Union Appeals for Five Fired City of Cornwall Ontario Workers as Council Runs Late ? August 15, 2013

Union Appeals for Five Fired City of Cornwall Ontario Workers as Council Runs Late ?  August 15, 2013

Cornwall City skylineCFN – The five workers thought to have been fired by City Hall are awaiting a decision after their union has gone to bat for them.

The Municipal Works workers alleged to have been fired for Time Theft have all been muzzled by threat of their union not going to bat for them.

The Monday Night City Council meeting opened over 30 minutes late as fierce arguments could be heard in the hallway as one of those terminated was school board Trustee and Mayoralty candidate himself Todd Lalonde.   Councilor Andre Rivette left shortly after the closed session of council ended and did not stay for the open meeting.   Last Friday Mr. Lalonde was reported to have had meetings with the CAO Norm Levac and HR Manager Dail Levesque.

Sources expect  most of the five will be reinstated after the Union finishes its process of appeal as long as the employees stay muzzled and play ball meaning taxpayers may never truly find out what exactly has transpired and how much it’s cost the employees and the taxpayer.

The process is frustrating many taxpayers who are complaining that the City is staying silent on the matter.   Norm Levac is not returning phone calls and has given media non answers.  While we can understand the need for individual privacy, anytime you terminate nearly 20% of a department there should be a statement or release of some sort?

The buzz though is that this was a bad pr move by City Hall to try and redeem their credibility in light of the Mayor’s scandals and Kilger Bench BLUEcover ups and taking out a possible rival in the next election that simply went awry when it went public.

 

If you are going to start nailing people at City Hall shouldn’t you start at the top?

What about giving out tenders to companies that have City staff as owners or part owners; a gross violation of the City’s Conflict of Interest policy?    Or the Conflict of Interest of Mayor Kilger that has led to an alleged $3M and growing amount spent on pay offs, terminations, and litigation?

The status quo and rule of thumb at City Hall seems to be “Say Nothing”.

Maybe these five are guilty?   But did they do something new or simply the status quo of issues complained about for years regarding different departments at City Hall?

Were there warning’s issued?    And with the silence where is the accountability and transparency?

And if the Union is successful in getting reinstatements for all or most of those terminated what will the cost have been to the City in terms of dollars and worker morale?   Was this the best way to go and should our CAO and HR manager be held accountable too?

What do you think Cornwall?  You can post your comments below.

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25 Responses to "Union Appeals for Five Fired City of Cornwall Ontario Workers as Council Runs Late ? August 15, 2013"

  1. mariah   August 15, 2013 at 6:37 AM

    “The buzz though is that this was a bad pr move by City Hall to try and redeem their credibility in light of the Mayor’s scandals and Kilger Bench BLUEcover ups and taking out a possible rival in the next election that simply went awry when it went public.”

    I think that you nailed it Jaime,he is just trying to avert attention from his corruption & court issues,but bareass bob….this will not make me forget!!!

  2. localguy   August 15, 2013 at 7:42 AM

    Why give them any special treatment? Time theft is theft and their salaries are paid by our taxes. So essentially they were stealing from the community as a whole.

    If you worked at bank, factory or retail store you would be fired with no second thought, but since they are unionized city employees it’s some how different?????

  3. Julie   August 15, 2013 at 7:56 AM

    Time theft is a serious issue. This is in fact a crime in itself. If guilty these employees have cost city taxpapers money.

    Why should they be treated any differently then others that do not have a union. Stealing company time deserves a firing on the spot.

    This act is dishonest and outright plain laziness.

    While I agree, that Mr. Kilger has many issues I do not believe that the alleged theft of time of Mr. Lalonde and 4 other employees relate to the upcoming election.

  4. Diddlyscwatt   August 15, 2013 at 9:32 AM

    Re:
    Julie August 15, 2013 at 7:56 am

    Quote: “While I agree, that Mr. Kilger has many issues I do not believe that the alleged theft of time of Mr. Lalonde and 4 other employees relate to the upcoming election.:

    Not everyone will see this as ‘clearly’ as you said Julie, not that it is not a possibility, I agree with you.

    Issues like this are not managed so callously. Management would have viewed the follow-ups with due diligence and hard taken decisions as they would be aware of the significances and the negative innuendo’s. They call a spade a spade.

    Some have suggested other ‘delinquencies’ with other department managers as well. I assure you, these will have been well noted and would also be followed up by those who have that function.

    Unions are strong and determined on behalf of their charges. That is what they get paid for. No doubt more threats of court will be high on their agendas. ‘Just what the city needs…more court costs’.

    Not that waiting to see is desirable for those of us on the side lines it would be the best option at this time.

    Personally, I do have faith in the current personnel to hold fast in the face of this difficult issue. We need to as well.

  5. jason   August 15, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    I heard Todd has his job back.

  6. stellabystarlight   August 15, 2013 at 3:11 PM

    The buzz though is that this was a bad pr move by City Hall to try and redeem their credibility in light of the Mayor’s scandals and Kilger Bench BLUEcover ups and taking out a possible rival in the next election that simply went awry when it went public.

    The buzz word is just that, buzz. Nothing concrete and lacking credibility.

    I agree with Julie she wrote: While I agree, that Mr. Kilger has many issues I do not believe that the alleged theft of time of Mr. Lalonde and 4 other employees relate to the upcoming election.

    In the case of theft by an employee the employer does not necessarily have to follow the warning procedures. Theft is considered a major misconduct which could result in immediate termination.

  7. cityBS   August 15, 2013 at 3:36 PM

    Mr. Rivette stormed out of council because he went to bat for Todd Lalonde, that’s very clear after reading this article and the one in today’s freeholder, nothing he can say will prove otherwise. Proof its now politics and politics will get you your job back, even when there is proof of guilt. Mr. Rivette might want to watch who he spoke too about all this because the person or persons he told, spoke about it to someone else who in turn told another. Small town Cornwall is.

    5 people stole time period, the city never asked them too, they took our trust in them. The union will preach whatever they want to tell and try and spin it their way because all unions do is protect the bad apples. Mr. Lalonde, there is no excuse, you are great at being in the public eye when you see fit but when crap hit the fan you ran for help and you turned to politics & union. If ever you run for any political office I promise, you lost my vote.

    Here is hoping all this opens the eyes of all the city workers who drive around in the fancy blue/white trucks thinking they are superior, the same ones who take days to complete a simple project, the same ones who we see forever standing around scratching their heads probably wondering when is it break time, your not superior and I for one will not tolerate my taxes being wasted another day.

  8. admin   August 15, 2013 at 3:38 PM

    Hey City BS give me a shout when you have a moment. 613 361 1755

  9. jules   August 15, 2013 at 3:56 PM

    Like I said before FIRE THEM ALL FROM THE VERY TOP IN ADMINISTRATION ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE LOWLIEST JOB WHO SWEEPS THE STREETS, PICKS UP GARBAGE, ETC. and hire people without any union at all and who will work without a complaint and be happy to have a job. Not only that hire by contract – contract out to a private group and you will see the job much better done.

    Bare Ass has enough on his plate of steeling the taxpayers money and doesn’t want competition. Thank God that I no longer live in Cornwall paying my hard earned money to keep a house going while others are sitting around on the job doing nothing.

    Just a day or two ago they showed a Winnipeg Manitoba man sleeping on the job who was one of their municipal workers. Get rid of the unions and hire privately and those who will work. The foreigners are the better workers and believe me I see it every day whereas the Canadians want everything their way and don’t want to work.

  10. Dave321   August 15, 2013 at 4:02 PM

    Wow, Todd Lalonde stealing hours!!!!! Instead of running for city counsel next term, he should be a Senator!!!!!

  11. Simon   August 15, 2013 at 9:49 PM

    So far we’ve been presented with rumours, and the exagerated term “time theft”. It’s a bit over the top to compare a lazy ass or shirker to a thief.

    Taking a dump at work instead of at home, taking a half dozen time outs for a smoke, calling the bank, Cogeco or Bell, talking about last nights game to a co-worker, checking the weather online, a little birthday celebration …probably acceptable.

    So what was the behaviour that rates this “criminal” tag of theft?

    Unless there has been an actual false statement of work performed or hours on the job, fraud, or actually taking money or property …theft seems something of an exageration (unless charges are being laid).

    Presuming there was no prior history or warning (or proper preventive action and controls), what kind of management or supervision allowed 25% of a department to have acted either so long or so outrageously that a firing is necessary?

    If there was no law broken, and yet Cornwall has suffered a loss, then tally it up and make them pay it back, with interest. Then put them in positions that preclude any nonsense.

    And see that it doesn’t happen again by properly monitoring the workplace… and it wouldn’t hurt if management were to set an example.

    At any rate, with half of administration working on the mayor’s last election bid (on and off hours), it’s a bit of a joke really.

  12. Scott Stevens   August 16, 2013 at 8:23 AM

    Agree Simon,

    Apparently this “supposed” time theft has been an ongoing practice for quite some time and the administration has done nothing to stop it, so in reality they condoned it as an acceptable practice. In light of this City administration should have issued a directive that this type of behaviour should stop ASAP. Have they never heard of progressive discipline???? You just cannot fire someone for a practice that has been condoned for over 10 years!
    I don’t always agree with unions but in this regard I do as City administration is just exposing itself to another wrongful dismissal law suit. The judge would throw the bock at them. It is becoming clearer everyday that those that run the city are incompetent. We can vote out the politicians but nothing will change as the bureaucrats will still be running the show.

  13. Julie   August 16, 2013 at 9:53 AM

    Very well, if some of these five individuals do get their job back, can we as tax payers be assured they are paying back every penny they have stolen from us. Shame on each and every one of you.. Isn’t great having a union to protect you! Wow, just because some of you may get your job back gentleman this does not mean that the time theft did not occur, let us all remember this Cornwall!!!!!

    What was done by these dispatchers is in fact a crime. if we would ever do this at our jobs this would be an automatic dismissal. I for one consider this act morally ,ethically and criminally wrong.

    Come this election I have no idea who to vote for as of right now there appears to be no credible candidate applying for the Mayor’s seat.

    As far as I am concerned Mr.Kilger is corrupt and you Mr. Lalonde are a thief. In my mind one is no better than the other!

  14. ridingshotgun   August 16, 2013 at 11:18 AM

    Jules, well said. Rob a bank of any amount see what you get, robbing your employer is any different? Its sad that the ones who work an honest day for an honest pay have to suffer for the likes of these people who believed they were above all others. My take on this, the City did what they had to do, I believe they investigated and made this decision based on facts.

    People are so quick to jump on the city’s back. maybe this has been going on for years but really? its being stopped finally and thank whoever stood up to stop it, don’t criticize after all its tax dollars wasted. people complain the city does nothing and when they do something, people complain.

  15. pizoli   August 16, 2013 at 5:31 PM

    What an absolutely interesting group of comments. I too believe that the City must have investigated and made this decision based on facts. They would need HR endorsement, legal endorsement, and the CAO would have to be advised. According to all the announcements, there seem to be a number of new employees at the top at the Ontario Street Workshop. To me, it doesn’t matter if things were allowed to happen in the past, the new people seem to think that it is just plain wrong and I applaud them for taking action. With regards to the employees, they have an employment (job) contract with the City which, I am sure, is quite specific on duties, hours, etc. If those employees broke that contract in any way, then they are truly accountable. It is so often true that unions are only there to protect the bad apples–good employees seldom need them. The only one of the five making headlines seems to be Todd Lalonde and I would say that whether you are the Mayor, Paul Fitzpatrick, or TODD LALONDE, you are RESPONSIBLE for your actions and you should have the Bxlls to own up. There is no way his (TL) involvement doesn’t make this political!

  16. Julie   August 16, 2013 at 7:16 PM

    Mr. Scott Stevens,

    With all due respect, I must disagree with your statement “that the city is exposing itself to another lawsuit of wrongful dismissal”

    Please correct me if I am wrong, but any type of theft, including theft of type is a cause for immediate dismissal. No warning of any kind needs to be given.

    If the said union fights to protect these individuals it is NOT the City of Cornwall that has opened up a can of worms, but rather the five individuals who have being dishonest and have chosen the act of time theft.

    Now, are these five dispatchers going to cost the taxpayers even more money than what they have already stolen?

    In other words the City of Cornwall is cleaning up, so it will in fact be unfortunate if legal costs will have to be incurred but it will be of no fault of the city but rather by the union that is protecting the five amigos.

  17. Simon   August 16, 2013 at 11:31 PM

    On a scale of 1 to 10 — no make that 0 to 10 — how does this “theft” rank against a mayor who (from the get go) casually billed us $1000 for a road trip and NHL reunion in Windsor, in the ridiculous guise of representing Cornwall at the wake of an in-law of a friend. Surely not a boozeup.

    And what now of a mayor and his ragtag phart catchers that is costing us millions, for the attempted theft of Rob Hickley’s dignity, the wrongful dismissal of Diane Shay, and the wrongful hiring of Chad Kilger. Surely not a phuckup.

    The current scandal is clear proof of this mayor’s success… at leading by example.

  18. A CONCERNED TAXPAYER   August 17, 2013 at 6:27 PM

    City Management isn’t Talking / The Union isn’t Talking /
    Supposedly the employees effected aren’t Talking / Yet /
    We certainly have so many opinions expressed on this whole matter that I’am amazed . Do some have inside information or is
    it just speculation on their part ?
    One person seems to think that Management has proceeded with
    due diligence ( I beg to differ ) then goes on to say , I assure you
    Management etc . How can you assure us of anything ? Baloney
    As I see it Management are responsible for yet another Screw UP.
    I don’t know if the City was right or wrong if in fact they fired 5 employees my point is the process and the fact that they are remaining silent to speculation which has happened and as such
    has only made matters worse .

  19. jules   August 20, 2013 at 11:53 AM

    When I was permanent in the federal government in my department we had to fill out time sheets for every piece of work we did and how long it took to do it. We also had to mark the time it took to go to the bathroom. We were granted only two 15 minute breaks and 1/2 hour for lunch and we were unionized. The only time you took 1 hour for lunch was that you had to work longer to have that extra half hour. Our supervisor was very tough and on key and no fooling around with her. I miss her very much since she has been deceased for some time and was a good person to work for and you learned a lot from her.

    There is way too much fooling around in Cornwall’s city workers and I have seen a great deal while being there and knowing some of the workers. I have seen some workers who were retired and still had the key to the lock at Guindon Park and let themselves in. I know enough of what goes on and the hammer should come down hard on all of them.

  20. Derek Sheppard   August 21, 2013 at 11:54 AM

    Re: Jules

    Do you also think that all the bus drivers should be fired as well ? And you said you worked for the Feds, ? Arnt they in a lot of crap themselves ? Hello

  21. jules   August 21, 2013 at 12:57 PM

    Mr. Sheppard yes I sure did work for the feds from the mid 70’s until 1985 to stay home with my children. Yes they sure are a lot of crap and we can all see that as plain as day. I have seen so much that went on but I cannot disclose things to the public.

    About the bus drivers I have always spoken a lot of good things about them and I knew the old drivers of past years in Cornwall who were very good people like Mr. Lapointe, Mr. Cook, and many others. I rode a lot with Ottawa’s drivers and some good and some bad but the older drivers were the very best and Ottawa in those days was only 350K and today at a million people and the stress of driving here today is insane. I have stuck up for the drivers here in Ottawa when things got really bad in the past and sometimes even today if the inspector comes on in times of problems.

    Again the answer is yes about the dirty politicians and all here in Ottawa and I said it to Jamie’s paper CFN that I will not vote anymore because they are all the same crap.

    I pity the bus drivers both in Cornwall and Ottawa and elsewhere. We know of a nice bus driver in Cornwall who lives here in Ottawa. Cornwall is a great deal easier to drive in than Ottawa. To drive here in Ottawa a driver needs psychiatric care literally because it is way too crazy.

  22. David Oldham   August 23, 2013 at 8:15 AM

    The definitive sentence in your commentary on possible “Time Theft” reads “And with the silence where is the accountability and transparency ?”

    This current administration has been a do nothing, kick sand in our face, embarrassment to the community that has served only to further demonstrate the meaning of an exercise in futility.

    Anyone care to prove this statement to be in error?

  23. Derek Sheppard   August 24, 2013 at 8:24 PM

    Hey jules why don’t you use your real name ? I am so happy that my friends got their jobs back, I would be glad to have you on my bus in Cornwall , and give you a great safe ride to your destination , I have been with Cornwall Transit for 20 years and I also know the older drivers you speak about, but ? one thing you forgot , until people have all the right facts nobody has the right to post opions, like so many have and that’s why they have their jobs back !

    Derek

  24. Hey bus driver!   August 28, 2013 at 10:26 AM

    To Derek: RE: Your comment to Jules: “I would be glad to have you on my bus in Cornwall , and give you a great safe ride to your destination”. My question is would this be during your working hours or after hours?

    20 years of experience or not, why don’t you do your hours, drive the bus, get the job done, go home, and next time you are on your way home, maybe you should drive yourself to anger management sessions. I would never get on the City bus with you being the driver, and thanks for warning the Citizens of Cornwall!!!!

  25. Diane   August 29, 2013 at 8:42 AM

    Well, I see from the standard freeholder article there are more confidentiality clauses. It would be interesting to know what impact that had on the tax payers.

    I understand that at least two of these employees were involved with the towing of Mr. Fitzpatrick’s car with city equipment .

    Transparency seems to be an impossible feat for those in power embrace.

    The more things change the more they stay the same.

    Diane Shay

    I

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