April 15, 2024

A joint assertion warns “this withdrawal doesn’t inherently assure that there shall be no future impression on the workforce.”

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The Regional Municipality of Wooden Buffalo (RMWB) is withdrawing its 120-day layoff notices that have been despatched to some unionized staff on Feb. 29. Nonetheless, a joint assertion from the RMWB and the Canadian Union of Public Workers (CUPE) warns “this withdrawal doesn’t inherently assure that there shall be no future impression on the workforce.”

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The joint assertion, which was issued Thursday night, says the gesture was achieved within the spirit of collaboration as talks proceed with CUPE 1505. The union additionally says it is able to “have interaction constructively” with the RMWB.

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“In mild of latest collaborative dialogues, each events have demonstrated a mutual dedication to work collectively in figuring out and implementing efficiencies throughout the municipality’s operations,” reads the assertion. “Each events are devoted to working collectively to make sure the continuation of environment friendly and sustainable public companies.”

The layoffs would have impacted 265 staff. The RMWB additionally deliberate to chop 134 vacant jobs and finish 60 non permanent positions.

Adjustments included outsourcing custodial companies; sure capabilities in parks, stable waste, and fleet companies; and transferring upkeep duties on the Fort Chipewyan Airport to the Fort McMurray Airport Authority. Some positions may grow to be redundant or outsourced for effectivity.

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Different modifications embody shortening Pulse Line hours, consolidating customer support agent roles, and merging the environmental and facility companies departments.

The response from CUPE and different labour teams has been outrage. Unions and public supporters protested the layoffs by screaming, chanting, and blaring sirens, honking horns and taking part in music throughout a March 13 council assembly. CUPE members with indicators protesting the layoffs crowded the March 26 assembly.

CUPE has identified the final time the RMWB outsourced companies was a failure. Two years right into a 15-year contract, the council of the day ended their contract with TOK Transit in 2015 after an audit famous a excessive variety of complaints and missed efficiency targetsTOK Transit sued the RMWB and the lawsuit was settled privately in 2022.

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Protesters sit at a council assembly protesting plans to chop a whole bunch of municipal jobs on March 12, 2024. Vincent McDermott/Fort McMurray As we speak/Postmedia Community

RMWB revenues shrinking, prices growing: Hunter

An announcement from CAO Henry Hunter earlier on Thursday stated the municipality’s tax revenues has dropped drastically in recent times. Budgets have shrunk for the reason that 2013 finances peaked at $1-billion. Over the past seven years, the finances plunged precipitously by roughly $250 million. On the identical time, enterprise and operational prices proceed growing.

The RMWB is funding pricey tasks that embody flood mitigation, rural water and sewage servicing, and an asset administration plan to help infrastructure.

“As CAO, I imagine it’s my accountability to make sure administration operates as effectively as attainable and offers worth for cash to our taxpayers. Failure to take action can have a big impression, and will result in tax will increase, service discount, or mission cancellation,” stated Hunter.

Because the steward of the work of administration and operations, I’ve proposed to take this motion now –as troublesome as it might be–to create a extra steady, sustainable, and safe future for the group and its staff.”

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