Contracting of City Services Back Up for Debate

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A debate dating back four years is back up for discussion at Windsor City Council.

In March 2016, council of the day  directed administration to proceed with the phasing of contracting out caretaking services in an effort to save money.

It is now time for Phase II of the process which calls for a request for proposal (RFP) to be awarded for the work.

CUPE 543 represents current workers and President David Petten says it's a shock that this is on the table.

"But in the midst of a pandemic it's that much more mind boggling to me that council would be looking at this" he says. "And I think that's the chief question for us is, why is council looking at contracting out cleaning service in the middle of a pandemic? It's unfathomable for us."

Petten says it doesn't matter that there's a promise nobody will lose their job and will be placed in other caretaker positions.

"At the end of the day council is also from the 2016 vote are also looking to contract out those jobs as well so yeah they're saying on the one hand, we're moving you into other positions, but they're also telling us that at some point we're gong to contract out those jobs as well," he says. "So it's cold comfort for our members."

Petten says it's hard to understand because as he puts it, these are community jobs.

"These are owned by Windsdorites and so why would you want to take away decent paying work?" he questions. "I just don't understand how council would want to have that message out there because I would suggest, that council wants good paying jobs in this community, so whey aren't they going to be a leader in this?"

According to the report going before council this coming Monday, the difference between the RFP submission and the budgeted caretaking costs at the City Hall campus would result in an annual savings of $302,349.75. The estimated savings over the duration of the three year contract would be a minimum of approximately $907,000.

If the current council does not approve the award of the contract, a recruitment will need to take place immediately to fill the current vacancies in order to continue providing an adequate level of service for cleaning and maintaining the facilities.