On Tuesday evening, I attended a meeting with some representatives of Labour Unions, including delegates from CUPE who are employees of the City of Vancouver and the Park Board.
Because the Park Board exists to maintain our parks and offer recreation services to the people of Vancouver, it has many employees – from the gardeners and arborists to the lifeguards and zamboni drivers to the electricians and carpenters to the clerical workers and information technology staff to many more. Most of the time our Parks & Recreation services hum along without us thinking too much about it.
However, in 2007 we went through a needless strike even though a contract could have been signed similar to the one signed in Richmond without any disruption of city services at all. Our community centres, rinks, and pools were closed, fields and gardens were only minimally maintained, youth programs cancelled, thanks to the NPA-dominated council who dropped the ball.
We need a City Council and Park Board that respects our employees and recognizes their contribution to making our city and its parks and recreation system function. As a former Chair of the Park Board, I can truly say that our employees care about the work they do and their service to the people of Vancouver. We should care about the quality of their working life in return.