Saturday, October 20, 2007

Now It's Time To Say Goodbye. . ,

# 199. The Last Post.

Ratification of the Library Workers contract by CUPE 391 Friday, October 19 and the VPL Board Saturday, October 20 marks the end of the second longest civic strike in Vancouver history.

I am no fan of the CITY or CUPE.

What should have been a 3 week strike degenerated into a 13 week grudge match.

The City with its:
  • initial & repeated "firm, final offers" (a tactic illegal under US Labour Law);
  • a 39 month contract offer (who negotiates during or just after an Olympics?);
  • reduced benefits;
  • the Mayor's misguided musings;
  • unwillingness to consider other Metro Vancouver library contracts;
generated an unheard of 90 - 96% Strike Mandate.

CUPE's hands are dirty too.
  • No Layoffs Due to Contracting Out;
  • Seniority before Merit for all Auxiliary Workers;
  • Treating the Olympics as just another work day;
  • Designating all Olympic sites as CUPE facilities;
These were non-negotiable and demonstrate a 1980's British coal miner mindset (remember the Arbutus Club.)

CUPE was right to push for dispute resolution systems that protect employees from self anointed messianic managers found in any organization. Certain disputes have been allowed to fester for 10 years. Now it's 7 months and binding arbitration is involved if necessary.

A mediator was required to break the deadlock.

Thankfully, 8 weeks into the strike, the City misplayed the labour code's Section 56 request for a Special Mediator. A civic strike is not special. Face saving motivated the City to enter "enhanced mediation." CUPE had been requesting such for the length of the strike.

The strike is over except for Mayor Sam Sullivan. He wants to bill the November 2008 civic election as CUPE vs SAM, The Final Knockout. It's sad really. After 3 years the Mayor has no policy achievements only a continual flow of wish list press releases.

CUPE did itself no favours at its second rally outside City Hall. Declaring that CUPE will work to defeat the Mayor, CUPE gift wrapped an election platform Mayor Sullivan is happily exploiting. 12 months, however, is an eternity in politics.

All the while Cambie Street businesses received no property tax relief and now 35% are closed. Businesses at Library Square received no rent relief. The City is the landlord.

As for this blog..,

I didn't realize anyone was reading until Saturday August 18 when I posted the videos from the Arbutus Club. Suddenly, I had 10 comments.

Total Comments: 575.

August 22 I learned about Google Analytics and Sitemeter. Now I could measure how many people were reading and how many pages were read.

August 22 - October 20, 2007
  • 5,471 Absolutely Unique Visitors
  • 10,453 Visits
  • 28,749 Page Views
  • 2.4 Avg. Pages / View
  • 4:14 Avg. Time on Site
Shaw and Telus were the most common domains.

Number 3 - The City of Vancouver.

  • 1051 Visits
  • 4:39 Avg. Time on Site
  • 2.91 Avg. Page / View
  • October 5th & 9th - Most Vists
Thanks to Walter Schultz, The Gazetteer, David Eaves, Beyond Robson, Urban Vancouver and Howe Street for the positive reviews and referrals to this blog.

Reading comments, for me, was the most enjoyable part of the blog. It definitely was not a one sided debate. Provocative, emotional and for the most part reasoned and well written.

Only 5 comments were rejected due to their flaming content.

Thank you for the comments, the support and most importantly for reading.

If there is a strike in 2012 I won't be with the City. 11 weeks provided the opportunity to develop a realistic business plan. It's been set in motion and one goal, unexpectedly, has already been reached.

It will be a great adventure.

So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, adieu,
Adieu, adieu, to yieu and yieu and yieu

So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, goodbye
I leave and heave a sigh and say goodbye -- Goodbye!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for all of the time and effort you put into this P.B. - I got sort of addicted to it.

Anonymous said...

thanks. i appreciate all the links and direct information. being only a concerned citizen it was frustrating to wade through all the different sites and biases to try and figure out where things actually stood. this blog was a hub with links to everything so i could do my own research and stay on top of what was happening. i learned a lot over the past weeks.

Gazetteer said...

Thanks also P.B.

And sure hope you enjoy yourself after you cross those Alps.


Anonymous said...

See you in 5 years!

Anonymous said...

thank you for all the information and insight. This site provided a lot of clarity during a time when confusion and fustration was felt be many people. Best of luck on your new business venture ...

Ann S said...

I, too, appreciate your candid and comprehensive writing. I've been an onlooker from the US Midwest for several weeks, as my film is going to be shown on November 3 in support of the striking librarians (now in the past tense). I look forward to being in Vancouver shortly.

Anonymous said...

I really hope that many of my colleagues have thought about other jobs and careers that may bring them more satisfaction than can be provided by such a disappointing environment that is Vancouver. Good luck PB!

Anonymous said...

Please keep this site up as a record of what occurred during the strike. It is invaluable for historical purposes as you included full text of items that may not be archived for whatever reasons. And thanks again.

Sara Spearman said...

Picketboy, I never commented while the site was running, but I feel it's appropriate to now. I just hope you may find the time to log in and view yet another comment.
Truly, I enjoyed the site & commentary as well as found it more educational than any Union or City reference. I wish you the best of luck with your future endeavors and can only wish that I had built a business plan as well to get my own sorry self out of the City for once and for all. I did find some happiness during the strike, a new puppy and the motivation to apply elsewhere for a career. Adieu to you as well!