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In communities and workplaces across Canada our valued public services are at risk of being handed over to private interests. Whether it’s health care, water and sewage or child care, many services are threatened by contracting-out and privatization.

Contracting work back in-house is an important strategy in fighting privatization and today CUPE has launched an online survey to find out more about what CUPE locals are doing to contract-in important services.

CUPE members across Canada are working hard to keep vital community services in public hands so that high quality, affordable, locally controlled services can be delivered to the public. With this survey we will find out more about their challenges and successes.

The goal of the survey is to gather experiences from locals about contracting-in and to strengthen our capacity to run campaigns. In exposing the problems of contracting-out and making the case for contracting-in, we can better protect public services.

Governments have a vital role to play in providing services for the public good. When those services are privatized, local control and decision making are compromised. Tell us your story, and help shape the debate on the benefits of publicly delivered services.

Case study: Port Moody contracts-in solid waste and recycling - 2008

After ten years of poor service, Port Moody city council decided to bring solid waste and collection services back in house. When this service first got contracted out, CUPE members made a commitment to Port Moody residents to try to get the service back. They kept it on the agenda and were diligent about safety issues and reporting contractors for speeding, not picking up re-cycling, etc.

The contractor had won a five-year contract with a low bid. Council’s efforts to improve services were not successful. Finally, council initiated a joint committee of CUPE and senior management, to look at the viability of bringing this service in house. CUPE research helped develop a telephone survey that was used to collect data and canvass public opinion on the services being provided.

In the local’s presentation to council, CUPE stressed the importance of making decisions in the interest of residents, but also stressed that CUPE members – public workers – deliver the best services to their community.

Tell us your story and help strengthen public services.