Meeting with the city council, elected officials of Union Montréal and Projet Montréal did not hesitate to dismiss the idea of exploring alternative solutions to the City of Montreal’s financial problems.
Although the city manager and director of finances have stated, both publicly and in committee, that economies of scale would be easily achievable and would provide Montreal with income in the tens of millions of dollars on a recurring basis, these same elected officials argued against the establishment of an ad hoc committee with a mandate to study those potential savings and the effects of the duplication of services and the super-fragmentation of the City.
“There is an obvious lack of political will,” said Monique Côté, president of the Syndicat des fonctionnaires municipaux de Montréal (SFMM, CUPE-FTQ). “These elected officials prefer to make the citizens pay and reduce services—a quick and easy solution—rather than work to address the real problems. When will they stop wasting the taxpayers’ money?” she asked.
”The police and the firemen are upset, and once again, we white-collar workers are bearing the brunt of this short-sighted vision,” she said. “It’s a shame. This would have been a great opportunity to present our solutions and to allow others to do the same to extricate Montreal from this bottomless pit,” concluded the president.
The Syndicat des fonctionnaires municipaux de Montréal (SFMM, CUPE-FTQ) is currently conducting a campaign - Montréal, fais une ville de toi! - to make taxpayers aware of the serious weakening of the municipal public service, emptied of its staff and public expertise.
The division of powers between the central city and its 19 boroughs has affected the quality of public services, which now differ from one borough to the next, and has created inequities, ensuring that Montrealers are not getting their money’s worth.
The Syndicat des fonctionnaires municipaux de Montréal(SFMM, CUPE-FTQ) is the largest municipal-sector union in Quebec, representing more than 10,000 white-collar municipal and para-municipal employees working for the City of Montreal, for the 14 reconstituted municipalities in the Montreal area, and for para-municipal corporations, such as the Société du Parc Jean-Drapeau, the Société d’habitation et de développement de Montréal (SHDM), the Office municipal d’habitation de Montréal (OMHM), and the private company Parc Six Flags Montréal SEC (La Ronde).
CUPE represents about 70 per cent of all municipal employees in Quebec. With nearly 105,000 members in Quebec, CUPE is present in several other sectors, including health and social services, education, universities, energy, urban and airlines, communications, and Quebec government corporations and public agencies.It is also the largest affiliate of the FTQ.