May 2012 President’s Report (City of Toronto)
Dear fellow Local 79 Member:
Several proposals to use some of the 2011 budget surplus in order to protect various City services were rejected by the City’s Budget Committee this month, including a recommendation to continue funding for 16 Youth Outreach Worker (YOW) positions which are being deleted. While the City had decided to delete these YOW positions in the 2012 Budget process, Council also decided to re-evaluate this cut as part of the pending Recreation Services Review. Local 79 made a deputation urging the City to use some of the surplus to provide bridge funding until the expected completion of this review in the fall. Although Local 79 is working hard on our members’ behalf, urging the City to find alternative work for these YOW’s under the redeployment process, they face layoff later this month. This issue should be coming before City Council for further debate on June 6th. Local 79 will soon be asking members to support YOW’s and the services they provide by contacting your councillors.
Mayor Ford’s message to all City staff in April regarding the newly-found surplus ignores the contrived crisis and fails to support your work. Although the Mayor alluded to the City’s finances being back on track due to cost containment – budget experts, and Local 79, have stated for months that the City of Toronto was not in a financial crisis as severe as suggested by the Ford administration. The Mayor should have shown appreciation for front-line workers by expressing support for the programmes and services you provide!
Premier McGuinty added funding for child care in the provincial budget after NDP leader Andrea Horwath made this funding a condition of NDP support. I would like to thank the hundreds of members across Local 79 who emailed and phoned the Premier and MPPs regarding the budget. Your actions helped make a difference!
Although child care funding is now in the budget, we still do not know the exact amount of money earmarked for child care in Toronto, nor do we know what the implications are for child care centres and programs. I have written to the City requesting Local 79’s engagement in the process of allocating provincial funding for child care and I shall provide updates to you on this issue.
Earlier this month, many Local 79 members of the Joint Health and Safety Committees participated in the 13th Annual Joint Health and Safety Recognition event. The participants heard encouraging and supportive speeches from a number of speakers. I had the honour of addressing the participants, and in my remarks I applauded the important work being done by our Local 79 members, and by the City, on our Joint Health and Safety committees. I emphasized that positive outcomes happen when we all work together for the greater good!
The month of May provides several occasions to celebrate the rich diversity of Local 79 and the City of Toronto. May is Asian Heritage Month, Jewish Heritage Month in Ontario, and May 17th is the International Day Against Homophobia.
Applications are now being accepted for the Rudy Draxl Memorial Scholarship and the Stan Dalton Memorial Scholarship. These two scholarships for $500.00 each, sponsored by the legal firm CaleyWray, will be awarded on the basis of written essays submitted by the applicants.
The theme for the Rudy Draxl Memorial Scholarship is “Why is a Union Necessary in the City of Toronto, TCHC or Bridgepoint Hospital?” The theme for the Stan Dalton Memorial Scholarship is “Why is a Steward a Positive Addition to the Workplace?” Essays must not exceed 2,500 words and the submission deadline is August 3, 2012. Please send your request for an application, in writing, to the Education Committee, c/o the Local 79 office. Please include your name, address, home and work telephone numbers, employer, division, and employee number in your request.
Local 79 invites you to a Spring Dance celebrating Local 79’s 70th anniversary, on Thursday June 14th at the Lithuanian Community House, 1573 Bloor St. West (Dundas and Bloor, Dundas Subway Station), from 6:00 p.m. until midnight. Dinner will be provided, and there will be a reasonably priced cash bar, a band, DJ, spot dances, and prizes. Come and meet other Local 79 members, and have a great time dancing to excellent music. Tickets will cost $5.00 each and you can reserve up to two tickets (no children) by calling 416-977-1629 extension 508 (8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.). Please call between May 22nd and June 7th as the space is limited.
Attention all Local 79 members aged 30 and under! On Saturday June 23rd, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., there will be a Local 79 Young Workers’ Education Day.
Keep these dates open! Local 79’s annual Summer Picnic will be on July 18th and 19th on Toronto Island. All members are invited to bring their families; it’s one of Local 79’s most popular summer events.
President, CUPE Local 79