Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Wyatt Fridays?

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Deputy mayor Russ Wyatt is unlikely to find the $15 million in savings he is seeking by forcing non-essential civic workers to take one day off a week for the summer, but there's no harm in asking city managers to study the question.

A better idea would be to see how many employees would like an extra day off without pay throughout the year, although a large uptake might raise new questions about whether the city is overstaffed.

Still better, however, would be a commitment by city council to get tougher in contract negotiations. In 2011, for example, 4,600 CUPE members reached a four-year contract that provides a 6.9 per cent increase in wages and benefits over four years, beginning with zero in 2011. A 6.9 per cent increase in benefits and salaries is far above the increases received by most private-sector workers.

Even better would be a decision by council to reverse the $600,000 it awarded itself in fatter ward communication allowances, which would at least establish a minor moral example for others.

Editorials are the consensus view of the Winnipeg Free Press’ editorial board, comprising Catherine Mitchell, David O’Brien, Shannon Sampert, and Paul Samyn.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 22, 2013 A16

History

Updated on Wednesday, July 3, 2013 at 10:57 AM CDT: Corrects that in 2011, 4,600 CUPE members reached a four-year contract that provides a 6.9 per cent increase in wages and benefits over four years, beginning with zero in 2011.

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