At its meeting held on January 5, 2016, the City of Winnipeg’s Standing Committee on Infrastructure Renewal and Public Works, agreed to meet with representatives of CUPE 500 to discuss the union’s recommendations to improve municipal snow clearing in Winnipeg.
On November 3, 2015, CUPE 500 presented a comprehensive report to the Committee, highlighting significant cost savings that could be found by bringing Winnipeg’s snow removal services back in-house. Currently 80 per cent of the service is contracted out.
“We feel strongly that there is significant room for improvements to our city’s snow removal services,” CUPE 500 President Gord Delbridge told the committee on January 5. “It will take leadership from this Committee to move forward on the recommendations we presented in November.”
CUPE’s November report also included additional research provided through the Local’s Public Plowing Works Campaign report that highlighted the stories of hundreds of Winnipeggers who have had negative experiences with private snow removal.
In November, the city administration presented a contradicting report that suggested Winnipeg’s snow clearing should remain status-quo.
“Winnipeggers deserve more than “status quo” services,” said Delbridge. “We want to sit down with the City and find ways to improve our service, and we believe one way to do that is to stop the contracting out of municipal snow removal.”
The Public Works Committee has agreed to ensure senior city administrators meet with CUPE 500 to further discuss the Union’s recommendations on improving snow removal in Winnipeg. While the Committee has requested only a verbal report on the meeting, CUPE is hopeful that these discussions will be taken seriously.
“We look forward to meeting with the City to have our ideas heard,” said Delbridge. “What we have to offer is a reasonable and comprehensive plan to improve snow clearing in Winnipeg, and we welcome the opportunity to have these plans taken seriously.”
CUPE 500 represents approximately 4,600 employees at the City of Winnipeg.