I am writing to you about CUPE Local 926 which has 68 custodians. Wilfrid Laurier University (WLU) wants to contract out their work.
Please go to www.stopcontractingout.ca and click on “send a message” and put your name in and it will send a message to the President of the University, Dr. Max Blouw.
In 2015 WLU, cut back 9 full-time equivalent custodial positions as well as lay offs for admin staff and faculty. The University has advised us that this is not a cost containment issue, but they sent each employee a letter stating that Laurier did not get value for service, sick usage was high, too costly for shift premiums and overtime. Over the last 7 years they have reduced the number of custodians from 100 to the 68 but they still have to clean the same amount of space, which is now approximately 35,000 to 40,000 sq ft every 8 hour shift. These members are primarily female and need their jobs. After acquiring sick leave usage, the average use of days is 11 per year, which is considerably lower than the elementary/secondary school and hospital employees. The University insisted on moving employees to night shift and they offered the shift premium, but to date have not even moved their maximum allotted employees to nights and weekends. As for overtime, no member has been scheduled for overtime in years and the only members receiving overtime are those called in for emergencies.
The University is replacing our unionized custodians with “Bee Clean.” This firm is already cleaning at the university and I took the opportunity to speak to one of the workers. She was in her early 40s an immigrant and was making $13/hour with no benefits or pension. The University pays this company $19.68 per hour of service and that is for light custodial duties. Washing and waxing of floors cost extra. Unionized members are making $20.80 per hour.
I am asking for your help by going to www.stopcontractingout.ca which will take you immediately to a link for CUPE Local 926 and all you have to do is click on “send a message” and put your name in and it will send a message to the president of the University, Dr. Max Blouw who makes hundreds of thousands of dollars plus perks. You will receive a bullshit message back from Blouw stating how the University's proposals do not affect current employees and I do not know how he has come to that conclusion with 9 positions lost already plus an additional 2 laid off that were just recalled to cover other members who are off for surgeries.
As well, Laurier is just finishing up building a new School of Business paid for by Mike Lazaridis (Blackberry mega million) and 9 custodians from the contracted company will be assigned to work there. Once it opens they are closing an older building for renovations and will be laying off 3 women who desperately need the work and one is a young single mother with 2 children even though they need 9 custodians in the new building.
I hope you can support us in fighting to keep these good paying jobs in our community instead of replacing them with precarious workers. In a perfect world we would like to see our 3 current members transferred over and then hire the other 6 custodians needed from the Bee Clean employees! Please forward to everyone you know. Thank you and I am very much appreciative,
Canadian Union of Public Employees