Mayor Rob Ford is planning to privatize many police janitorial jobs in his ongoing campaign to contract out city services. He notified the heads of CUPE Local 79 and Local 416 in a letter on June 15, 2011 that the City of Toronto plans to make adjustments to the manner in which custodial services are provided to the City, in particular he warned that the Toronto Police Services Board had requested that the City look into private options. This is Mayor Ford’s second major step in his plan to cut the City’s workforce. Just last month, City Council had a vote in favour of contracting out garbage collection in the West end of the City.
Mayor Ford plans to contract out around 135 unionized jobs providing janitorial services to the Toronto Police. Already the Toronto Police have a mixed system which includes the employment of private janitors in three of its stations. The Toronto Police Services Board estimates that it will save around 40% by using privatized services.
He faces a hurdle, however, as the current collective agreement provides that the janitorial employees will be guaranteed another position in the City’s public service if they lose their position due to contracting out of services. This certainly will be a contentious issue come September when many of the collective agreements between the City and public services employees come up for renewal negotiations.