i like the Franglish

this is a strike post. because ive been at Harbour Center for over two hours working and i need a break.

more specifically, this is an annoyed tirade at the reccomendations given by city negotiator Brian Foley that will be voted on tomorrow.

first, let me say that i’m not opposed to unionization. I am however greatly opposed to unions who abuse their rights and privileges and in doing so impact the community they serve for lengthy amounts of time. I’ll clarify something here. I was in grade 12 when the public teachers in Alberta went on strike. Given that my parents were both teachers, I was able to get a feel for both sides of the argument. That strike lasted about a month and impacted the students and parents at public schools. I still remain totally in favour of the actions taken by the ATA because the provincial government as well as many of families were treating public education like shit. School is not a babysitter, much to the chagrin of parents who wanted to know what to do with their kids. To get this point across as well as class size issues, updated school materials and a well deserved pay increase after what teachers have to put up with every day, I fully supported that strike.

The Vancouver strike is a totally different story. This has turned into one of, if not the longest strike in the history of the city. I wasn’t living here during the last one, but when I walk out my front door and see piles of garbage in public parks, untended public lands, and hear about union workers allegedly seeding a field with glass and nails I get a little pissed off at what the city workers think they can get away with.

Last weekend a new deal was offerd up that was apparently widely accepted by union members but for some god-knows-why reason, CUPE leaders were screaming apeshit about members rejecting it. the new deal that’s being voted on tomorrow includes:

“17.5 per cent pay hike over five years, a $1,000 signing bonus, whistleblower rules, no loss of seniority, vacation pay and sick pay during the strike, and limits on contracting out by the city.”

ok, the pay raise seems reasonable enough over a five year period. Vacation and sick pay for on strike workers is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard. You’re not on vacation, and too fucking bad if you’re sick, you’re disrupting reacreational services, child services, social services, and impacting local health by leaving mounds of garbage around. The limits of contracting out byt the city is at least a partial reference to the Olympics, which for some reason the city workers see as a threat because they think the city will fork over their jobs and buildings to outside sources during the games. This is entirely untrue as the City of Vancouver has already delcared that no union jobs will be lost or outsourced during the games.

Another point that pisses e right the fuck off is the allowance of 14 days for outside workers to get back to work if the vote passes because they’ve found other jobs during the strike. i’m sorry, but there is no goddamn way that this should be an accepted provision. If you go on strike, and you go find another job, you’ve effectively walked away from your first one. I think two options should be used here; either those positions of workers who found outside work be be made immediately available for new entrants, or the worker has to reinterview for his own position. That’s utter bullshit. You’re a union, if you think that a strike is impacting your well being enough that you have to go get another job in the interim, use your members to confront the leaders of this joke squad and tell them they’re only causing more problems. either that, or fine, let them vote, and if it passes let them go to work. then why not let the residents of vancouver ask for equivalent compensation for lost services and opportunites during the course of the strike directly from the union itself.

and now i will go back to reading about federal provincial transfer payments.

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