Dear Dr. Blouw,
I did not have any of the misconceptions you mentioned. I also have no illusions about the harmful effects of your stated intentions regarding attrition of the good union jobs and directing the work towards the slippery slope of third-party contractors.
Custodial contract work is renowned as one of the most abusive industries in our society, exploiting primarily minority group workers in poorly paid jobs with no benefits and no job security, and little to no visibility, recognition or respect from the people and institutions they serve – as you’ve amply demonstrated by your position as stated in your email and in bargaining.
As a public institution, you have not only a fiscal responsibility to the public that pays you, these custodial staff, but also a social responsibility to the public at large that you are funded by (Ontario) and the community at large that you serve (Waterloo and region).
Take a day to come down out off the top-earner spot of your tower and walk the grounds in their shoes, doing their work. You’d still be paid ten times more than them for that day, but maybe you would learn and earn some respect for and from them.
Thank you for your interest in the well-being of the people and the community impacted by this matter – not just your bottom line.
Coordonnateur syndical / Union Coordinator