Open Shop News

Merit Manitoba’s response to CUPE’s position on private contractors ability to clear snow

Mike Davidson, president of CUPE Local 500 is off base when he says that giving a greater share of the snow clearing work to city staff would produce better results with less cost and ensure accountability for prompt and proper snow clearing. The article posted on the Free Press website on October 23, 2015 offers no evidence to support the position that the City workforce would provide a better and more cost efficient service than private contractors. The article fails to mention that private contractors work under the direction of the City of Winnipeg and therefore if areas are repeatedly missed it is a joint responsibility. In support of his position Davidson refers to a hotline and website that CUPE set up tocollect complaints and uses the fact that two-thirds of those who contacted the union were unhappy with the quality of snow clearing. It is not surprising that the majority of calls to a hotline set up to collect complaints, would in fact, be a call to lodge a complaint, as someone who is happy with the quality of their snow clearing would have no reason to call this type of hotline.

What the City of Winnipeg should do is work with Contractors to be more efficient rather than invest millions in equipment and more expensive human resources in order to do it themselves.