The City of Guelph’s decision to shut down municipal services for five days during the summer will mean Guelphites will not have access to important municipal services, affecting the quality of life for all residents in our community, warn Guelph municipal workers, members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).
“Our members are front-line workers who provide reliable public services every day in our community,” said Brad Kelloway, president of CUPE 241. “We work and live in the city and like other residents we too will suffer as users of public services during the five days shut down.”
The City recently announced municipal services including pools, libraries, garbage, waterworks and even city hall will be closed on June 21, July 9, July 22, August 11 and August 24 in order to balance the City’s budget.
CUPE 241 represents the city’s outside workers and CUPE 973 represents the inside workers of Guelph, while CUPE 1946 represents Guelph library workers. The three local union representatives along with the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1189 initiated meetings with City officials to work out an alternative plan to prevent a complete city shut down.
“We worked hard, under the timelines and circumstances, to find solutions and savings to prevent a full municipal shut down, but our proposals were not deemed viable by the City,” said Dave Peshnak, president of CUPE 973.
“It is important to note that in addition to the five days shut down, the City also lost 29 staff positions,” said Thomas Brenndorfer, spokesperson for CUPE 1946. “These closures and cuts will have a serious impact, especially on family friendly services like pools, libraries and others during the summer period.”
“Public services are even more important during tough economic times,” continued Kelloway. “If we were involved much earlier in the process, perhaps an alternative solution with less of an impact on front-line public services could have been found. But we will continue to work with the city to ensure that critical services like water and wastewater services are provided to residents, even during the five days shut down.”