Skip to content
Join our Newsletter
Join our Newsletter

Letter to the editor: Unions need to stand together better

When the school district takes the lowest bid, and children are left with no bus, who takes the shortfall? The kids do.
School bus
Stock photo

The lowest bid.

This seems to be the new metric of business practice in Prince George, but it is only the first layer on the proverbial onion. The reality is that many of the simplest notions of proper business etiquette and propriety have been thrown out the window.

I cannot say that this is happening and the lack of transparency at City Hall is the reason, though I have my suspicions. If the city takes the lowest bid in an effort to save money, what happens when the contractor who bid $8 million turns around and says, "Sorry, it will be $27 million?” Who takes up the $19 million shortfall? We do, the taxpayer.

When the school district takes the lowest bid, and children are left with no bus, who takes the shortfall? The kids do.

A reminder to all here in PG, we were once a very pro-union town and in many ways we still are. Union shops like the pulp mill, teachers, nurses and so many more, make living wages, they spend their money, and yes...they spend it in the private businesses that are anti-union and do not want to pay living wages themselves.

Being in a union shop used to mean dealing with unionized contractors, that meant that more people working made more money and could inject that money into the local economy. It meant that the contractors doing work had parity with those in the shop, and it also meant that purchasing practices, contracting out, and ensuring proper certification, was dealt with efficiently and fairly.

If you are the city, why are you purchasing vehicles from elsewhere? Why are you always hiring construction firms from elsewhere, firms that build using methods unsuitable for PG weather? Engineers not familiar with the PG geography? Importing administration with no vested interest except in demanding mercenary wages?

Hiring the bus contractor should reflect that SD57 is a union shop, the drivers should be paid appropriately, and the school board should ensure the safety of the children. SD57's total salaries for this year are over $104 million; $57 million for teachers and principals, and about the same for admin. Pay the drivers a proper wage.

This is on city workers, teachers, nurses, everyone! You are union, act accordingly. Unions aren't just there for you, they used to work for everyone. You need to put pressure on management.

Lowest bids always cost too much.

Michael Maslen

Prince George