City workers’ union urges cooperation, offers solutions
CALGARY– The Union representing Calgary outside workers including parks and recreation employees offered today to work with City management to ensure safety and cleanliness are maintained in Olympic Plaza without evicting the ‘Occupy Calgary’ protesters.
Kevin Galley, President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 37, released a document today expressing a cooperative and principled stance of City of Calgary outside workers and reads:
“Our members are open to working with parks management to ensure the Olympic Plaza site is safe, clean and well maintained during the occupation efforts. With the co-operation of the peaceful protestors, this can be done with minimal cost to the city. Claims of damage and the cost of cleanup reported in the media lack any credibility.”
Galley explained that the hope for a fair and bright economic future supported by the Occupy Movement hits close to home for his union’s members.
“We’re appalled to see maintenance of public parks being contracted out. We’re seeing Calgarians getting an unfair deal amidst abundant wealth that could help people and fund our public services. Politicians should listen to concerned citizens, not boot them out,” he said.
Local 37’s statement follows a message delivered on Wednesday, by the Alberta Federation of Labour to Calgary’s Mayor and City Council in support of the rights of peaceful protesters to remain in Olympic Plaza.
Galley feels strongly that CUPE 37 workers can allow Occupy Calgary to protest while maintaining high standards Calgarians expect of city parks. “What we’re saying is that those two goals do not contradict each other. We can work with everyone and get in there and do what we do best — maintain safe and clean public spaces for all Calgarians.”
CUPE 37 – Serving the City of Calgary outside workers, the Town of Nanton, the Town of Vulcan, the Town of Canmore, the Canadian Rockies Regional School Division #12, EPCOR Canmore, the Town of Irricana & the Heritage Park Society.
Contact: Kevin Galley
Statement regarding Occupy Calgary Protesters in Olympic Park
Issued by CUPE 37
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Calgary is a vibrant city. CUPE 37 members take great pride in contributing to our communities through ensuring Calgarians and visitors alike are able to enjoy safe, beautiful, and well-maintained city parks.
As municipal workers, we live and work in Calgary and have already witnessed privatization of the maintenance of our city’s public parks. We share in Occupy Calgary’s commitment to our city’s future and the call for an end to economic unfairness that neglects the needs of working families and everyday Albertans.
CUPE 37 members believe in public services and economic equality. Therefore, we support Occupy Calgary’s right to remain in Olympic Plaza, informed by the following:
- CUPE 37 members are dismayed at contracting out and privatization of the maintenance of our public parks. We agree with Calgarians who demand strong public services for all.
- Our members are open to working with parks management to ensure the Olympic Plaza site is safe, clean and well maintained during the occupation efforts. With the co-operation of the peaceful protestors, this can be done with minimal cost to the city. Claims of damage and the cost of cleanup reported in the media lack credibility.
- Calgarians working to ensure that our province’s wealth benefits the public, have legitimate and courageous goals. They are entitled to express their opinions freely. We support Occupy Calgary and hope for a fair and bright economic future for all Albertans. We feel it would be a disservice to silence them.