ST. CATHARINES, Ont. St. Catharines municipal workers, represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), will urge City Council to reject a senior staff recommendation to contract out the citys new Sportsplex maintenance to Nustadia Developments, at todays council meeting (Monday, March 7th, after 6:30 pm).
Handing this contract over to Nustadia has the potential to gouge St. Catharines taxpayers for decades, said Sean Soper, spokesperson for CUPE 150, after the union had an opportunity to review managements recommendation. The City of Guelph hired Nustadia to build and operate an arena and ended up forking over millions more dollars than anticipated it was a total rip-off for local taxpayers.
According to CUPE, the managements report raises more questions and doubts about their analysis and recommendation of Nustadia, such
- Failure to include the City of Guelphs current financial problems with Nustadia including Guelph taxpayers paying Nustadias mortgage and taxes, in addition to the city investing over $20 million dollars, while Nustadia only put in $1.5 million dollars of their own money;
- Failure to outline to council the impact of job losses for current maintenance workers. If Nustadia provides maintenance to the Sportsplex, current workers could loose their jobs, once older arenas are closed;
- Failure to provide complete data for comparing an internal solution with Nustadias proposal. (Management contended internal staff would require ten positions, plus three workers to replace sick leave/vacation taken, while not providing any information on how many workers Nustadia would employ, making accurate cost comparisons impossible).
Management obviously had no intention of letting city workers handle the new maintenance, said Soper. Last month they demanded major concessions from the union in exchange for entertaining the idea of an internal solution now we can see they were just paving the way to award a lucrative contract to Nustadia. Its important for residents to know we can handle this work internally, without lining the pockets of private interests and losing public accountability.
For further information, please contact:
Sean Soper, Spokesperson, CUPE Local 150 - 905-688-5601 ext. 2161 - 905-680-1306
Frank Hilton, CUPE National Rep. - 905-641-3051
James Chai, CUPE Communications - 416-292-3999