Dear Local 79 Sisters and Brothers:
The City’s 2014 budget process has begun and we have to get active! It all began with a report showing that the City left 2,500 positions unfilled, or “gapped” this year. Each Division then produced a Service Level Review that appeared to be only budget-driven and not at all focused on community service level needs. When making deputations at every City Committee covering all the Divisions where our members work, I emphasized that service-level-driven budgeting is not only the direction that the City should be heading, but it’s what Torontonians want. The City’s practice of “gapping” has resulted in service levels being constantly sacrificed for the “bottom line”. Local 79 recommended that the City Manager be asked to provide a detailed breakdown of the vacancies, and the actual impact this has on services to Toronto’s communities.
Local 79 is also troubled by the distinct lack of action on the part of senior City staff to ensure public engagement and input to the budget consultation processes. Working closely with our community partners has only reinforced our belief that community input is essential to the City’s budget process. Healthy communities require an appropriate level of City services, which can best be determined with community input.
Local 79 is looking for members to become involved in the City’s Budget process. The City will launch the Budget in November, at which time we will know the specifics about cuts, and appropriate actions that need to be taken.We will need you to help by getting active!
Local 79 has launched the Fall phase of the “Taking Care of Toronto” campaign, to continue increasing awareness of, and support for, our members and the services you deliver. The campaign will include T.V. spots and advertising on the back of TTC buses. As long as the delivery of many of these services continues to be reviewed by this City’s administration, it is even more important to focus residents’ attention on the things that Torontonians are at risk of losing. Please visit our website for Torontonians at www.toronto79.com.
October 30, 2013 is Child Care Worker and Early Childhood Educator Appreciation Day. This year will mark the 13th anniversary of this awareness day which recognizes the education, skills, commitment and dedication of Registered Early Childhood Educators and Child Care Staff. Local 79 would like to acknowledge and applaud the commitment and contributions that all our members, who are Child Care Workers and Registered Early Childhood Educators, make to the children in Toronto, their families and their communities. Congratulations – you do such an important job, so well! Local 79 will honour these members at a celebration on Saturday October 19th at Steelworkers’ Hall. Our theme for our event this year is “Celebrating You”.
The City has changed the name of Municipal Child Care Services in the Children’s Services Division to Toronto Early Learning and Child Care Services. According to the City, signs at centres will change over the coming year to reflect the new name.
Local 79 invites you to a Fall Dance on Friday November 22nd at the Lithuanian Community House, 1573 Bloor St. West (Dundas and Bloor, Dundas Subway Station), from 6:00 p.m. until midnight. (Please see enclosed flyer)
Do you want a chance to win $50? Just sign up to receive only the electronic version of the President’s Report and your name will be entered into a draw each time it’s published, until September 2014.
If you speak Cantonese or Mandarin, the Toronto and York Region Labour Council is looking for union members to join the Labour Council’s Chinese Network. If you’re interested in joining, please contact Lily Chang, Local 79 Treasurer at firstname.lastname@example.org. Lily is a member of the network, which has been building steadily in the last year. Recently eighty members spent an enjoyable evening learning about labour history, and focused on building a strong union message across Toronto’s fastest growing ethnic community. For additional information, please go to www.chineselabour.ca.
As part of Local 79’s community involvement, I am participating in the Presidential Challenge, and leading the Local 79 team for the group CN Tower Challenge, for United Way Toronto. Thanks so much to all participants, and for all the financial support given to Local 79 for this worthy cause. If you wish to do so, you can sponsor our team until November 15th by following the link on our website.
Congratulations to Laurence D’Alessandro, Peter Flores, and, Shoshana Watson, this year’s winners of the Rudy Draxl Memorial Scholarship, and, Shannon D. Lindsey, this year’s winner of the Stan Dalton Memorial Scholarship. These awards, worth $500.00, are awarded on the basis of a written essay submitted by the applicants. Congratulations also to the proud families of all the winners!