Daily Archives: September 16, 2009

Karen Stintz’s opinion on city strike

City lost in the deal with strikers
An exclusive op-ed for the Town Crier by Councillor Karen Stintz
By Councillor Karen Stintz
(Written Sept. 8 for Town Crier)

Councillor Karen Stintz questions if city can afford new contact with local unions.

In last month’s Town Crier, Mayor David Miller had an opportunity to provide his perspective on the civic strike and the settlement that concluded the labour disruption. He claims his bargaining goals were met.
Weeks later and thanks to almost $1 million dollars in overtime, the city is cleaned up and back to business.
But let’s be clear: a financial mess remains. And for this reason alone Toronto residents endured a 39-day strike for nothing.
On day one of the strike, Toronto residents gamely hunkered down for a long, tough fight. They understood important issues were at hand. Mayor Miller himself told residents the city was facing “enormous budget challenges in 2009, 2010 and beyond.”
For this reason he said, “the cost of providing services must be in balance with the revenues the city has to pay the bills”. Continue reading

Should EMS be essential in Toronto

Should ambulance workers be allowed to strike?
City hall debates making EMS a full essential service
By Kris Scheuer
(Written Sept. 14 for Town Crier)

During the summer’s city strike many Torontonians were surprised to discover that EMS is not considered a full-fledged essential service.
Ambulances were still on the road, but 25 percent of frontline Emergency Medical Services workers were on the picket lines. 
Midtown councillor Michael Walker had a motion at the city’s Executive Committee asking the province to declare all of EMS an essential service. 
“It should be 100 percent not 75 percent,” Walker said. “The bottom line is these services will not be withdrawn from the public (in a strike).” 
Roberta Scott, public relations director for the Toronto Paramedics Association, agrees. 
“Either paramedics are a true essential service or they are not,” Scott told the committee. “On a daily basis we see there are not enough paramedics. 
“And then if you put us in a strike situation and take away 25 percent of us then it delays response time,” the former paramedic added. “That is a disaster waiting to happen.” Continue reading