MEMORANDUM August 13, 2007
TO: Mayor and Councillors
CC: Corporate Management Team
Syd Baxter, City Clerk
FROM: Judy Rogers, City Manager
SUBJECT: Bargaining Update
Clearly Negotiating staff are very frustrated at CUPE’s actions and disappointed that it was not possible to reach an agreement, given the other settlements in the Region.CUPE's Response
It does appear that the local CUPE leaders (along with CUPE National and CUPE BC) are wholly committed to the broader underlying goals of:
- undermining the credibility of the GVRLB (which has served for almost 40 years to protect the Municipalities in the lower mainland from CUPE whip sawing of contract provisions)
- facilitating a long-standing and well publicized political agenda
- using the City’s desire for a longer term agreement to obtain significant pay and benefit increases, and to obtain traditional Trade Union concessions (mandatory use of seniority vs. merit, control of posting and hiring provisions, and control of hours of work and scheduling issues) that would give CUPE much more control over the management of the City
Discussion regarding point 1 "whipsawing" can be found in the previous post "Of Whipsaws and Boulwares." CUPE would counter that the City is bargaining using a technique called Boulwarism.
Point 3 is the crux of this strike. Emails ask what more does CUPE want? Isn't 17.5% over 5 years enough? Ms Rogers description captures the essence of this strike. Seniority vs Merit. I am a strong proponent of merit. Merit that is skills, knowledge and abilities based with a standardized hiring methodology.
Staff, suspicious of city managers, believe that upper management job postings are tailored for favoured candidates instead of the job. Conversely, there are staff who believe they are owed a promotion due to time served. Tailored postings and straight seniority are wrong and do not benefit the taxpayer.
Distrust is the essence of this strike. The true test of City and Union leaders is if together they develop a process to improve management / staff relations.
It would benefit Vancouver taxpayers.
Does it matter to CUPE /City leaders?