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April 2011 President's Report for City of Toronto members

Dear Fellow Local 79 Member:

The memo sent recently by City manager Joe Pennachetti to senior City managers, instructing them how to answer staff questions about the three reviews of City services that the City is launching, is just one more indication that the City may attempt to contract out jobs and services. (Mayor Ford’s brother, Councillor Doug Ford has previously been quoted extensively in the media making statements such as, “Anything that isn’t nailed down we’re going to privatize.” and “the City should outsource everything we can in 2012.”)

As part of the review process, the City announced that they will be: determining which city services are “core” and which can be reduced or eliminated; identifying how services can be delivered better and more cheaply; and, looking at all the City’s user fees. The opportunity for public input to this process is extremely limited, prompting at least two renowned Canadian Foundations to ask City Councillors to remedy that situation. According to the media, outside consultants, hired by the City at a cost of $3 Million, will be making recommendations by late June.

As I emphasized in an interview with CBC Radio on March 22, 2011, during his Mayoral campaign Rob Ford said he would not cut services! The people of Toronto did not elect Mayor Ford to cut the public services they value and use daily. Local 79 knows from our members who deal with the public on a regular basis, and from members of the public who talk to us, that Torontonians value the services we provide and use them frequently. From Water, to Child Care, to Parks, Forestry and Recreation, to Community Centres, and Animal Control, we offer needed services that are appreciated by the public.

On Saturday April 9, 2011, a large number of Local 79 members participated in the “Rally for Respect” organized by Labour, student and community groups. The media reported up to 10,000 people were there demanding that Mayor Ford stop cutting social programs and public services, slashing public transit, selling off public housing, privatizing garbage collection, and raising recreation user fees. The event was a success and I thank all Local 79 members who came to defend our communities, public services and good jobs!

Following the Conservatives losing a vote of confidence in the House of Commons, a Federal election was called and will take place May 2, 2011. Local 79 is urging all of our members to ask the candidates in your riding where they stand on issues including: public services; the downloading of costs to municipalities; health care; and pensions. The Harper government is no friend of municipalities or Canadian public sector workers. Harper and his government give back to municipalities only a pittance of the tax dollars that they collect. This necessitates municipal governments going begging to their provinces for much needed money! Across Canada, dedicated workers, delivering the valued public services all Canadians depend on, are fed up being blamed for the financial woes of an entire country!

The upcoming election offers an excellent opportunity to choose a federal government that will stand up for municipalities, for Canadian workers and their families, and a government that will address the plight of the jobless, the poor, and pensioners!

April 28 is the National Day of Mourning, when we pause and remember all workers who have been injured, made sick, or killed on the job. It is also a time when we rededicate ourselves to ensuring that all workers have safe, healthy workplaces. The 2011 service will be held at 12 noon at Larry Sefton Park, Bay and Hagerman Street (behind Toronto City Hall).

Canada’s National Nursing Week for 2011 is May 9th – May 15th. This year’s theme is “Nursing – The Health of Our Nation”. Nursing Week provides Local 79 with the opportunity to honour the caring and dedication of our members who work as nurses in Public Health, Long-term Care Homes and Services, Shelter Programs, Bridgepoint Hospital and elsewhere. Members are invited to nominate their Local 79 colleagues working in the nursing field for one of five peer recognition awards, which recognize their contribution to Local 79’s mission statement of solidarity and collegiality. Nominations should be forwarded by Friday April 29th. to the Local 79 office by mail (34 St. Patrick Street, Toronto M5T 1V1), by fax (416-977-9546) or by e-mail to local79@cupelocal79.org.

Applications for the 2011 Alex Gregory Memorial Scholarship will be accepted for students who are in their final year of secondary school in Ontario, and are registered in a post-secondary institution this fall. Five scholarships for $500 each will be awarded to children of current or retired members. Please apply for an application in writing to the Education Committee, c/o the Local 79 office. Please include your name, address, home and work telephone numbers, division, and employee number.

Attention all Local 79 golfers! Local 79’s 2nd Annual Golf Tournament will take place on September 21st at Deer Creek Golf Club, 2700 Audley Road North, Ajax. Please mark this date in your calendar! For additional information, please contact Ainsworth Hamilton at equityvp@cupelocal79.org or call (416) 977-1629 ext. 245.

In solidarity,

Ann Dembinski
President

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Shall replenish. Tree doesn’t face. There which creepeth multiply fish unto of Seed. Behold made two Rule divided. Fruit form.

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