HAMILTON Alternative service delivery, also known as contracting out and its variations, is a non-starter for most Hamilton taxpayers, a new poll conducted by Vector Research + Development demonstrates. The poll, which CUPE Local 5167 commissioned, reveals such data as an 86 per cent approval rating for garbage collecting and a much narrower margin (52 per cent approval) for road maintenance.
The poll shows that dissatisfied taxpayers also oppose privatization. The poll concluded that alternative service delivery is a solution looking for a problem. Hamiltonians are not convinced that privatizing services will make them better or more accessible.
Drinking water, an already privatized service, gets lower marks from Hamilton taxpayers, 63 per cent, than most other services. Union vice-president Vicki Houston says that the results must be a shock to city manager Doug Lychak. The way he has been promoting privatization, he must think that Hamiltonians believe his proposals for contracting out and privatization are a great idea. Perhaps the example of the privatized sewage companys assault on the environment has had more of an impact on taxpayers thinking than Lychak and his managerial crew realize. Giving Hamilton the unfortunate distinction of having the largest ever dumping of raw sewage into Lake Ontario is a sad example of the flaws of privatization.
We believe that the taxpayers of Hamilton are smart enough to understand that alternate service delivery, contracting out and privatization mean increased costs and reduced services.
Among the general population, only 21 per cent favour privatizing city services. A 57 per cent majority opposes the citys adopting a policy of alternative service delivery if it means private companies take over and run the services which the citys employees now perform. The balance either dont know (13 per cent) or say that their opinion depends (nine per cent).
With results like these, says Houston, I wonder what motivates the councillors and senior management who promote privatization and alternate service delivery. It appears to be blind faith in privatization instead of practical business sense.
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Gus Oliveira, President
905-522-0917 Office - 905-517-4105 Cell
Vicki Houston, Vice-president
905-522-0917 Office - 905-536-2231 Cell
Mike Stokes, CUPE National Rep.