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Halifax Outgoing Mayor Water Fitzgerald wont be the only one keeping a close eye on the Halifax Regional Municipalitys new leader the union representing the majority of municipal employees will be paying close attention as well.

While we congratulate Peter Kelly on his win, we will also be watching to make sure he lives up to his election promises, says Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Water Watch Co-ordinator Danny Cavanagh. We will be particularly interested to see how he approaches the harbour cleanup whether or not he stands by his commitments to finding the most cost-effective solution and to making council and senior staff more accountable to the public.

Clearly one of the reasons Fitzgerald was defeated was his mishandling of the harbour cleanup, Cavanagh adds. The new mayor and council now have a mandate from the citizens of the HRM to end the secrecy and start a decision-making process that is open and transparent.

Cavanagh says the union will be expecting Kelly to take a critical look at the public shadow bid, which Cavanagh says was hastily prepared, by a firm with a pro-privatization bias.

Kelly has stated hes in favour of a full and proper shadow bid, and well be holding him to that, Cavanagh concludes.

CUPE is also concerned that the new council deals fairly with municipal outside workers, who are currently in negotiations for a new contract. CUPE National Rep Larry Power says they are hoping council plays a more supportive role than it did during the last round of negotiations, when it refused to support what its own bargaining committee had recommended.

CUPE represents approximately 1200 employees at the Halifax Regional Municipality, including school board support staff and outside workers. It also represents about 150 employees at the Halifax Regional Water Commission.

For more information please contact <a href=”mailto”dannyc@ns.sympatico.ca”>Danny Cavanagh at 455-4180,

(902) 895-2352