Exclusive: mutiny festering as internal survey claims city sanitation management rot

City waste collection services
Vancouver trash workers unhappy, survey shows

The year started off seemingly well for City of Vancouver’s 1,600 outside workers when the garbage, recycling, street repair and parks and facilities maintenance workers got a four-year contract with 6.75% in pay raises.


Then came word of dissent among the rank-and-file, when the executive of CUPE Local 1004 wanted to suspend the stewards’ council. There were allegations that president Mike Jackson took unauthorized leave and that under his leadership, there were financial irregularities.
It got even worse on April 18 when a worker from another union, for reasons not entirely clear, attempted self-immolation in the CUPE Local 1004 office, destroying furniture, fixtures, equipment and files. 


The Province newspaper revealed Aug. 26 that Ronaldo Lising had been hired as a part-time trashman by City of Vancouver, despite a criminal record for drugs, guns and assault offences and membership in the Hells Angels when the RCMP busted the East End clubhouse in 2005. 

While the B.C. Civil Liberties Association believes criminals who have served their sentence should not be subject to discrimination, a Sept. 10 Province story further questions City of Vancouver hiring practices: who knew what and when and why won’t city manager Penny Ballem or the manager who hired Lising, Mike Zupan, explain? The Province story mentions a staff survey, but it doesn’t show you the internal Sanitation Services Department survey.

You’ve come to the right place, because you can read the report below. 

It’s called “Employee Engagement Notes: Day Shift and Afternoon Shift” and was compiled from table discussions in January 2013 sessions. The report is dated Feb. 19, 2013 and provided to me by a source concerned that city hall’s ruling Vision Vancouver party does not care for the men and women who handle the city’s waste and work in the least-glorious division of the city. 

Mayor Gregor Robertson and Vision Vancouver are intent on making Vancouver the world’s greenest city by 2020, but there are serious questions about how Robertson and co. are managing the city’s operations and finances in 2013. 

According to one of the comments, it is a “toxic work environment” in the city’s sanitation department. But there is more. Much more. 

The top 10 selection of comments: 
  • “Maps are 40 years out of date”
  • “Mgmt. needs to follow and enforce the rules consistently”
  • “Tell us the truth; tell us what you know and what you don’t” 
  • “Be consistent; stop changing story every week”
  • “Rules are being broken conveniently and it’s ‘encouraged’ to get the work done”
  • “Stop favouritism/nepotism”
  • “Lying, no transparency, no communication, no accountability, no integrity”
  • “They build resentment they don’t build people”
  • “When leaders pass the buck, you end up passing the buck”
  • “Dysfunctional environment is the norm, rumours are constant”
                    Read the entire report below: 

                    2010goldrush.blogspot.com
                    News and views on Vancouver 2010 (and beyond) from Bob Mackin.

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