SYDNEY – The union representing three groups of municipal workers in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality is urging the mayor and council to proceed with caution on budget cuts and possible service reductions.
CUPE National Representative Wanda Power says, “Decisions from last night’s council meeting could have serious implications for the level of service our members are able to provide to residents.
“I caution everyone involved to remember that attrition is just a fancy word for layoffs. If positions aren’t filled because someone is retiring, that is still one less job being done and less service being provided,” says Power.
Power says, “While we also understand that they decided to ‘further study’ cuts to transit, any cuts to public transit are going to be a blow to seniors and other residents who do not have a vehicle and are totally reliant on public transit to get around.
“We’d also like to know if part of their studying will involve consulting with the frontline workers who provide the service,” she asks.
Power suggests this might be an ideal time for Mayor Clarke and council to take a hard look at the amount of contracting out that they do.
Says Power, “We had a rash of complaints this year about snow and ice clearing efforts in the municipality. Many of those complaints, however, came from residents in Sydney where the snow clearing is done by a mix of municipal and private contractors.
“We believe much of that work should be contracted in, in the same way that we did with solid waste collection. That’s where you can achieve efficiencies,” says Power.
CUPE members at CBRM are outside workers in Local 759, inside workers in Local 933 and crossing guards in Local 761.
CUPE National Representative
CUPE Communications Representative