White Rock workers warn against privatizing home garbage pickup

WHITE ROCK – Workers in the City of White Rock spoke to city council on Monday night about proposed privatizing of home garbage and recycling services.

CUPE 402-01 President Mike Guraliuk briefly reviewed technical and cost problems with privatizing, which are contained in the union’s written submission to council. These include higher and hidden costs of private contracts and frequent service problems which have led council to contract services back in.

Guraliuk mainly focused on the human and service concerns when city services are handed over to private contractors. “We know that the citizens are very proud of our community and surveys find a high level of satisfaction with garbage and recycling services publicly delivered by White Rock employees. That’s in part because many city workers live here and know the residents they serve.”

“Your employees act as ambassadors for the city, answering questions from residents, reporting problems like damaged street signs and safety hazards, helping seniors where they can, and making sure cans are properly put back. Contracting out this work will put at risk the relationship between White Rock and its citizens that has been established by the people who work for you, and it is a risk that no contract can mitigate,” said Guraliuk.

CUPE was responding to the City’s January 6 announcement of its intention to issue a request for proposal on contracting out single-family home collection. Council indicated that it would xxxxxxx. CUPE 402-01 represents members who work for the City of White Rock and provide a wide range of services to White Rock residents, including garbage and recycling services.