Comox Valley Municipal Workers campaign to expand public services supporting residents, the local economy and the environment

COMOX VALLEY, British Columbia–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Comox Valley communities are growing, but public services are not keeping pace with change, says CUPE Local 556. The union has launched a campaign to urge local governments to expand municipal services to meet the growing demand in the region.

“Our members serve our neighbors every day. We are accountable to our communities and committed to ensuring the Comox Valley is clean, green, prosperous and safe,” said CUPE 556 President Bonnie Kozlowski.We are lucky to live in one of the most beautiful places in the world. As more and more people move here, improving and expanding public services is essential to meet the needs of local residents and businesses while protecting our environment.

CUPE 556’s campaign, which includes in-person public awareness activities and radio and other ads, aims to encourage elected leaders to work together for the future of the Comox Valley. The union fears that as public demands increase, more services will be contracted out to private companies.

“Our tax money should not leave our community for the benefit of those who do not live here,” Kozlowski said. “Our members’ salaries are spent on local businesses in the Comox Valley, and they are earned by carefully providing vital services and maintaining the critical infrastructure that residents depend on.

Municipal workers in the Comox Valley offer coordination across the region to ensure communities are livable, safe and environmentally sustainable in the future. The union is calling for a review of contracts to identify opportunities for better services delivered directly.

“Residents demand services that are responsible to them and responsive to their needs,” Kozlowski said. “When your trash isn’t picked up, or the snow isn’t removed, who do you call to complain? Residents can count on predictable services when they are publicly provided and accountable to the community. This way we can be sure that all concerns are dealt with efficiently and that all issues are resolved appropriately. »

A survey of 500 residents of the Comox Valley by Research Co. in February showed that most believe the services provided by public workers are superior to those provided by private contractors. The majority of respondents also believe that you pay more for lower quality services because private companies cut corners to make more profits. Nine out of ten people in the sample appreciate keeping well-paying jobs in the community.

“These are uncertain times, from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to extreme weather events of heat domes, atmospheric rivers and snowstorms,” Kozlowski said. “We must plan now to provide our community with certainty with more quality, reliable and responsible services provided by and for members of our community for generations to come.

CUPE 556 represents municipal workers in the Comox Valley – the Town of Courtenay, the Town of Comox, the Village of Cumberland, the Comox Valley Regional District and the Hornby Island Residents and Taxpayers Association. CUPE 556 members are responsible for a wide range of services including road maintenance, emergency care, recreation programs, child care, community development and maintaining water systems safe and clean drinking and sewage treatment. Members of CUPE 556 work and live on the traditional unceded territory of the K’ómoks First Nation.

Backgrounder: Comox Valley Research Co. Factum Public Opinion Poll

Listen to CUPE 556’s Comox Valley Municipal Workers Campaign Announcement here.

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