12 August 2009

Garbage Overtime Bill Climbing

Allison Hanes at the National Post has a good article on how yet again Osama bin Miller and his CUPE terrorists are screwing the Toronto Taxpayers with excessive overtime costs to clean up the mess they created!! Unbelievable!! Miller must go! CUPE must go! Privatise our trash collection services now! It is absolutely criminal that Miller and rest of the Council 'Brain Trust' allowed al-CUPE to dictate the terms of the clean-up.

That being said, yesterday was trash day, and when I left this morning, it had yet to be picked up! If we had a private garbage collector, we could impose performance clauses in the contract, which would ensure that the contractor provided the level of service we require or there would be a financial penalty. There is no such performance clause for al-CUPE and we are stuck paying a ridiculous fee in our taxes for an extremely low level of service. I would urge everyone to write their city councillor and let them know that we are pissed off with how this city is being run into the ground.

Garbage overtime bill climbing


Allison Hanes,  National Post 

Toronto's trash collectors will rack up even more overtime this week clearing away the detritus of their six-week strike, as residents began hauling their stockpiled garbage to the curb yesterday for a second-wave of pick-up.

But critics warn letting unionized workers who waged a 39-day work stoppage earn back some of their lost income only sets up Toronto for future labour disruptions unless trash is contracted out.

A first sweep of the city last week saw crews back from the picket lines accumulate some 900 hours of overtime, working up to 13 hours a day and completing their regular rounds on Saturday morning, said Rob Orpin, director of collections operations for Toronto's solid waste department.

Double the amount of garbage, recycling and organics was cleaned up last week, he said, and by all accounts just as much waste has been piled on the curb this go-round.

"It's been a clean-o-rama. There's been no holding back," Mr. Orpin said. "Today early reports from my staff is it's as heavy as it was last week."

Toronto is in the second week of a two-week cycle. Some households will be getting rid of garbage for the first time since the middle of June, while others will be putting out first loads of their recycling and organics in all that time. (Those putting out their blue bins this week would have had their grey rubbish bins emptied last week and vice versa). About 500 staff and 230 trucks are out removing garbage again this week, Mr. Orpin said.

Last week, 340 of those workers put in 900 hours of overtime doing curbside collection, which kicks in after 10 hours. Mr. Orpin did not have a dollar figure yesterday.

Geoff Rathbone, Toronto's general manager of solid waste, admitted last week that the overtime bill for 550 workers putting in 13-hour days to clean up 26 temporary dump sites over the August long weekend itself totalled $475,000.

Councillor Michael Thompson (Scarborough Centre) professed himself "extremely disappointed" that returning waste staff keep seeing payouts.

"We're getting doubly dinged again. We got a bad deal overall. And now we're actually continuing to have to pay. So at the end of the day the taxpayers have had to pay, pay, pay, pay in regards to this strike, to much chagrin and no real satisfaction," he said.

Councillor Doug Holyday (Etobicoke Centre) first suggested putting a moratorium on overtime early on in the strike, but his idea fell on deaf ears. "It's a big mistake to do it this way," he said yesterday. "It would be better to send the message to them that there's going to be no overtime for them after the strike and if they lose money on that picket line, it's gone. The louder and clearer that message, the shorter the strike as far as I'm concerned."

On July 31, the day the strike officially ended, Mark Ferguson, president of Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 416, which includes garbage collectors, called efforts to deprive returning staff of overtime pay "mean-spirited."

Mayor David Miller promised overtime would be "limited," but said Toronto would not delay the long-overdue clean-up of two dozen temporary dumps in parks and the collection of household waste.

Windsor, which endured a 101-day labour stoppage this year, made removing garbage during normal hours a condition of its back-to-work protocol.

"I guess the political will to take that action wasn't there [in Toronto]," Mr. Holyday said.

He also plans to ask the city's auditor-general next month to weigh the pros and cons of outsourcing garbage collection.

The Mayor dismissed such calls during the strike by pointing out that employees of private contractors also have unions and have gone on strike. He repeatedly stated that public services belong in the public realm.

But Mr. Holyday said that's not a fair comparison and the experience of neighbouring municipalities show removing garbage collection from the public realm keeps labour disruptions to a matter of days.


By The Numbers

3,000 tonnes -- the average amount of garbage Toronto typically collects in a regular week.

6,200 tonnes -- the amount of garbage city workers hauled away last week, the first week since service resumed after a strike.

3,000 tonnes --the average amount of recycling picked up during a regular week.

5,800 tonnes -- the amount of recycling picked up last week.

2,000 tonnes --average amount of organics collected in a regular week in Toronto.

3,500 tonnes -- the amount of organics hauled away last week.

900 hours -- the number of overtime hours that will be billed.

$475,000 -- the amount of overtime paid out to 550 city workers for cleaning up 26 temporary dump sites Aug. 1, 2 and 3 in the days after the strike ended.

Posted via email from FreeTorontoNow

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