City of Windsor makes a sham of local democracy by reintroducing an already defeated motion, says CUPE
WINDSOR, ON – The City of Windsor is about to witness the dismantling of local democracy if key elected council officials get their way and reintroduce a motion already defeated in November seeking to contract out caretaking services at a variety of city operated and maintained facilities, warned the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), representing municipal workers at the City of Windsor.
“What we have here is a repackaged motion that was already discussed in a public forum with consultation and input from the community in November – Council listened to the community, voted to defeat the motion to outsource public services, and that decision needs to be respected,” said Mark Vander Voort, president of CUPE 543, representing the ‘inside’ municipal workers. “Less than four months from the defeated vote, a similar motion, dressed up in sheep’s clothing, is being reintroduced to council. This is a sham and shame on those on council who are plotting behind closed doors to bring this back to the floor of the city chamber.”
The original motion to contract out caretaking services was defeated on November 16, 2015, after a public outcry about the importance of keeping public services in-house. The community and the workers rallied to, not only keep services in-house, but highlighted the need for the city to provide quality jobs to deliver quality public services. But less than four months after the vote, a ‘repackaged’ motion, ‘tailored’ to shift votes to get this ‘revamped’ motion approved, is being pushed on the agenda for Monday’s council meeting.
“It would appear that, not long after this vote in November, some council members may have initiated meetings behind closed doors to restart this whole process, looking for new tactics to contract out public services,” said Rob Kolody, president of CUPE 82, representing the ‘outside’ municipal workers. “We live in a democracy, Council spoke and voted to invest in public services by keeping the caretaking services in-house. One cannot just revisit an already defeated motion within weeks and repackage it and reintroduce it to council within months of a defeated decision so it can be approved. This is not how democracy works.”
“We are witnessing a new low in the City of Windsor,” said Vander Voort. “The message is loud and clear, if certain council members do not get their way, they will do whatever it takes, up to and including ignoring the values and principles of democracy, to get what they want. Windsor residents deserve to know what and who is driving this ‘back door’ approach to dismantle public services in Windsor.”
“Is this how business will be conducted in Windsor,” continued Kolody. “This is not only about contracting out caretaking services, but more important to Windsor residents, this is about how democracy is being bent by some elected councillors to suit their agenda.”
For more information, please contact:
Mark Vander Voort, CUPE 543 President, 519-903-5515
Rob Kolody, CUPE 82 President, 226-347-2222
Lisa Marion, CUPE National Representative, 613-305-4952
James Chai, CUPE Communications, 905-739-3999