Bust the union
"the pay increases for municipal union staff of 38 per cent between 2001 and 2012"Why did I become a teacher?
Indeed. While it's true that municipal employees deserve and should be paid a decent wage, when compared to employment practices in the private sector it is easy to see why the taxpayer feels "ripped off". Most people are not aware how much of the municipal employee's paid workday are consumed on break, driving from the jobsite to the district garage to take break, driving from the garage back to the jobsite again, leaving the jobsite early in order to get to the garage to "knock off" on time and even beginning the next day by, once again, driving to the jobsite. This consumes hours, costs money, increases costs. The bureaucracy of working by "union rules", while having been originally established to insure the safety and fair treatment of the employees (which they certainly deserve),has developed into something unwieldly, wasteful, and ineffecient. How many hours per day does a municipal employee actually spend "working"? If a private company tried to operate in this manner, the business would soon fail, unable to provide the required service for a reasonable cost. More troubling is the fact that the municipal employee himself can do nothing about this travesty. He's probably a good person, dedicated, dependable, willing to work and to improve his contribution to his community, but he cannot "buck the system". He must try, somehow, to get his job done while walking on eggshells and being sure to "stay within the lines", lest he be ostracized from his fellow workers or fall into the bad graces of his many bosses. I've watched the district employees, they're good workers, doing the best they can while trying to work in an unsustainable system. Unsustainable? Well, not really.... the bottomless well of tax dollars that can be tossed around friviously by municipal and provincial governments seem to keep the trucks driving around..... on the way to go for break. One day, perhaps people will get fed up with this needless consuming of their tax dollars and perhaps things will change. I hear the word "Privatization" more and more in the discussion of municipal politics. Would this be a solution? Or a disaster? When I look at the condition of the #4 highway, I fear that it could be a disaster. Perhaps there is no solution.
I remember the day when so many municipal employees went above and beyond their job descriptions to do "what was right". I've personally seen them work an hour extra, come out on weekends on their own time, just to get the job done. It was because they cared about their community and the organization they worked for. With leadership changes and some very, very bad changes, the workers were made to feel unappreciated, disenfranchised. Good people were kicked to the curb. At that point, it's all too easy to go back to the union contract and pull the work to rule sentence. Yes, they're on a good roll, but treat a good employee well, and it'll come back tenfold. It's the bad eggs that spoil it for everyone else (and I'm talking leaders and workers here..)
When you can make substantially more in Alberta I'm amazed that anyone works for the District in Public Works.
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