CITY OF WINNIPEG CAPITAL AND OPERATING BUDGET PROCESS - 2019
March 07, 2019 at 7:20 PM
On March 1, the City of Winnipeg released its draft capital and operating budgets. The operating budget is responsible for many of the programs and public services that Local 500 members provide to the citizens of Winnipeg.
Local 500 has been reviewing the budget documents to identify any service cuts and staffing reductions. From our preliminary analysis, the city is proposing a combined $30 million in savings through vacancy management and so-called "department efficiencies". It has also identified a further $1.6 million in savings through expenditure management.
"After many years of vacancy management, these ongoing reductions in staffing levels have, and will continue to compromise front line services to the citizens of Winnipeg," said Local 500 President, Gord Delbridge. "We need to ensure we have enough workers to deliver the services that are valued and needed by Winnipeg families."
Local 500 understands the city's goal of finding efficiencies. However, this effort must be balanced with ensuring services are maintained.
"As we've said many times, CUPE is open to meeting with city officials to discuss initiativesthat would improve services and find meaningful ways to save money while providing services," added Delbridge.
While the Local applauds increased funding to urban forestry, community centres and a new recreation facility in South Winnipeg, the city will once again, be cutting the business tax.
"We do not believe that the city should be reducing the business tax while leaving a large void in the municipal workforce," said Delbridge. "Businesses and commercial properties need to contribute more to the financial well-being of the city. They benefit from the services provided by the city and should pay their fair share."
As always, Local 500 will continue to closely monitor the budget debate and make presentations as needed. We will keep you posted as the budget process continues over the next couple of weeks.