Saturday, April 08, 2017

Garbage Decision Will Cost Millions & Millions

When did garbage collection become so dangerous??

When the plan to automate Nanaimo garbage collection was first put forward, it was supported by the claim it would eliminate the rising cases of worker injury being experienced recently. There were stats provided to support the claim of increased injury, without any previous data with which to compare. A skeptic might think this stat was cooked up simply to add credible reason for the change to automated pick up.

The fact this has been before council for about two years now, and was always kicked down the road is indication that the majority of council did not really buy into the whole rationale behind the push to automate. The charge was admirably led by Ms Davis who raised the concern for 'her guys' safety due to the reduced chance of injury since the drivers would then be playing with a joy stick rather than getting into and out of a truck to toss trash on board. Seems no consideration is given to the thousands of Nanaimo residents who are now going to have to deal with those huge bins, even if they only have a little plastic bag of trash to dispose of.

There are claims of overall cost savings by automating, but the supporting data seems unavailable for scrutiny. Remember this is the same city hall that claimed to be able to build a $80 million rink without increasing taxes or reducing services? When a city department wants to 'sell' something to the unaware taxpayer, they can come up with a very compelling argument as to how much money will be saved. Remember the split packer garbage trucks? Remember switching to MMBC?

Hiding behind closed doors is deplorable
this council should be ashamed

Remember during the last election campaign, and after this new council took office, all those grand sounding claims of openness and transparency? Whatever happened to that idea?

This proposal to go to automated garbage pick up has been kicked around by council for about two years, which clearly is evidence that they are not really all that sure about whether the concept is good for, or will work for Nanaimo. Make no mistake however, it will work for the local CUPE union and their employees, who will be able to sit in air conditioned comfort, playing with a joystick rather than doing any real work.

You might ask why, CUPE is so hot to endorse and press for this costly change to the way our trash has been disposed of for decades. I can only speculate but it could be so that the older guys, who are no longer as fit as they once were are reluctant to step out of the way and let younger, fitter guys and gals take up the job. It could also be, because they know that in the long haul this method is going to take more manpower as the job does not actually get done as quickly as it does at present.

Of course, taking recycling in-house is also a plus for CUPE as it insures the need for more and more union workers to now process all that recycle material that is currently being contracted out to a private firm. At this point, it should be noted that public is always a more expensive way of doing anything, but has considerable vocal support in Nanaimo among the organized labour crowd. This is the same special interest group that has led to the sweetest union contracts in the city being enjoyed by CUPE members employed by the city.

follow the money

If you look at the donations made by unions during the last civic election campaign you might be surprised as to the amount of money unions put behind certain candidates. Right now much is being made by the NDP about provincial party donations and the unfair influence they seem to be buying with the provincial Liberal party. It is not much of a leap to apply the same logic to local politics and the huge donations from labour unions to their favoured candidates.

It will be interesting over the next little while to see how many of the recently active council watchers will start questioning this 'in-secret' decision by council, which clearly favours CUPE while delivering zero benefit to Nanaimo residents stuck picking up the tab. Those wishing to gain support from the local union folk, will be keeping their heads down on this one, you can bet.

Union donations to candidates in the last election:

Bill Bestwick: $5250.00 of $8349.00 or 63% of all donations

Diane Brennan: $4250.00 of $5951.00 or 71% of all donations
Bill Yoachim: $6750.00 of $18,283.00 or 37% of all donations
Wendy Pratt: $500.00 of $7180.00.00

Can you imagine the outcry if a provincial political party received anywhere from 37% to 71% of their entire campaign funding from one source?

It will be interesting to note which members of this council chose to support this closed door decision clearly benefiting CUPE with ZERO benefit to Nanaimo taxpayers.

I will close this little ramble with a rhetorical question: "who runs city hall, your elected council, or the non-elected CUPE union?", as I said that is a rhetorical question.



  1. In those more idealistic early days council asked to wait for the core review before spending any major tax payer money. It was McKay who wanted to get the whole fleet at once and a compromise was made to get two trucks, am I correct in my idea that both are still parked? On behalf of the workers I note that the population of Nanaimo is up and I am wondering if there is any compensation in growing older in your job position. Seems harsh to punish people who have provided good loyal service for years for simply having too many birthdays. If this is the problem perhaps we need to find them other duties at the pay rate? Ageism is not a factor in ethical employment!

  2. Time for an Open House, so the Nanaimo voters can see the size of theses new carts,how to maneuver them, the space they will take up. Will there be two sets of carts for homes with suites? If the carts aren't positioned properly will the new truck pick them up?

  3. Cheaper than the big FOR PROFIT companies can do. Plus a fair wage for the Workers. This is a win-win. A good sensible , responsible decision for the citizenry by our Council. Well Done.

  4. Cheaper than a For Profit company? How is that known? I don't believe the city has ever put out an RFP to see what it would cost to contract it out to a private company. That would be an interesting comparison.


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