The country’s largest local union today welcomed the opportunity to discuss how ‘flatlined’ budgets are harming service levels in community centres and other vital public services across Toronto.
“Instead of urging people to bully and harass front-line staff, and very likely violating a long-standing policy of not permitting photos to be taken in community centres, we think there’s much more value to having an adult conversation about service levels that people expect, and what they’re actually getting,” said Tim Maguire, President of Local 79 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE 79).
Maguire was responding toearlier comments by Ward 8 Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti, who earlier in the day attempted to further justify his ongoing attacks on front-line staff.
Last week, Mammoliti posted a photograph of a community centre employee with their head down, and cast aspersions on all city employees.
Maguire thanked Torontonians for not rushing to judgment.
“I think the outcry that followed shows most people in this city were appalled an elected official would release a photo with no context and malign a lot of dedicated people in the process. Front-line workers deserve better than bullying and incitement to bullying, especially from civic leaders,” he said.
An investigation of the circumstances surrounding the photo is currently underway by City management. Local 79 continues to be engaged in that investigation.
“If we take Councillor Mammoliti at his word that this entire affair stems from a number of constituent complaints about service levels at this particular centre, then we as a community need to talk about why residents aren’t getting the service levels they expect and deserve,” he added.
In the past three years, most City Departments have had their budgets ‘flatlined’, receiving no adjustments for inflation. If a position is vacated for any reason, such as illness, retirement or death, they are not filled.
“Let’s be clear—an unfilled position is a service cut. It’s a person who provides a service that a resident expects and deserves. So we welcome the opportunity to share with residents in Ward 8 and across Toronto our experiences of how ‘flatlining’ is affecting the quality of services at community centres and a whole host of other important services,” said Maguire.
For further information, please contact:
CUPE 79 President