Possible municipal strike in Toronto

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remind remind's picture

Again, shilling for the mob.

Uncle John

I don't have relatives at the City of Toronto, and I am not politically connected to anyone that could give me a job. I don't know how long I would survive in a union. They have postal bags and baseball bats for people like me.

If markets like the car companies can afford to pay people more money, they could earn more money.

I just don't think the wages should be high if the only source of revenue is taxes forced out of other (mainly low income) people's pockets.

Stockholm

I don't think we should waste anymore time responding to someone who is ridiculous enough to think that the solution to all our problems is to pay everyone starvation wages.

Let's get back to the discussing the ISSUES that have led to this particular strike.

remind remind's picture

Well perhaps if men made starvation wages, maybe women's concerns  over how they are paid starvation wages, would be addressed too and wages for all would go up?

Having said that uncle john apparently believes certain segments of the population should make over 10 bucks and hour. And I have a hard time seeing him as a business person, considering the more disposable income people have the better businesses do.

 

 

 

johnpauljones

Miller lost all credibility on the issue when he allowed and voted in favour of raises for councillors.

 

their seems to be concessions only by unionized workers while fat cats vote themselves more.

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
their seems to be concessions only by unionized workers while fat cats vote themselves more.

 

Actually, the first to feel the pinch have been the non-union employees.

Star Spangled C...

Isn't Gay Pride this coming weekend? isn't Toronto expecting about a million people? I'd think a million people out at a fun summer festival will produce lots of garbage. I really hope this is settled before that.

remind remind's picture

unionized employess in the forest industry in BC felt the pinch first.

Star Spangled C...

We could debate over who felt the pinch first but the reality is that pretty much everyone is feeling the pinch these days and are facing some tough realities. Where I work, people have been told that we have to take a one-week unpaid vacation. So that basically amounts to a 1/52th pay cut. Not terrible but it's a sacrifice that we ahve to make cause times are hard. We've got it a lot better than many auto workers who have taken massive pay cuts to save their jobs, better than people who are losing a lot of benefits, pensions being put at risk and a hell of a lot better than the thousands of people who have lost their jobs entirely, are wondering how to pay their bills and would probably love to collect trash at the current salary and only use sick days when they're actually sick.

Stockholm

Garbage collection at Pride is being done privately so it won't be affected.

"Miller lost all credibility on the issue when he allowed and voted in favour of raises for councillors."

The raises for councillors were just to make for the fact they stupidly IMHO didn't have their salaries indexed to inflation and so after x-number of years with no raise at all, the councillors lost a lot of money in real terms. To tell you the truth, for the amount of work they do, Toronto city councillors don't actually make all that much money. There are people in the municipal civil service who make far more than the politicians do.  In any case, if you can show me that city councillors are allowed to bank their unused sick days year after year and get a cash payout - then you might have a point.

remind remind's picture

BC forest industry workers took pay cuts and still lost their jobs en masse by the 10's of thousands SCC, and thousands just walked away from their homes and equity in them, so please do stop minimizing what happened as "oh well".

Unionist

Interesting to hear these anti-worker raving posts by those who see every penny earned by a worker as coming out of their own personal pocket. They don't seem to understand that without these workers picking up their crap, they would be wallowing in it. Their natural reflex is to line up slavishly behind the talking points of the Boss. Which of these worthies in this thread screamed about banked sick leave payouts before this dispute began? Never heard of it, you say? There are many other public and quasi-public sectors where this is done. How about an Inquisition led by some of our babblers? Why wait for a strike?

Stockholm wrote:

I'm a stakeholder here as well. As a resident of Toronto, I pay the wages of the municipal workers and I want to believe that my money is well spent.

Spoken like a true Boss. He has no clue that the workers pick up after him and serve him with their labour. All he sees is "my money" (he doesn't tell us where he gets "his money") going down the drain.

Quote:
There are lots of things i would happily pay HIGHER taxes for. I would happily pay for expanded child care.

Sure he would - until the child care workers refused some concession demand from the State. Then he would become a "stakeholder" again and say: "Excuse me, I'm paying taxes for child care - not for stuffing the pockets of glorified babysitters!!"

Someone should move this thread to where it belongs - Labour and Consumption - so that we can be even less restrained in telling the enemies of the workers what exactly we think of them.

By the way, I found this accurate depiction of a "stakeholder":

Star Spangled C...

I never minimized it as "oh well". I was pointing out that lots of people (and I'd include forestry workers in there) are facing much tougher situations than not being able to use "sick days" as bonus pays and worked and fought to save their jobs recognizing that this economy is very tough for everyone and sacrifices need to be made. When I look around at all the people losing their jobs, losing their homes, not being able to get UI, I jsut find it very difficult to find much sympathy for these Toronto workers.

Stockholm

"Which of these worthies in this thread screamed about banked sick leave payouts before this dispute began? Never heard of it, you say? There are many other public and quasi-public sectors where this is done."

Well then its about time that this ABSURD practice was scrapped everywhere! Its unfair to people who have health problems and have to use their sick days because they are actually sick and don't get to have this gigantic windfall when they retire. The current system penalizes people for being in a fragile state of health through no fault of their own.

johnpauljones

Snert wrote:

Actually, the first to feel the pinch have been the non-union employees.

 

Snert I was referring to the glorious elected officials who voted themselves an increase while trying to put the blame on the shoulders of our brothers and sisters in cupe

Unionist

Stockholm wrote:

 

Well then its about time that this ABSURD practice was scrapped everywhere!

What did I tell you? Stockholm volunteers for the role of Torquemada! Get rid of those absurd practices freely negotiated between employers and employees over decades! After all - no one consulted Torquemada Stockholm!!!!!!!

Quote:
Its unfair to people who have health problems and have to use their sick days because they are actually sick and don't get to have this gigantic windfall when they retire.

Worse than that, what about all those workers who fall ill through no fault of their own and can't work tonnes of overtime like their unfairly healthy comrades!!! They should get their share of overtime pay as well!!! I know - to make it cost-neutral, we could reduce overtime to time-and-a-quarter!!! Why the f*** doesn't everyone consult ME when they write up these ABSURD unfair contracts? Afraid they'll LEARN SOMETHING SENSIBLE????

Quote:
The current system penalizes people for being in a fragile state of health through no fault of their own.

Worse than that - sometimes people who fall ill don't recover, and die. TALK ABOUT UNFAIR!!!!

 

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
Interesting to hear these anti-worker raving posts by those who see every penny earned by a worker as coming out of their own personal pocket.

 

Isn't that mostly the case, when the topic is municipal employees? Don't my various municipal taxes and fees pay their salaries, or if not, what does?

 

Quote:
They don't seem to understand that without these workers picking up their crap, they would be wallowing in it.
\

 

Uh, ya. We pay them to pick up garbage, and if they don't do that, we'll definitely be swimming in it. I think we get that.

 

Funny thing though, is that unlike city workers, I don't get some kind of cash exchange for every bag of garbage I *could* put out, but don't, nor for that matter can I expect to get some of my tax money refunded for every time I *could* call the police, but I don't, or every time I *could* go to the emergency room but I don't. How come I can't get paid for all of the perks I don't need to use? Just let me "cash in" all those times I didn't need an emergency service and I'll be more than happy to support our (unionized) muncipal employees doing the same.

 

Or, if that JUST DOESN'T MAKE SENSE then let's discuss why. For starters, I don't believe I've ever called the fire department. How much should that be worth to me, in dollars?

remind remind's picture

What fucking gigantic windfall stock? There isn't one ffs! 3 months pay at the max is not gigantic.

Moroever, those who have not been sick have saved the company/government more than what they will ever take out. Stats state that employee absenteeism costs about 800 billion per year globally. 

When you are off sick with pay, the employer still has to pay another to take your place, if you are healthy and not off sick 18 days of the year, then your employer has saved the wages of the replacement employee and gained interest on the money saved too.

Talk about short sighted anti-worker sentiment.

And what is tff about this, is that they are looking at legislating paid sick days in all of the USA.

 

Cueball Cueball's picture

Snert wrote:

Or, if that JUST DOESN'T MAKE SENSE then let's discuss why. For starters, I don't believe I've ever called the fire department. How much should that be worth to me, in dollars?

Well probably the reason you have never had to call the fire department is because someone else down the block did first, and saved you the trouble of having too because you needed too.

Cueball Cueball's picture

remind wrote:

What fucking gigantic windfall stock? There isn't one ffs! 3 months pay at the max is not gigantic.

Moroever, those who have not been sick have saved the company/government more than what they will ever take out. Stats state that employee absenteeism costs about 800 billion per year globally. 

When you are off sick with pay, the employer still has to pay another to take your place, if you are healthy and not off sick 18 days of the year, then your employer has saved the wages of the replacement employee and gained interest on the money saved too.

Talk about short sighted anti-worker sentiment.

And what is tff about this, is that they are looking at legislating paid sick days in all of the USA.

 

Absolutely correct on all point. Therefore the real point, as Spector outlines, is setting up the union in bargaining.

Snert Snert's picture

???

Ya.  That's what happened.  How I didn't notice my home burning down I'll never know.

 

Quote:
if you are healthy and not off sick 18 days of the year, then your employer has saved the wages of the replacement employee and gained interest on the money saved too.

 

That's great, but if I'm sick, I should take a paid sick day so as not to infect my co-workers.

 

And if I'm not sick then I'm just doing my job, which shouldn't really require a big pat on the back for me, should it? Should I be rewarded for NOT being sick?? Why not reward me for NOT assaulting my co-workers? That would cost my employer a lot if I did, but I don't, so when do I get my share of the savings? Also, I could rob my employer blind, but I don't. Shouldn't I get at least half of what I would have stolen? Still better for my employer than to lose it all, right?

Stargazer

Go Unionist!!!

Star Spangled C...

Snert wrote:

Funny thing though, is that unlike city workers, I don't get some kind of cash exchange for every bag of garbage I *could* put out, but don't, nor for that matter can I expect to get some of my tax money refunded for every time I *could* call the police, but I don't, or every time I *could* go to the emergency room but I don't. How come I can't get paid for all of the perks I don't need to use? Just let me "cash in" all those times I didn't need an emergency service and I'll be more than happy to support our (unionized) muncipal employees doing the same.

 

Good point.

 As part of my benefits package that my union negotiated, I get coverage for certain medical issues. One of these, for example, is optometry and eyeglasses up to several hundred dollars per year. That benefit exists for people who actually have vision problems and need eyeglasses. I'm fortuante enough not to need glasses. Would it be reasonable, when I retire, to be able to claim all of the money I never spent on glasses? You know, because I don't actually NEED glasses? Isn't that kinda like getting reimbursed for sick days I didn't use because I wasn't actually sick? And wouldn't it be a bit unfair to my co-workers who used their eyecare funding on actual eye care sicne they actually needed it and wouldn't be able to cash out at the end?

Unionist

Snert wrote:
For starters, I don't believe I've ever called the fire department. How much should that be worth to me, in dollars?

Good question. I guess people whose house burns down annually pay the same insurance premiums as those that never file a claim. That's only fair. Imagine rewarding people financially for being lucky enough to NOT have their house burn down! That's ABSURD! Insurance is for those unfortunate people who NEED it - not a reward for those who don't!!

Unionist

Snert wrote:
Don't my various municipal taxes and fees pay their salaries, or if not, what does?

Who gave you the money to pay your "various municipal taxes and fees"? No one consulted me about that. Are you another one of those STAKEHOLDERS Stockholm was referring to????

johnpauljones

ok so I fully support the right and need for CUPE to go on strike. But even I have to draw the line somewhere. The LCBO may go on strike tomorrow.

 

OH the Humaninty!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:

Good question. I guess people whose house burns down annually pay the same insurance premiums as those that never file a claim. That's only fair. Imagine rewarding people financially for being lucky enough to NOT have their house burn down! That's ABSURD! Insurance is for those unfortunate people who NEED it - not a reward for those who don't!!

 
That's all well and good, but that's private insurance.
 
I'm asking how much all the calls I DIDN'T make to 911 should be worth to me, in dollars. Certainly I'm saving the city, yes? So... where's my share? Why shouldn't I be allowed to cash out?

remind remind's picture

I wonder why people act like union employees do not pay taxes?

Unionist

Star Spangled Canadian wrote:
Would it be reasonable, when I retire, to be able to claim all of the money I never spent on glasses? You know, because I don't actually NEED glasses? Isn't that kinda like getting reimbursed for sick days I didn't use because I wasn't actually sick?

Are you actually unaware (like Snert and Stockholm and others in this thread allege to be) that workers who have sick days in their contract (I don't) have a decision to make on some days as to whether they feel well enough to go to work or not? And that medically speaking, it's not always binary and clear-cut (fit or unfit)? And that some people take "sick days" even if they're not sick, depending on the level of enforcement in the workplace? And that in some sectors, one day off sick can cost the employer much more than that where a replacement is needed, perhaps on overtime? And that sometimes employers, seeking to limit outright abuse or even "grey area" usage, look to incentives as well as penalties and disincentives - and that it is actually the employer that sometimes proposes these pay-out schemes, because it saves much more than it costs in the short and medium term? And that later, they realize they have ended up with an unfunded liability which causes them financial grief - so they frenziedly try to take back what they themselves pushed in the first place?

The analogy doesn't work for eyeglasses.

But when one's reflex is to attack the workers when they raise their voice out of turn, logic and research and investigation take second place.

Stockholm

From what i have read the union at LCBO actually has a good case for going on strike - they are concerned about permanent jobs being phased out in favour of temps - THAT is a really important issue and i will support them 100% - it sure beats this absurdity about getting double pay for NOT getting sick.

Right now, people can get as much as SIX MONTHS pay on retirement for all their banked sick days - that would mean TENS of thousands of dollars. I call that a "windfall" maybe if you are an investment banker it might seem like nothing - but to me its a helluva lot of money to get for NOT getting sick.

johnpauljones

Stock it is more about a summer without some of the delecacies that I can only get at the LCBO :-)

 

 

 

Remind not only do they not pay taxes they don't use city services either

Cueball Cueball's picture

remind wrote:

I wonder why people act like union employees do not pay taxes?

Funny isn't it. It's usually the same crowd who think that EI is a free gift to working people.

Stockholm

Unionist wrote:
Are you actually unaware (like Snert and Stockholm and others in this thread allege to be) that workers who have sick days in their contract (I don't) have a decision to make on some days as to whether they feel well enough to go to work or not? And that medically speaking, it's not always binary and clear-cut (fit or unfit)? And that some people take "sick days" even if they're not sick, depending on the level of enforcement in the workplace? 

If they do that then they are thieves and they should be charged with FRAUD. Period.

Stockholm

Cueball wrote:

remind wrote:

I wonder why people act like union employees do not pay taxes?

Funny isn't it. It's usually the same crowd who think that EI is a free gift to working people.

I'm not sure who you're talking about. I don't see anyone here saying that union employees don't pay taxes or that EI is a free gift to working people. I sure don't.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Oh, so if you think you are getting sick, and maybe shouldn't go to work, and then find out you are not sick, its off to the slammer is it?

johnpauljones

at my brothers unionized place of employement if you utake 2 sick days in a row or more or if the sick day is a friday or a monday to make a long weekend you require a doctors note.

But the union agreed to that in their collective agreement in exchange for the banking of sick days.

What is the requirement here?

Cueball Cueball's picture

Stockholm wrote:

Unionist wrote:
Are you actually unaware (like Snert and Stockholm and others in this thread allege to be) that workers who have sick days in their contract (I don't) have a decision to make on some days as to whether they feel well enough to go to work or not? And that medically speaking, it's not always binary and clear-cut (fit or unfit)? And that some people take "sick days" even if they're not sick, depending on the level of enforcement in the workplace? 

If they do that then they are thieves and they should be charged with FRAUD. Period.

Why? Its not necessarily a requirement that you be deathly ill before taking a "sick" day, in your contract. Taking "mental health" days is a common occurence. Its not fraud. Those sick days belong to the worker. If they use them up, then get sick, then they just don't get paid for those days.

Those are 18 days the city has agreed to pay them, one way or the other. It is part of their contract.

remind remind's picture

yes cue, it is funny, as in being weird stupid funny and do NOT get me started on EI, and what is happening with it.

Stock, stop exaggerating, mspector posted above what the EXACT outlay parameters were and it is 3 months max,  NOT 6.

And guess what, they have to pay TAXES on it too!

 

 

Stockholm

It is a requirement that you actually have SOME sort of illness (mental or other) if you take a "sick day" off with pay - otherwise its just another name for an extra 18 days of paid vacation. Now if you think that everyone should get 18 days of paid vacation in addition to the three or four weeks of paid vacation they get now then go ahead and advocate for that. If you have to take more than 18 sick days in a year then you shouldn't have to depend on whether or not you have been lucky enough to "bank" sick days from previous years - you should qualify for short-term disability.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Exactly Stocky you are getting it. But now we call them sick days, which the workers get paid out on at the end of their employment, and meanwhile some insentive has been created to encourage workers to not treat them casually, in order to save management, time, money and effort finding replacements. Its a win win situation.

Obviously the City is bargaining in bad faith and using this as a wedge issue to force the Union to strike.

Stockholm

"And guess what, they have to pay TAXES on it too!"

Oh the horror! oh the injustice! You mean people might have to pay tax after they get double paid for all these days that they didn't take off for not being sick??? What's the world coming to - someone call the Canadian Taxpayers Federation and let them know that people get taxed when they get cash back for their accumulated banked sick days and get them to start a national protest over it!

Star Spangled C...

Unionist Are you actually unaware (like Snert and Stockholm and others in this thread allege to be) that workers who have sick days in their contract (I don't) have a decision to make on some days as to whether they feel well enough to go to work or not? And that medically speaking, it's not always binary and clear-cut (fit or unfit)? And that some people take "sick days" even if they're not sick, depending on the level of enforcement in the workplace? [/quote wrote:

I'm perfectly aware. I work in a hospital where the policies regarding coming to work sick are more stringent than in msot workplaces because of the risk of exposing patients and others in the hospital. Even so, I'd estimate that I only take 1 or 2 sick days a year. I don't think there's anyone who takes 18 unless they have some pretty serious health issues.

Your argument that not using sick days saves money because it avoids the need for replacement workers is true but I don't think it's what's really relevant. Sick days are for when you're sick. If you're not sick, yeah, it saves the company or city or hospital money, but by that logic, me having 20/20 vision saves my employer money because they don't need to pay for my glasses and optometry appointments. Should I get some sort of bonus for having (through sheer randomness) been born with good eyesight? Me having good teeth and being free of major medical problems (partly through luck) means they save money having to pay for prescription drugs or expensive dental treatments. Do I deserve a bonus for that? On the other hand, I DO have a wife and son. That means, they now get covered under my benefits which costs them more money. It also means that I may be more likely to take a day off if my son is sick or has some sort of problem that I need to address. Should those employees who saved the system money by not getting married or having kids get some sort of bonus? My wife works at the same hospital as I do and is currently on maternity leave, which costs our employer money and forces them to hire a replacement worker. Should people who never give birth be able to collect matrnity benefits for the days they COULD have taken off if they did have a baby? Or do certain benefits exist for people who actually need them? Eye care for people with actual vision problems, maternity leave for actual mothers, sick days for actual sick people?

Stockholm

Cueball wrote:

 Taking "mental health" days is a common occurence. Its not fraud.

Is that what you call it when you decide to take a Friday off so you can go on a shopping spree in New York? I'll have to remember that for next time I want to go away for a few days.

BTW: I'm curious as to how often the City of Toronto actually hires any replacement workers for people who call in sick. I suspect that about 95% of the time they don't and instead all the other workers are stuck having to work harder to make for the person who has called in sick or else the person who called in sick just has more to do when they get back to work.

Unionist

SSC, since you're not listening, I'll say it louder. What do you think of my revelation to you that sick-leave payout schemes are often proposed by employers as a way of improving attendance and limiting prohibitive replacement costs?

I never said I supported paying workers for not using sick days, did I? And you know what? I personally don't! I would never sit by silently if such a scheme were proposed in my union meeting for upcoming bargaining. But I'm not sanctimonious enough to dictate my views to other parties engaged in free collective bargaining.

If some of the "TAXPAYERS" in this thread don't like what's negotiated on their behalf, they should vote in a new team of bosses which will crack the whip better.

johnpauljones

Truth be told the garbage strike should not be that bothersome. If you have a composter and use it properly and recycle you will not have any garbage or at least very little. it will not get all stinky cause there should not be anything in the green garbage bag that can rot.

 

 

Cueball Cueball's picture

It's going to be fine.

johnpauljones

Cue I agree but a lot of the commentary today has not been about day care or the library or the pool it has been about garbage.

 

maybe the strike will show people how to recycle and compost properly.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Stockholm wrote:

Cueball wrote:

 Taking "mental health" days is a common occurence. Its not fraud.

Is that what you call it when you decide to take a Friday off so you can go on a shopping spree in New York? I'll have to remember that for next time I want to go away for a few days.

No its what you do when you are some kind of public service worker, wake up in the morning, and then read a letter in the paper with some kind of anti-worker rhetoric like this in it, and suddenly remember that for all of the bitching that people dish out when the union is on strike, there are never any candies or thank you notes or tips stuck to garbage pails you pick up when it is not, and you suddenly discover that not going to work might be better than punching some ungrateful home owner in the face, because he acts like he is the only one in the world who pays taxes.

Star Spangled C...

Unionist wrote:

SSC, since you're not listening, I'll say it louder. What do you think of my revelation to you that sick-leave payout schemes are often proposed by employers as a way of improving attendance and limiting prohibitive replacement costs?

Well, obviously they CAN do that. But I don't like it for a couple of reasons:

1) it encourages unethical behaviour. There's a sort of tacit acknowledgement that "people will fake sick and defraud the system so let's give them a bonus for being honest." Again, except for those with serious medical problems, I don't see many people being "sick" 18 days a year. I took Friday and today off because I flew in to Toronto with my son to visit my parents for Father's Day. I COULD have "called in sick" and I'm sure I could have gotten away with it. But, instead, I used up two of my "vacation days" which means two less for the rest of teh year.

2) It penalizes people who, through no fault of their own, legitimately ARE sick and need those days and don't therefore get the a "bonus" for having the good luck to not get sick. Just like I don't think I deserve a bonus for having had the good luck to be born with 20/20 vision. If someone is legitimately sick and can't work, I don't begrudge them taking time off to recuperate. But it's on the principle that that's what they're actually doing.

And, finally, yes unions and employers can negotiate all sorts of things. That's what the Toronto workers and the city are doing right now.  I would jsut think that people who look around and see thousands of people losing their jobs, seeing that we're in the middle of a major recession and that everyone is suffering might be willing to make some concessions. I'm taking a pay cut this year. I'm also losing a team member and have had my discretionary budget frozen. Many people have had it much worse. I jsut don't see how the Toronto union can look around and not to expect to share in the burden at all. And I don't know how they expect to gain much public sympathy when the worker who has already taken a pay cut or lost their job entirely gets their car blocked trying to bring their garbage to the dump or their kids shut out of daycare because someone else is fighting for their right to bank sick days from when they weren't sick.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Sure unions and employers can negotiate all kinds of things, but in this case they have not, because management has not offered a complete package, instead demanding a concession on this issue, before continuing with other negotations.

Any negotiation that starts off with a demand for compliance on a difficult issue is a set up. All contract negotiators know that an honest negotiations begin by working though non-contentious issues, where there is likely to be agreement, and then working up to more difficult issues. Anytime one party comes in by making a demand on difficult issue is deliberately trying to cause a breach.

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