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City Workers Strike 2009

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Seymour

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Bringing up the bottom 5 billion will involve bringing the top 1.5 billion down, and considerably. There is finite wealth, because the earth is finite, and overtaxed as it is.
Bringing the top 1.5 billion down won't affect their overall way of life, (they'll still have vast amounts of wealth, assests, yachts, properties in various tax free countries, mansions) conversely, bring up the bottom 5 billion with most basic needs (clean water, education, access to food, medical services) will affect their overall way of life - exponentially improve it.
 
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Seymour

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Deep inside Miller is a whimp.
Miller is a great mayor for many reasons. In this case, the vocal opposition on city council have made their statement; they disagree with the mayor. Fine. No surprise there Minnan-wong, Stintz et al, I know their type, they like to say they are just being responsible, but essentially they resent Miller and they'd much rather be giving kudos to a Mike Harris-type leader with whom they share more of their political bent. But if council sends the workers back on strike, that will be a HUGE mistake and cause even more problems then the city already has right now.

Council will ratify the agreement later today.
 

Hank

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Bringing the top 1.5 billion down won't affect their overall way of life, (they'll still have vast amounts of wealth, assests, yachts, properties in various tax free countries, mansions) conversely, bring up the bottom 5 billion with most basic needs (clean water, education, access to food, medical services) will affect their overall way of life - exponentially improve it.
Um...you DO realize that YOU are more than likely in the top 1.5 billion, right? As are probably most people in Canada? Do YOU have vast amounts of wealth, assets, yachts, properties in various tax free countries, mansions, etc? I know that I sure don't. I'm in the top 1.5 billion and it certainly wouldn't be nothing to me to give up 30-40% of my salary.

But that's not really the point. It's ludicrous to even think about comparing a CUPE garbage collector making 50K a year with some of the world's poorest people. I definitely agree that all jobs in Canada deserve some minimum standard of living; we can argue over whether the minimum wage is set at the correct level or not, but no sane person would argue that 50K/year is the minimum that anyone should be making in Toronto. Whatever this minimum wage is, I am absolutely certain that you would be able to find many people in Toronto willing to be garbage collectors for that wage.

Current CUPE wages are maintained at an artificially high level (far higher than the wage such a job would command in a truly open market and far higher as well than whatever the minimum wage should be) and the taxpayers of Toronto and Canada pay for it. This isn't just union-bashing reasoning; Toronto has a $500 million budget hole coming up. It simply can't afford to keep giving unionized employees raises every year, but the unions have the deeply-entrenched mentality that they 'deserve' such raises. At some point, something has to give.
 

Asterix

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Bringing the top 1.5 billion down won't affect their overall way of life, (they'll still have vast amounts of wealth, assests, yachts, properties in various tax free countries, mansions)
Not trying to dispute the neediness of the bottom 5 billion, but those attributes you list above might be more suitable to the top 1.5 MILLION, not 1.5 billion.

The top 1.5 billion includes you, me and pretty well everyone else posting on this board (who complain about being over-taxed, underpaid, over-worked and otherwise squeezed for financial resources).

Yes, we're all way better off than someone living under a canvas tarp in Mali, but just how much of your own lifestyle and well being are you willing to sacrifice?
 

Ahab

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I never thought I would say this, but I'd rather Mel Lastman was mayor. At least he was good for a few laughs. Miller and all his supporters are just sad. Five weeks of what appears to be a completely avoidable strike and the almost certainty of additional tax hikes in the future.
 

Dilla

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Miller is a great mayor for many reasons.
You forgot to mention what makes Miller is so great (don't worry, no one else can think of anything, either).

In this case, the vocal opposition on city council have made their statement; they disagree with the mayor. Fine.
Fine as long as the vote this through, right? Fine as long as all they do it talk about it. In case you didn't notice around three-quarters of the city seem to agree with them, too.

No surprise there Minnan-wong, Stintz et al, I know their type, they like to say they are just being responsible, but essentially they resent Miller and they'd much rather be giving kudos to a Mike Harris-type leader with whom they share more of their political bent.
A Mike Harris type, hell, even Lastman wouldn't have found themselves in this situation, because they at least have some balls. Not that I was a fan of either, but they're much better at leading the way than David.
They resent Miller? That's an interesting verb to use there. It makes it sound like he was their overbearing mother.

But if council sends the workers back on strike, that will be a HUGE mistake and cause even more problems then the city already has right now.
This whole situation has been a HUGE mistake. I'm ready to take a chance on another.

Council will ratify the agreement later today.
Probably. Pity.
 

kEiThZ

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Here is an interesting chart I found. It's from the provincial OMBI and compares the average cost per tonne of picking up garbage. As I understand it almost every city in Ontario today contracts out garbage collection. Toronto is currently slightly below the median cost for the province.
But Toronto should be well below median given that one end of the city is contracted out and given that we have so many condos and apartments which contract out or are extremely cheap to service.
 

Whoaccio

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^
Plus most industrial or commercial properties have to contract collection as well.

More over, a few cities draw up the median. Which cities? Thunderbay, Sudbury, Muskoka and Hamilton. Those are all amalgamated municipalities which aren't exactly "cities."

For instance, Muskoka District has a population density of about 15/km2 and 60% if it's population is rural. Sudbury's density is about 50/km2 and 68% of that is rural. Thunder Bay is about 23% rural. Toronto is 0% rural and has a density of nearly 4k/km2. Toronto shouldn't be anywhere near the costs of those cities (being several hundred times denser than some) to begin with.

Areas like Peel Region or Ottawa, broadly urban/suburban in nature, have collection costs nearly 20% lower than us, and weekly garbage collection. We also have the highest cost of diversion for residential waste.
 

pickleberry

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For instance, Muskoka District has a population density of about 15/km2 and 60% if it's population is rural. Sudbury's density is about 50/km2 and 68% of that is rural. Thunder Bay is about 23% rural. Toronto is 0% rural and has a density of nearly 4k/km2. Toronto shouldn't be anywhere near the costs of those cities (being several hundred times denser than some) to begin with.

Areas like Peel Region or Ottawa, broadly urban/suburban in nature, have collection costs nearly 20% lower than us, and weekly garbage collection. We also have the highest cost of diversion for residential waste.
Excellent post. What is the graph trying to prove? That Toronto gets good value for money with it's garbage collection? Certainly not.
 

Dilla

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Councillors walk out of debate

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/674631

Jul 31, 2009 10:59 AM

KENYON WALLACE
DONOVAN VINCENT
STAFF REPORTERS
City council's debate of a contract agreement with its two CUPE locals got off to a stormy start this morning as two councillors stormed out of the chamber.

Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 416, representing Toronto's 6,000 outside workers including garbage collectors, voted yesterday by "a healthy margin" to return to work early this morning and get the city cleaned up, although curbside garbage collection for Toronto residents won't begin until Tuesday. Local 79, representing 24,000 inside workers, ratified the agreement Wednesday.

Sparks flew from the outset, as two councillors who declared conflicts of interest marched out of the chamber hurling personal attacks at Miller.

Peter Milczyn and David Shiner, who both have relatives who are CUPE members, asked if the agreements with the two union locals could be voted on separately. When council voted 23 to 13 against that request, they walked out.

"It's a low point in this council when this kind of courtesy is not extended," said Milczyn, whose wife is a member of Local 79.

"The only way it appears Mayor Miller can win votes is by forcing members of council who don't agree with him out of the chamber," said Shiner, whose son is a seasonal employee of the city and a member of Local 416.

Milcyzn said councillors were not provided with details of the tentative agreement reached with CUPE until late last night.

The two councillors, speaking to reporters, said they would attempt to return to the chamber later today to vote on the agreement.
So, when's the vote going to happen? They've been at it for two hours now...
 
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Seymour

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After the in camera session, so my guess is some time this afternoon.
 

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