June 22, 2009

Day One: City of Toronto versus City Workers

Well, it's not a sport, but it's going to be a competition: Toronto vs. Toronto City Workers (and let's be honest, despite public pools, daycare, and a few museums being affected, this is going to be called a garbage strike). As of day one, I am on the side of the city, but I'm also a bit ignorant...all I've heard is that city workers want 18 sick days. That sort of feels unreasonable, then again, all the exposure to spores, sick kids, public pool feces, and... museum specimens (?) must mean more susceptibility to illness with this group. All I know is, it's going to suck and a lot of people are going to be saying this sentence: "I pay my taxes, and this is ridiculous."

Today is normally garbage day in front of my building. So we're already one week in...last week I put half a cooked turkey in the garbage. I bet that starts smelling first.

While Toronto is gripped by 30 degree heat, garbage in city parks, and now, an impending liquor store strike, I'll be filling this blog with daily installments to distract myself from the smell and lack of gin.


Here we go. Let's get ready to rumble.


A said...

The issue is that the sick days are bankable. In other words, after retiring, workers can have up to six months of full-time pay and they also get a payout (of 60% or something) of any banked sick days beyond the 6 months.

They have these bankable sick days in their current agreement and, frankly, that's an insane concept and I have no sympathy if they lose them. As much as I hate the bankable thing, workers should be able to keep the current banked sick days and get the benefits. i.e., Past banked sick days should be grandfathered?


I think that just because some workers don't have bankable sick days means that others should lose them. Police and Fire still have bankable sick days, and their unions are so strong, they will never lose them. Why should medics? It's crazy how little support they get, how they don't have danger pay, how much general bullshit they deal with re: work stress and lack of support from management. Their sick day banks are one of the only good things they have. They have the highest WSIB/injury rates in the city with very little support, work 12 hour shifts with half hour lunches and generally don't get any of the perks other emergency service workers get, mostly what they don't get is the respect (not to mention PR) that cops and fire get.

My two cents! PS. Criminally handsome new blog photo, DB.


OOPS, I meant the first sentence to read:

"Just because other workers don't have bankable sick days DOESN'T mean those who do should have to lose them!"

David Brock said...

I agree with what both "A" and Zoe wrote, but mostly because she called me handsome, and I'm weak.

But I do agree that just because one group doesn't get something, doesn't mean the other group should lose said thing. I feel like it's a very childish arguement (like a younger sibling being upset because the older sibling can stay up until 10).

I also, and maybe I'll be proven wrong soon, value the training and skill of a medic over a trash collector. Elitist? Maybe...but it's my blog.


I don't think it's elitist - thought I am thankful for both types of workers bc fuck, I couldn't do either. Medics are in that union because they used to be ambulance drivers back in the day, and now they are highly trained and authorized to give a variety of drugs and life-saving...services? Not sure the right word - am tired! but anyway, i think the real issue is that they should have their own union to reflect this change, it doesn't really make sense that they are still grouped in with general city workers. They've been trying to get their own union for years, but cupe doesn't want them to leave.

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