A really bad day for Paul Faoro

Post by Mike Klassen in

16 comments

paul faoro
Empty-handed: Paul Faoro gets nothing out of the council he helped pay for

Paul Faoro, the president of Vancouver's inside workers' union, CUPE 15, is having a really bad day. It is fair to say that Paul Faoro worked very, very hard to elect a city council that has just, ahem, had their way with him.

Described as "furious" by crack Georgia Straight reporter Carlito Pablo, Faoro sounded off after today's city council budget meeting, where the council decided to hold to a 2.26% budget increase, or a net increase for residential homeowners of 4.26%.

“This council has just endorsed the privatization of the farmyard,” Faoro rapid-fired. “This council has just endorsed the privatization of the conservatory. This council has just endorsed the cutting of library hours. This council has just endorsed the cutting of community-centre hours across our city. This council has just endorsed cuts to services that the public demand, like inspection services."

Faoro has good reason to be mad. Vision may have just thrown a significant monkey-wrench into his succession plans for CUPE boss Barry O'Neill, not to mention the loss of quite of few jobs (the equivalent of 177) for CUPE members.

Faoro threw all his organization's eggs into supporting Vision Vancouver, while ignoring COPE (who actually voted against the budget cuts). According to Vision Vancouver's 2008 campaign financial disclosure document, CUPE 15 gave $80,000 to their campaign, and Faoro himself coughed up a personal donation of about 700 bucks.

This is a major loss of face for CUPE 15 and their leader, who must at some point face his membership for re-election. Given the ugly mood felt by all City staff these days, Faoro must count himself lucky that election isn't taking place soon.

As we reported to our readers earlier, several cities such as Coquitlam and Edmonton chose to raise taxes a little higher than Vision Vancouver – about 5% compared to Vision's 2.26%. This avoided the kind of anxiety-inducing pain for civil servants in those cities that Vancouver is now grappling with.

Many questions are now being asked by Vision's supporters as to why they took such a hard line on spending, when during the 2008 election they promised to preserve and expand city services.

What we're seeing is the "Nixon in China" phenomenon, where a left wing organization conducts itself like a right wing one, knowing that their supporters will likely abide by their decision. Ironically, if this had been an NPA-led council, there is little chance they would have been able to cut this deeply.

For CUPE's Paul Faoro, he's just had a rock handed to him as a Christmas present by Vision. No doubt he'll be madly working the phones over the holidays trying to explain what just happened to his membership.

- Posted by Mike

16 Comments

These guys wanted to get rid of Sam and Judy so bad they didn't see sense. The NPA gave CUPE a 17.5% pay increase and not a single layoff. Now the party they elected have just given them their first-ever layoffs and major budget cuts.

The irony of it would almost be funny if so many good staff weren't being stressed to the max by it all.

i wonder how much this has to do with the Olympics? no other municipality seems to be struggling so much. The whold Olympic thing is a JOKE>

good / informative article..

guess you cant (too soon) accuse vision of not making tough choices..
I am personally surprised...too..considering the $80000 plus the "volunteer" man hours all the different unions provided during the campaign....(Maybe that is why VV want to get rid of the "glass house" up on little mountain so they can throw some more stones!!!)

It’s official. “Vancouver Vision” has been upgraded to a pandemic; by its own lab scientists. Terrible!
I hope this is lesson learned for all you "onion" Ice Holes out there that got Vision @ comp. elected last year.You have to fully credit yourselves however,with the emasculation of COPE and the ridicule of the NPA!
I cannot be more pleased.
You had to have been with your heads up your asses during the last election to not be able to breathe in the bullshit that came over from this ad hoc fraudulent gang. Didn’t they teach you in the Bolshevik school that you cannot mingle in the “workers” with the “barons” at the same social? Simply ask Meggs and Robertson how was their “frugal” trip to Copenhagen on taxpayers’ dough. Let’s not forget Athens and London...
“VV” abbreviation stands now truer for “Vancouver Virus”, part of the new PTD (Politically Transmitted Disease) family. Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick.

A quick internet search of Robertson's and Vision's financial background shows that they are Green Capitalists.Sorry,Paul,looks like you backed the wrong horse(s)...

hahahahahaahahahahahahahahahaha.

O boy, that feels good...

Now that I've got that out of my system: Paul Faoro, how does it feel to have backed a party that is out-NPAing the NPA!? "Choices" which make Vision look like they are making the hard choices re:taxes (though they picked the wrong horses to ride in this town when they went after animals and flowers). Manoevering towards private sponsorships of the conservatory and the farmyard is probably just the start. Union money well spent, buddy! Congrats!

You sat through the Park Board all-candidates meetings during the last election, doing your "j'accuse" act against NPA nominees and stirring the pot at community centres east of Main Street. Wow, that "class warfare" thing really worked out well for you, eh?

Seems there's a little membership backlash going on in the unions right now. Van firefighters, who spent lots of dosh buying up all the billboards in town to support Vision candiates (with Geller laughingly thrown in to show how even-handed they were in "choosing" candidates--LOL!), and therefore avoiding a direct campaign contribution link, ditched their long-time president not too long ago.

Spending all that membership money (regardless of the payback of a couple of trophy heads after the election) does not please people. And, especially when they thought that that monetary support was supposed to buy a couple of years of fealty from the new governing party, wellllll...tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock, Paul. You got played, man.

Looks like your time is almost up, too.

Faoro is toast. There are a lot of union brothers and sisters who think he's sold us out. Where the h$#@ was he when Vision was cutting all these jobs? I'm no fan of the NPA, but at least they didn't treat us like second class citizens. This is NOT what we voted for. Vision has opened up a can of worms and this is the beginning of the end for these "green" joksters.

don't you love it when our progressive eco-socialist masters at City Hall try and do math and suddenly realize you can't make 1+1=3.

Too funny.

We prefer the devil we know versus the devil we don't know. The old NPA never laid us off, they forced us out when they needed to save money.

Vision got in because the NPA kicked the sleeping dog and we bit back.

Sam's dreams of "stepping on our throats" sent chills us our spines and his advisors terrible underestimation of our resolve backfired.
He admitted that, himself in his latest editorial.

If he had worked as hard trying to settle with his workers like his colleagues in Surrey, Burnaby and Richmond, he would be wheeling himself up on center stage at the Opening Ceremonies as the re elected leader of the City.

We all know that we are paying for the Olympics with this budget. No one is going to admit it, but we see it. We see the extravagance, the money being spent.
We also see things heating up again and I am confident that those holes all over the city will soon become revenue generating projects.

As for Faoro, whether you like him or not, there is no harder working person that I know. That is a job that will be very hard to fill.

The myth progagated by CUPE die-hards that lives to this day is that Judy, and therefore Sam (who tried to stay out of the whole freakin' mess until he was bated by Vision to comment on the proceedings, which was the excuse to roll out the Sam's Strike placards that had already been produced) were trying to force the 2007 strike for some kind of perceived financial benefit.

Au contraire, mon frère. Faoro and CUPE forced the strike to exact their political pound of flesh. Destroy the mayor's reputation to enhance the hopes for political change. Ladner sealed the deal when he knocked off the incumbent.

Caught in the mess were the good people who work at the Hall, both exempt and non-exempt staff.

Much as I hate to spoil your party Mike I think the folks at City Hall, particularly us 15 members,have to consider what an NPA dominated council would have done to us in the face of current financial shortfalls.
I won't defend what Vision has done with this budget but I shudder to think of the alternatives. As painful as it all seems to lose 158 jobs I wonder how we would be feeling in the face of massive contracting out of City services and layoffs of entire branches like Parking Enforcement and Sanitation.
Paul has done his job and he vast majority of his membership know it.

177 jobs out of 5,000? That's 3% of the workforce. How does that compare to the real world? Nowhere did I see the union membership offer to reduce their wages to keep those 177 employed like they have done in other sectors outside the civil service. How many folks would have been laid of as a result of the additional taxes required to keep the city budget revenues to pay those 177 salaries. That money has to come off the balance sheet one way or another.

It's called real life and I am really tired of Mr. Faoro and his gang thinking they can live in a little bubble and pretend that they have a job for life and someone will always be there to pick up the tab.

Many of of us have outlined clear and simple alternative ways to cut costs and avoid cutting library hours, community centres and rec centres. Which makes it appear that these particular cuts are ideological in nature and purposeful on the part of the Vision team running things.

I'm truly disappointed. This type of short-sighted thinking is not what they promised.

I agree with Julia. Union leaders, how are the unions helping the City? Maybe you need to help clarify that to the citizens of Vancouver.

So would 1004 be a better choice at this point...?

I think 1004 would be a much better choice. The time for Faoro to step down is NOW! Why are we all so quiet? He has let us all down by cozying up to his Vision buddies who are now selling us out to their business pals. What's with this tax shift garbage?

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