City response to union advertisement

The recent full-page ad in The Suburban by the union representing the city's blue collar workers makes several inaccurate and misleading statements about Côte Saint-Luc's decision to outsource garbage and organic waste collection. It should be noted that the union’s complaint came more than nine months following the ratification by City Council of the contract.

Here is some history. Côte Saint-Luc used to use outside companies for garbage collection. Since this council was first elected in November 2005, the City of Côte Saint-Luc has done business cases for all investment decisions. In 2006, the price of garbage contracts escalated greatly and the city determined that doing collection in-house would be less costly. We negotiated a letter agreement with our union to take the work in house and stated clearly that we would have the right to outsource again at a future date should we determine that it made sense to do so. We have continually evaluated collecting waste in house. Recently the price of waste collection and compost collection has fallen. As such, in our most recent business case we determined that it would be more cost-effective with an equal level of service if we contracted the service to an outside company. The decision was approved unanimously by the city council. City and management and council all agreed it was the best decision.

Here are the numbers. The cost of the city handling in house waste collection and organic collection (brown bin) would have been almost $1.336 million in 2015. By contrast, the cost to outsource was about 50 percent less costly at $680,606.84. Given the market change, the decision was an easy one.  

But beyond just saving taxpayer money, Côte Saint-Luc also tries to be fair with staff. For instance, all the workers who had been working on our waste collection teams were offered new jobs. Some got promotions. Others were transferred to comparable jobs, in addition to being offered training to improve their skills.

We have shown good faith in our dealings with the union, we have been very fair with our workers -- all while making decisions that save taxpayers money.

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