CUPE Local 38 President D’Arcy Lanovaz shares Mayor Nenshi’s concern about the tone of the debate regarding retirement allowances.
“The notion that this level of spending was directed by city employees or is somehow nefarious is absurd,” says Lanovaz. “The use of terms like ‘blood-sucking vampires’ is unacceptable and does nothing to resolve tensions around this matter.”
At the same time as City Council is dragging its feet on addressing the tax shift, they continue to imply that there is a lack of understanding around the origin and rationale for the longstanding benefit.
“As we move into budget review in 2020 we ask that the Council be transparent, civil and respectful of the hard work, value and contribution city employees provide,” says Lanovaz. “Our members are reasonable and want to be part of a respectful conversation with the Council.”
“Our members simply come to work every day to make the City a better and safer place and shouldn’t be subjected to insults and blame,” he says.
The scope of which employees will be impacted by this issue needs to be assessed. The benefit is outlined in at least one collective bargaining agreement between the city and the Calgary chapter of the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) and it is yet to be determined how this will impact other collective agreements.
“In these economic times, when the City is looking to adjust budgets and looking at every aspect of operations City Council, City employees and Calgarians need to work together and be forward-thinking in resolution rather than sling insults, point fingers or assign blame,” says Lanovaz. “Only by working together in cooperation can we resolve these issues and focus on keeping Calgary as one of the most livable cities in the world.”
D’Arcy Lanovaz is Chair of the Coalition of Civic Unions which represents employees across all disciplines within the City of Calgary.
CUPE Local 38 represents the administrative and technical workers at the City of Calgary and Enmax as well as Calgary Parking Authority workers.