Major question really, why is it that there is so much coming out of the mouths of the city regarding the Codiac Transpo deal.
Amongst major issues is the attempt to portray the original deal as an ATU proposal instead of a negotiated settlement. This is perhaps one of the most problematic misdirections out there because it gives the public the impression that this was not a negotiated deal that the city turned down but an offer from ATU that was rejected. This is two majorly different points.
In the case of an offer being rejected it indicates that there is very little involvement from the negotiators but instead was an offer by the ATU that was forced in front of council and council did not approve it.
In the case of a negotiated settlement that was voted down by the city. It would mean that both the negotiators and the ATU would have come to an agreement within the confines of the restrictions set down by the city and had then brought it before council and the union membership to be voted on. This is what happened and while the union voted to approve it, the council rejected it.
The reason this is problematic is because it is becoming apparent that council was told by the negotiator that this was a union offer instead of being told that this was a negotiated settlement and that would play a major factor in determining how it was handled by council.
A second major issue within this settlement offer is the costing issue. While I have always maintained that this contract is virtually a break even deal, something that has never been publicly denied by the mayor, and it is his own words from one of the media articles that I am quoting when I say this, what has been one of council’s main objections is that the deal had to be costed and approved by council before it could be approved.
While it is true that it had not been approved by council, what is not being told to the public (and I am uncertain if even council was informed of this) is that this deal was fully costed before the handshake agreement that signalled the approval of a negotiated settlement by both the city’s negotiating team and the ATU. This deal was costed and found to be almost revenue neutral, even though the negotiating team was approved to allow for a total of 2.75% per year.
Now this raises major questions. If the city approved a 2.75% increase and the deal was almost revenue neutral then why was it not approved? If this deal is almost revenue neutral why are some members of council trying to tell the public that the deal would require the city to raise enough funds to cover a 24% increase in salaries? If this deal was a negotiated settlement why was it presented to council as an offer by the ATU? Who is served by creating a negative union/city relationship when there was no need for one?
It honestly is my hope that the council honestly did not know that this was a negotiated agreement that fell well within the cost boundaries that the negotiator was given. But if that is the case it brings me back to the question I have asked in the past. Who is really running this city? The council who are elected to do so? Or the city staff whose job it is supposed to be to guide council and carry out their will?
Big questions that really should concern the voting public as we get closer to the election date.