As many of you will know, the City of Calgary has decided to contract out the Servicelane positions. We are profoundly against this outcome and working against an uncooperative and apathetic City Council to have this decision removed and keep the Servicelane work in house, done by our members.
Servicing the fleet is a monumental task that our members have done and continue to do, through the impending loss of their positions. All of this is of course happening during a pandemic.
We have done many things to try and prevent this move and to reverse it once CT management went ahead. It should be noted once again that we were informed this move would take place in October of this year at the earliest and it is clearly evident they made their decision in March after the RFP closed, because on August 31, 2020 Bee Clean was already starting to take over.
Bee Clean is also the contractor chosen to take over Outside Maintenance. The same company with thousands upon thousands of Customer Service Reports for filthy bus stops and stations, overflowing garbage, human waste and more that doesn’t get cleaned up in a timely manner, if it gets cleaned at all. Every single CSR was put on a flash drive and given to each City Councillor. We have heard nothing in regards to this and what it means for this same company CLEANING the City of Calgary fleet during a pandemic. During a time when sanitation is paramount.
We have also launched a Call Your Councillor endeavor, the intent of which is for members, their family, friends and also citizens of Calgary to let the Councillors know that this decision is dangerous and inept. One should be considering and asking why the City Councillors are directing City Management to contract out a huge sanitation job to an incompetent company while the world is experiencing such a far reaching and life-threatening pandemic. We should all be asking why the citizens of Calgary and the employees of the City are considered less important than the unproven projections of saving a bit of money. Calgary Transit transports an incredible amount of people a day. The fleet needs to be safe and hygienic and Bee Clean has in no way proven they are up to that task. Meanwhile our Members were doing exactly that all the way through this pandemic.
Without backlash against this decision and others of its kind, the City Councillor’s who favor contracting out will see no issue with continuing to plow through unionized workplaces in favour of doing exactly that. Signing contracts with amateur companies whose only concern is the bottom line. Not safety, not fair wages, not the workers. While there are some Union friendly and Transit supportive Councillors, they are currently the minority and have been for long enough.
We are urging our Members once again to get involved. If you have already called, call again. If you have emailed, follow up. If you haven’t had a chance to do either yet, please do. Stand up for your fellow members.
Some members have reported getting standard replies back dismissing concerns in favor of the money being “saved” (this has yet to be seen and frankly money is not worth public health and safety) or flat out saying their office wasn’t responsible for the decision which is untrue. The direction to save money via this method came from City Council. We encourage you to reply to these types of dismissals. The fierceness of a collective group is the best way to sway City Councillors. They want their constituents to be happy and right now we need them to know how very unhappy we all are.
We know how hard our Servicelane Members worked during the pandemic. How hard they have always worked and continue to work. To contract them out at all is inadvisable, to do so when the world is in the midst of a pandemic is a grave error.