Thursday, February 10, 2011

Super Mayor Rob Ford to end "Jobs for life" for Toronto City Workers!

Finally, a Toronto Mayor who looks out for the Toronto taxpayer and who actually makes logical decisions.

Toronto's Super Mayor Rob Ford will look to end the sweetheart contract clause of "Jobs for life" for the 13,000 Toronto City workers, a move that's been a long time coming.

"Jobs for life" is a ridiculous concept which makes absolutely no sense, and is completely unaffordable especially in a time of recession. Torontonians are being taxed beyond recognition, and as much as the Union would like to try and manipulate Torontonians with the rhetoric around people going after other people's jobs & job security and that this is the rich targeting the elimination of the middle class (oh, give me a break!), the reality is that the Union simply priced themselves out of work.  In terms of feeling sympathy for the Union, their past behaviour made that boat sail a long time ago.

Here's the story from the Toronto Star:

Ford targets 'jobs for life' security with city unions
City of Toronto negotiators will push hard to strip city workers of “jobs for life” contract guarantees, says Councillor Doug Ford, setting his brother’s administration on a collision course with the city’s unions.

The bold push aimed at opening the door to widespread contracting-out of services, including cleaning and grass-cutting, dramatically elevates the risk of a lockout or strike after the CUPE Local 416’s contract expires Dec. 31, say political and labour observers.

Certain contract provisions guarantee any member whose job is contracted-out another equal or lower position with the city.

In a brief telephone interview with the Star on Wednesday, the brother and closest adviser of Mayor Rob Ford said: “We’re going to target ‘jobs for life’ whenever we can, because nobody should have a job for life.

“I can tell you we’ll go after it in every negotiation we can. I can’t say we’ll be successful, but I can say we’ll give it one hell of a try.”

Ford’s team said the job-security contract clauses are the only thing preventing them from contracting out pick-up city-wide.

Doug Holyday, the deputy mayor and chair of the city’s labour relations committee, sounded cautious about tackling the thorny issue.

Holyday noted that, in 2002, then-mayor Mel Lastman triggered a 16-day strike by trying to water down job-security provisions that guaranteed permanent workers with 10 years’ service couldn’t lose their jobs to outsourcing. Queen’s Park forced arbitration that strengthened the job security language.

In 2005, Mayor David Miller extended the contract provision to all permanent employees.

David Doorey, a professor of employment and labour law at York University, is predicting the job security battle will trigger either a lockout or a strike in 2012, and the Ford administration will try to hire private contractors to pick up the trash.

I completely agree 100% with Doug Ford that there is absolutely no justification for "jobs for life" in today's world. The only way that a job should be guaranteed is through performance and availability. If you are a high performer, and if the position is available, then you should be able to keep your job. If an employer can find someone else to perform the same job at either a lower price, or at a higher rate of performance for the same price, then you should be gone. Improve yourself or fall behind, I mean, that is a basic concept in a forward moving/thinking society.

Not to mention that having a clause which forces the City to provide replacement jobs for workers who have no business or experience in performing those replacement jobs, is truly a recipe for disaster. It's already a mission to get anything done by the city and it takes far longer and costs far more than it should. Then you want to fill certain positions with workers who have no experience or knowledge performing the roles?? That's not hiring the best people for the job. That's not ensuring that Toronto gets the top tier of services for Torontonians who break their backs paying constantly rising taxes. That is mediocrity, a term that has become synonymous with the Toronto City Workers' Unions.

The Unions can bitch and cry and whine, and frankly, Torontonians just don't give a damn anymore. There have been countless times that Toronto has asked its workers to take one for the team, and every single time the Unions have given Torontonians the finger. When the Unions were striking in the past, did they care about how that would impact other Torontonians' ability to get to work or to access their jobs? Did they care about the impact it would have on other Torontonians' lives? No they didn't. Yet, they expect us to have sympathy for them? This is it. This was coming, and if you didn't expect it Unionites, then you truly are ignorant.

Strikes... Yes, yes, strikes... You know what? BRING IT! Torontonians, make sure you take advantage of all city services that you require asap, because there will be strikes and this time we're in it for the long haul.


(Image: by torontocitylife on flickr


CheeMiss said...

Jobs for life? Who has that? Look at the Middle East. Even the oil dictators are being ousted out! No one has a job for one except for our union/public employees, that are paid by our taxes!

Maybe we should revolt like they are doing in Egypt.
Enough is enough!

Maybe we are finally getting mean bcos of McGuinty's Green Energy scams, that are breaking our banks!

Bottom Feeders, the whole lot of them are Bottom Feeders.

Anonymous said...

If city council decides those jobs are to be out sourced, then that is exactly what will happen.
2 strikes in 34 years I would not call over the top.

Wow a short term 8 million saving and so were is the other 162 million going to come from ?

Can we say ( tax increase )

Anonymous said...

The jobs for life clause was put in during Mel Lastman's tenure in 1999. It was intended to guarantee existing employees (not new hires) with at least 10 years of service a job should their roles with the city be eliminated through outsourcing.

Given what was avoided at the time ( a massive strike) and with the city's plan to trim the workforce (through attrition) it made sense. Then along came another strike, Mayor Miller and dozens of arbitration's later, and the jobs for life clause has attached itself to everything (except part-time staff as far as I know).

Is this clause, in any of its forms on any timeline a good thing? That depends .... to you blame the cities misfortune on the 300 garbage men and women? Or on procurement (it costs the city 1.8 BILLION, yes Billion!, Like the Bruinsa year).

So we really need to sit down and look at what the real costs in the city are before going on a witch hunt against the bloke that picks up our garbage.

For the record, I personally don't believe that the jobs for life clause has any place given the parlance of our time.


Timbo said...

How is the concept of having a job for life threatening to you people?

I mean who wants to be unemployed? if you like your job and are good at it. In a perfect world you should have a job for life.

What the fuck is wrong with you people.

Anonymous said...

There is no such thing as jobs for life in the City.
The agreement is that, if someone's position is eliminated, the City will attempt to find that person another job in the city - but only if they have the skills to perform that duty, and that there is a position to be filled.
Many companies will do the same thing - it simply means not laying off someone if there is apposition elsewhere in the city that the person can do. No such position, or the person cannot perform that position, then they are out of work.

natasha said...

" Improve yourself or fall behind, I mean, that is a basic concept in a forward moving/thinking society" is not only incorrect, it is stupid, ignorant and dismissive.

This type of thinking makes it reasonable to let weak people die instead of helpin them live. You are an ignorant idiot, sir.

This is not the "basic concept in a forward moving/thinking society". This is barbaric, outdated, ignorant and cheap rhetoric. forward moving/thinking society takes care of its members. What is good for the members is good for the whole. If you would choose job security over job insecurity -- I am sure you would, my dear, self-serving fool! -- you must also clap for those who have it and help them keep it in hopes that you too will get it one day. Fight for what is best for you and everyone around you. Don't raise your voice against others in hopes that, perhaps, you will get what they have if you make them lose it.

Anonymous said...

Do you really think that Union is the only staff in the City? How about the Management Team? Do you think every time the contract near/come to the end, the management just blame the Union staff is the gravy? How about our management staff in the City? Don't just count the Union people! How many benefits for the management team offered from the City? Do you know after retirement the Management staff still receive and enjoy the benefits, not only in the Municipal but Provincial Government? Who pay for that?!

Do you know a lot management team staff in the City and in the Provincial Government receive bonus as well? I can tell most of Union Staff does not have salary increase, the only one they can expect is the inflation adjustment, they receive average 2% annually from the last contract. Do you still think Union is greedy?

Do you beleive if the Union Staff on stike, they receive zero salary/income as well as zero benefit! If they go for pickle line, they may get maximum of $200 per week and those money is from the biweekly contribution from the pay check. However, have you looked at the Management team, they have worked overtime and receive more during the Union's strike time! Every strike costs Union a red number but the Management staff get a big cheque! I agree we should save more money and reduce Torontoian's tax bundle. So we should focus on different area not just focus on Unions.

In addition, have you checked the other Cities such as Markham, the property tax even higher than our City of Toronto.

Please look at YRT strike, their Union members has striked for over 10 weeks but no one say they should list to be Essential Service (but our TTC is exception). Looked at our Toronto Police, they are the most expensive Police Force in all Canadaian Municipal Cities. Every time, when a mayor step down, a new mayor will change a lot through their Administrative procedures and causes lot of policies to be flipped and then you will see how much money we lost by such a Political decision. Unfortunately, the Union will always be the focus to be blamed.

I hope you should have a fair view to Union member.

Anonymous said...

There are no guarantees of a life long job and never has been.
This Ford administration words it in this way in infuriate the taxpayers and to get them to rally behind his attack on unionized labor and blame same for all Toronto's financial woes.

The reality is that ALL city employees have the same benefits as do the outside workers so why is this centered on just 416 employees.

Why did the Ford administration not start from the top and move down to clear out all excess spending and quite a few overpaid managers of all levels and by the way, none of them are unionized so it would have been an easy deal to bring them in line with reality and realistic salaries as soon as he took office.

Save money and cut waste, by all means but lets do it right and cover all bases here.

All I see is outside workers getting chased down while the real gravy continues on with the old buddy system of managers looking after each other and somehow being able to stay off Fords radar.

Then there is the police payed duty witch is an obvious gravy train that continues to go on wasting 10 million plus of taxpayers money annually.

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