Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Union/City Hall corruption scandal:
Revenge of the outside workers

City Hall's Human Resources department may have thought it bought some labour peace and friendly relations with its outside workers when it allegedly signed secret remuneration agreements with CUPE Local 107's president Tim Whitworth 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. But, as it turns out, its practise to deceive has only woven the City a tangled web of grievance.

Butch McClarty from Alt-London reports:

John Keaney, a veteran union steward with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 107, which represents the City's 520 outside workers, has filed a formal group grievance with city officials at Larry Allen's fifth-floor office at city hall. Larry Allen is the City's manager of labour relations and staffing.

The grievance, signed by approximately 20 Local 107 members, was filed Friday, June 29, and stamped "received" in the presence of London Free Press reporter Jonathan Sher — a grievance that demands equal pay treatment for all Local 107 members.

The group grievance is seeking to require the City of London to pay all Local 107 members an extra $6 an hour and a weekly salary over and above their specified hourly rate of pay as per Schedule "A" of the union's Collective Agreement — just as the City of London has done for Tim Whitworth, president of CUPE Local 107.

[…] Alt-London has learned that a similar written grievance was filed last year after Whitworth's sweetheart deal came to light — 19-20 months after the deal was signed -- and that it was summarily dismissed by a senior official in the City Enginner's Department, without discussion or an attempt at resolution.
Read more at Alt-London. See previous articles here and here.

What grievances with the taxpayers of London the City has not yet bought is only so far the result of the abject failure of the London Free Press and other local media to even mention this story — an omission that will prove harder to ignore as time goes by.

Update, Wednesday July 4: Mention of the City's irregular dealings makes its first appearance in the local media today in the last two paragraphs of Clay Powell's opinion piece in The Londoner (link archived for one week only):
While in England, I did follow local London news and, in particular, the writings of Butch McLarty on the Altlondon website. According to Butch, our city has been improperly paying CUPE Local 107 union president, Tim Whitworth, more money than is allowed under the city’s collective bargaining agreement. The amount of the excess payments is said to be about $44,000 over the past two and one-half years.

If true, we may have to raise the threat level to critical right here in our own London.