouver.
As their home page explains
"Wilcox Group is one of Canada's largest national independent crisis, corporate communications and issues management firms.
We are the guardians, protectors and salvagers of your reputation, and we take that responsibility seriously. In fact, we see ourselves as an extension of your management team.
Many blue chip clients come to Wilcox Group for our issues management expertise; but they become long-standing clients for our exceptional corporate strategies and outstanding client service.
Their strategy is personified by Jerry Dubrovolny. His has a measured, calm presentation and stays on script. A script that he does not write but delivers without any hint of emotional attachment. He only slipped up once when sarcastically replying he was sorry that the union's feelings were hurt when he left a meeting without saying good bye.
The presentation may be boring but it is consistent. In this age of video editing & Youtube consistency is the gold standard.
Over the next couple of postings I'll review what items are up for negotiating. More than wages and contract length there are issue which would give the city greater flexibility in hiring and pay schedules but also limit the role of the union.