Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Union/City Hall corruption scandal festers

According to AltLondon, printing of the London Civic Employees CUPE Local 107's new collective agreement with the City, ratified in April 2006, has been delayed…

…presumably because the agreement appears to have already been contravened, both by the City and by the Local's president, Tim Whitworth. AltLondon is also reporting that a CUPE union trial committee's decision is expected tomorrow on these allegations:

A written complaint by a union steward of London Civic Employees CUPE Local 107, which represents London's 520 outside workers, alleges that its president Tim Whitworth signed secret remuneration agreements with the City on two occasions to pay him $6 an hour ($240 weekly) above and beyond his hourly rate as set by the City's and the union's last collective agreement, as well as an additional weekly salary of $105.80 to compensate him for "loss of opportunity for acting [supervisor] pay."

Whitworth, whose former job with the City was as a "leading tree trimmer," allegedly struck the deal to pay him a weekly salary on top of his hourly wages with Larry Allen, contract manager of the City's Human Resources department, on January 14, 2005 backdated to November 1, 2004 when he took office. It is not known who approved the extra $6 hourly rate of pay. The additional compensation amounts to approximately $17,980 per annum, or about $44,300 since Whitworth became the local's president.
More details can be found at AltLondon.

Whether the City is withholding an investigation into management's irregular dealings with Whitworth pending outside confirmation of the allegations or whether it is waiting for the issue to become a public nuisance, the local media has been profoundly mute.

Update, June 27 2007: Butch McLarty from AltLondon leaves the following comment:
The Trial Committee is expected to make a decision/recommendation today and I'll post what I learn about it on Alt-London when and if I hear about it.

But don't expect much from this five-member Kangaroo Court, as President Whitworth of CUPE Local 107 managed to manipulate who sat on the five-member Trial Committee -- and four members are required by secret ballot vote to find someone "guilty."

How did he do this? Whitworth managed to put two of his pals on the committee by challenging potential committee members he didn't like by stating that he would be calling them as witnesses. He never called these individuals as witnesses, so the selection process was tainted and an objection may have been filed in this regard.

What I've heard to date is that Whitworth's supporters on the Trial Committee are saying that his transgressions, if any, are not an "impeachable offense." Tainting the collective bargaining process, however, and burning the taxpayers at the same time is a very serious matter. It's far more than an internal union matter.

Regardless of what is recommended or found by the Trial Committee, the following is true:

1. Paying any union member, let alone the president of a union local, outside the terms and provisions of a duly negoitated collective agreement is unheard of and contrary to labour law. Since November 1, 2004, President Whitworth has been receiving a weekly salary over and above the collective agreement (union members don't receive a salary, but an hourly rate) and also a rate of pay $6 an hour higher than as specified in the collective agreement for the dedicated union president. As a result, during the past 31-32 months, Whitworth has received more than $44,000 over and above the collective agreement, money taxpayers shouldn't being paying for, but are. The City of London wants this story to go away bigtime and are acting like ostriches in this regard.

2. Alt-London stands 100 per cent behind its story and while we've heard rumblings from the usual dipshits down at city hall that "Alt-London is going to be sued," not a single person has contacted us to challenge our facts. The sole rationale that we've heard from an elected official to justify Whitworth's pay package is, "that he's a nice guy." Incredible, isn't it?

3. Despite the fact that this story has been posted on Alt-London since April 27, 2007 and been viewed more than 3,200 times (and sent to council members and the supporting documentation given to Jonathan Sher on May 4), to our knowledge the City of London has done nothing to rectify the situation and the Free Press spiked Sher's story about it for reasons unknown. Managing Editor Joe Ruscitti has discussed this story on the Free Press blog (archived), with his last pitiful comment of "we're working on it" speaking volumes about the Free Press.

4. The Trial Committee's findings-recommendations go to CUPE Local 107's executive committee on July 4. It is believed that the general membership of CUPE Local 107 will also have input into this matter at at a later date, so this is an ongoing story.
Note: The comments by London Free Press Managing Editor Joe Ruscitti's to which Mr. McLarty alludes can be found here (scroll down to the post "Compact, but not too compact" and select "show comments").

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Posting a comment on this software is like having root canel.

My lengthy comment has disappeared three times. This is my fourth attempt.

I even tried to copy and paste the comment in here, a comment that I composed in my e-mail, but no can do.

Is there an e-mail address that I can send it to.

In the meantime, I'll post my lengthy comment in the comment section of the Whitworth story on Alt-London.

Thanks for your assistance in getting this important story out there.

Joe Molnar said...

Earlier today I emailed a question to London's A chanel head guy with copies to the LFP regarding this story.
The headguy is away according to an instant email reply.

Maybe A Chanel headguy will respond in a week or two - or likely never.
At least the LFP Publisher has a copy somewhere on her files.

MapMaster said...

Anonymous: I'm sorry that you had trouble with the commenting system — I had thought that our blogging host had fixed that problem a long time ago. If you'd like to email us at

thelondonfog@hotmail.com

I'd be happy to post your comment.

Joe: I just saw the email you copied to us — I'd be interested in hearing if you ever receive a genuine reply. As always, thanks for being our local MSM watchdog-warrior.

Anonymous said...

Preliminary but unconfirmed reports indicate that 107's five-member Kangaroo Court, aka the "Trial Committee", have found Tim Whitworth, president of CUPE Local 107, "not guilty" of breaching CUPE's Constitution and 107's By-laws with respect to receiving a pay package outside the terms and provisions of their collective agreement with the City of London.

Speaks volumes about the integrity of the Trial Committee and problems with that union local.

From what I can gather, there's no denial that Whitworth's pay package has not been ratified, but the Trial Committee was somehow convinced that it's not an "impeachable offence" and more of a "housekeeping" matter.

Jonathan Sher is once again working on the story. He went to the Lamplighter Inn today to hustle up some comments etc. and could find no-one from CUPE there. Don't think there'll be anything in tomorrow's paper. Maybe later. Who knows?

Unconfirmed scuttlebutt is that the Trial Committee went to someone's home instead to settle the matter and have a barbeque and party after.

Uh-huh.

Get the picture? An inside job from the get-go. Kanagroo Court, pure and simple.