City of Cornwall workers are calling on the municipality to incorporate decent working conditions and stronger public services into its vision of being a “welcoming and healthy community”.
“Municipal workers are also part of the community and we want Cornwall to be a great place to live. This requires strong public services and good working conditions for city workers and everyone else who lives here,” said Caleb Roach, president of CUPE 3251, which represents more than 135 municipal workers, including water monitors, water and wastewater treatment plant operators, by-law officers, town hall clerks, as well as social support and housing workers.
Worsening working conditions impact workforce stability, hamper productivity and lower morale, Roach said. The city’s continued struggle to retain experienced employees is therefore impacting service delivery, he added.
“Our Local supplies the city’s drinking water and ensures that our wastewater is properly treated according to government standards. These services are essential to the daily life of our residents. We need the municipality to ensure the best working conditions to retain a cohort of trained and experienced workers,” said Roach, a wastewater treatment operator.
According to the union, municipal workers have a particularly important role to play in helping residents access important public services in the context of the current housing and affordability crisis in Cornwall.
“When Cornwall residents need help accessing childcare or affordable housing, you want them to get help from a service that has the skills, knowledge and experience required,” said Roach.
The union asks the municipality to work together to find constructive solutions.
“Let’s work together to build stronger, healthier communities and make Cornwall a better place to live, work and play. The city management team can play a positive role in achieving this goal,” Roach said.