A city council committee has voted to consider contracting out the rest of Winnipeg’s trash collection.
The municipal government’s so-called “alternate service committee” agreed to send a staff proposal to contract out bin pickup and garbage collection on Winnipeg’s south side to city council for a July vote.
CUPE staff rep. Greg Mandzuk called the proposal the “tip of the iceberg.”
Mandzuk predicted that the proposal’s much-vaunted $20 million savings over ten years would evaporate quickly once the privateers got in the door.
“The costs may not escalate with the first contract, may not escalate with the second,” he said. But he predicted once the city had sold off its equipment and transferred its personnel, that the contractors would turn the screws.
“The city is going to lose total control and accountability on this issue, strategy or no strategy,” he said.
Trash collection has been contracted out in Winnipeg’s poorer north end for several years.
Also at stake are the careers of about 40 CUPE members. Those with permanent status could be shifted to other departments, but about 25 temporary employees may lose their jobs if the plan goes through.
Winnipeg mayor Sam Katz suggested CUPE members could bid for their own jobs back once the service had been contracted out.