Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Post Strike Garbage Services

Fraser Institute: Vancouver should contract out services to avoid strikes and save money
News 1130am -
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MY VIEW

Before the next civic contract expires in 2012 I would be surprised if the City is involved in any garbage or recycling services.

Listening to Christie Clark's CKNW program I learned that only two cities, Vancouver and New Westminster, maintain residential municipal garbage services. Condos, businesses and apartments in Vancouver already have private services. The strike's impact is especially blunted on the downtown peninsula and in Fairview Slopes.

Burnaby has not re-tendered it's high density garbage services and has returned to providing this as a municipal service. A caller stated that it was due to the profit potential for the City of Burnaby. Vancouver, he said, is losing money by contracting out.

From a strictly monetary view that may be correct but it lacks a labour / management perspective. The City has progressively eliminated CUPE's leverage with each strike.

Privatizing 100% of the garbage / recycling supply chain would give the city the upper hand in negotiations. Civic strikes are known as garbage strikes. If garbage was picked up during a strike would residents care how long the it lasted?

6 comments:

The Blackbird said...
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The Blackbird said...
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Anonymous said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't both sides (when they settle) usually include some kind of clause that neither side can initiate some kind of retaliatory measure (ie. legal action) after the dust has settled? Is this not usually the case, thus negating any chance to pursue this route?

Anonymous said...

CUPE hasn't had its rights to collectively bargain impinged upon in any way. The fact that the city refuses to cave in to CUPE demands is not necessarily an act of bad faith. As PB has explained CUPE could have called for a mediator earlier in the process but chose not to because of strategic reasons. The strike will end when BOTH sides find an agreement with language that they can both live with.

The Blackbird said...

Hello Anon @ 4:10 PM,

I was just told, tonight, by one of the members of the union's bargaining committee that what you state is true. Both sides want protection from retaliation so that will be a part of the deal. There are other means of pursuing this which I am not at liberty to discuss here.

Anon @ 7:54 PM,

Consider this example of the City/GVRD's bad faith bargaining tactics in its negotiation with local 391. Shortly after the library employees went out on strike after having received no offers from the City, their bargaining team presented the City with a proposal. The City failed to sit at the table and bargain for 28 days! That's four weeks, two lost paycheques, because the City would not sit face to face with 391's bargaining committee and talk.

Consider the first media blackout involving local 15. It lasted 5 days. The union, aware the City was using Boulwareism as a guiding strategy, kept a stopwatch on the amount of time City negotiators sat in the chairs across the table from the Union, who were available for bargaining the entire five days. Total time? 4 hours, 22 minutes.

In the meantime, managers' bank accounts grow and grow and grow with overtime.

These are just two of many examples of the City/GVRD's failure to bargain in good faith that may be used as evidence in court.

Anonymous said...

Hi Blackbird, thanks for checking that out, I just threw that in there because it seemed logical, although I do agree with you 100 per cent that the City has not bargained in good faith but it seemed to me that this was evident in past resolutions and is unfair. But I appreciate you checking it out further and will continue to pursue other avenues.