Wednesday, August 22, 2007

8:30am - 9:00am Monday - Friday

Bill Good, CKNW 980, has become required listening as City and CUPE spin their message for public and striker support. Mr. Good is direct and does not allow either Mr. Faoro or new city spokesperson Tom Timm to dodge questions. It provides clarity to those on the front line. A very rare commodity.

I will take issues with Mr. Good's quoting of the Globe and Mail article that only 20% of the city is impacted when the survey stated that 62% were impacted by the strike.

The issue of job security / seniority has been a repeated theme for the past 5 weeks.

Thankfully a caller provided insight explaining how the city wants to advertise new jobs internally and externally at the same time. Current practice is to post internally and provide those working for the city an opportunity to apply first. Many staff take positions such as clerks or parking enforcement to get their foot in the union / civic door. When a position opens and they have expertise required they have the opportunity to apply first.

If Human Resources is not satisfied with the internal applicants the city then advertises outside the civic workforce.
Senior managers argue waiting three months to advertise a job outside the city is too costly and cumbersome.

I would argue:
  1. that it with a staff of 6,000 the odds are an internal applicant will have the required skills, knowledge and abilities;
  2. it actually demonstrates confidence in the professionalism of civic staff instead of simply repeating the phrase during a labour dispute.

Earlier I wrote that binding arbitration appears as the only solution to resolve this dispute. I received a great comment in response.

Binding arbitration should be illegal for directly funded government contracts. The reason is that an arbitrator is NOT politically accountable for any increases he/she imposes on taxpayers. ONLY elected officials should have the power to increase/decrease taxes or debt. The government of the City of Vancouver is the SOLE entity in charge of how much is affordable in relation to ability to pay. Arbitration is fine, and may be necessary but binding arbitration should be ruled unconstitutional in a government setting.

What do you think? I'd like to know.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I would argue that allowing the jobs to be posted externally at the same time is what really reflects confidence by the city in their workers, and by the workers in themselves.

In any reasonable organization, an internal candidate will always be chosen over an external candidate when their suitability for a job is similar. That's because you know what you're getting with the internal candidate, whereas you're taking a chance with the external candidate.

If the 6000 or so people who work for the city are so professional, and confident in their abilities to do a job, why are they scared to compete with someone from outside? After all, that person has no ideas of the inner workings of the organization, no way to impress their potential new boss other than in an hour-long interview, no way to access decision makers except via HR.

Given all the advantages an employee has over an external applicant for a new job, if the current employee doesn't get the job, they would really need to look seriously at themselves. But, of course, it's much easier to blame evil managers. After all, it's only union employees that are honest, hard-working and trying to the do the best job they can