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Friday, July 19, 2024

Metropolis of Vancouver to lowest paid staff: Allow them to eat cuts! Specific Instances

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Typically the previous time-worn cliché’s convey laborious truths. For instance, the view that actuality beneath superior capitalism has outpaced  each irony and satire is typically conveyed within the phrases “no future for satire” and “You possibly can’t make these items up. “  This view was famously adopted by the good tune author and mathematician Tom Lehrer on the day the long-lasting warfare felony and imperial consigliere Henry Kissinger was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. The songwriter introduced his instant retirement, the story goes, lamenting that nothing he may think about could be as glow at nighttime bizarre as a Peace Prize for Nixon’s  toadlike grasp of warfare.

Residing in Vancouver beneath the present proper wing ABC occasion’s hegemony in metropolis authorities, I usually consider Lehrer’s competition. Mayor Ken Sim and his minions frequently transcend satire as they exert their finest efforts to convey town I really like again to an imagined previous through which the policeman is our buddy and the large planning selections belong correctly within the palms of actual property builders. 

Not too long ago, Vancouver authorities information broke that belongs squarely within the “you’ll be able to’t make this up,” class. A call made in a closed door in digicam assembly of the council in January of this yr, very quickly after Sim’s Alphabet Gang took energy, reverses a coverage place adopted by the Metropolis of Vancouver in 2017 that required town to pay all its direct staff and subcontracted staff no less than the Household Residing Wage as outlined by the Canadian Centre for Coverage Options  and the Residing Wage for Households mission at present operated by the VanCity Basis. Yearly, the Residing Wage for Households mission calculates a residing wage for households determine, which represents the hourly wage wanted for a two revenue couple with two youngsters to fulfill fundamental bills comparable to meals, clothes, hire, baby care, transportation and minimal saving to cowl sickness or emergencies. Practically 400 companies, NGOs and governments throughout BC have made the residing wage pledge.  

The Metropolis of Vancouver choice to again out of town’s earlier dedication will hit low wage staff of corporations that present meals, cleansing and so on. companies to town as contractors, however it’ll additionally have an effect on instantly employed workers as nicely. In its febrile makes an attempt to appear to be powerful cash managers, the ABC council majority started their cuts on the backside of town’s pay scale, hurting a body of workers that’s primarily feminine and brown. When this secretive choice was lastly delivered to the eye of the general public by researchers just like the Service Workers Worldwide Union researcher Alicia Massie, the Vancouver Solar’s Dan Fumano and the Tyee labour reporter Zak Vescera, it was greeted with outrage by many observers. The outrage stage went up as the general public realized that metropolis council had OK’d a 7.3 per cent wage enhance for themselves on the identical time they moved to chop wages on the backside of town’s pay scale. 

Former metropolis councillor and lifelong anti-poverty activist Jean Swanson informed the Vancouver Solar’s Dan Fumano in Might that the choice was “disgusting.” Whereas granting that the pay elevate for her former colleagues was mandated by an exterior course of, she argued that councillors may have and may have refused the rise.

“They may have voted to cut back it, which we voted to do throughout COVID,” informed the Solar. (Swanson herself gave away a big slice of her metropolis pay throughout her time on council.)

Alicia Massie, the union researcher whose freedom of knowledge request first surfaced the January choice to chop the wages of Residing Wage protected low-income staff and contractors, informed me in early November that metropolis bureaucrats refused to inform her what number of staff could be left scraping by on decrease wages after town’s new coverage was in place. I’ve to surprise what the bureaucrats don’t need us to know. Maybe the extremely paid high bureaucrats are emulating their political masters of their dedication to secrecy. The mayor launched a code of conduct grievance in opposition to One Metropolis councillor Christine Boyle for revealing her personal vote in an in-camera assembly of council to the press. It value Boyle $7,000 in authorized charges to efficiently defend herself in opposition to the grievance. 

Jean Swanson is true. This newest austerity transfer by Vancouver’s ABC  majority is disgusting. It additionally underscores how vital it’s that staff and their unions stay lively in metropolis politics to combat for employee pursuits. With out a vigorous labour response, the brand new wave of right-wing governance and repair eroding austerity can overwhelm lots of the features we now have made prior to now centuries.

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