Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Oldtown News
Vancouver, BC


Following up on confidential information which I was given last night by a striking CUPE 1004 member regarding serious allegations of improper conduct of a number of City of Vancouver managers, I have since spoken to Mike Jackson, President of striking CUPE Local 1004 which represents Vancouver outside workers.

In an interview with Mr. Jackson this morning, he articulates the need for whistle-blower protection and that this key issue is a major stumbling block in negotiations with the City. The young union leader, went on to say that the City Manager, Judy Rogers, who advises City Council wants whistle-blowing complaints to be followed up by the Manager of Human Resources.

Local 1004, according to Mike Jackson, prefers that whistle-blowing complaints be dealt with by the City Manager or City Council.

Ms Rogers, has been drafting a report to Council on whistle-blower policy, however, this is not expected to make it onto Council's agenda for at least another couple of months.

The City of Vancouver, no question, must adopt well thought out whistle-blowing policy as it would be prudent to do so. In a call today with the Assistant to the City Manager, I was informed that the City prefers to have an overall policy for all municipal employees. This makes perfect sense.

What that policy may look like though is another matter. For it to have any teeth, from the union's perspective, no doubt it should be spelled out in the contract and not at the whim of city staff who can distort policies. As can politicians. Therefore, the Union has legitimate concerns.

The NPA council has stated that they will not become involved in negotiations regarding the strike and to make matters worse, Council is on summer recess until late September.

Council though must re-convene immediately, in order to discuss the whistle-blowing draft policy that Ms Rogers is busy preparing and to review the Union's demands around this issue. To not do so will only ensure difficult labour relations with it's workforce and a very prolonged strike, which I doubt the public wants.

Today, I spoke with popular City Councillor, Peter Ladner, who many citizens feel would be an excellent Mayor. Councillor Ladner states that he supports in principle, whistle-blowing protection and he understands the Union's concern. He would need to see what the Union is proposing in terms of language. Councillor Ladner did say that another important issue affecting the City is the Union's demand of job security.

This political hands-off approach though is problematic since as Councillor Ladner states, another key issue surrounding labour negotiations revolves around job security. Add to that whistle-blowing protection and these issues requires serious political debate since it involves the public interest and you can't have negotiating or municipal staff determining these vital issues as there will be financial costs which needs to be borne by the City taxpayers.

Jamie Lee Hamilton


Oldtown News
Vancouver, BC


I received last night a very interesting post from a CUPE 1004, City of Vancouver striker. He went on to make claims around certain personnel (management) of the City, who he alleges, have stolen items of significance belonging to the City. He names Names and unfortunately due to legal issues, I cannot moderate the post through. However, this anonymous source claims that this is why the City will not allow whistle-blower protection.

I am of the belief that whistle-blower protection is needed in public contracts and in government legislation. The City of Vancouver should have this as a legislative clause in their Vancouver Charter. I suspect its not there and this is most likely why the Union, CUPE 1004 is demanding this item in their bargaining contract.

Whistle-blower protection helps those who have integrity and wish to disclose incidences which breach public trust or are of particular public interest.

Myself, when disclosing illegal and highly immoral matters regarding DERA, paid the price for disclosing this pertinent information. Interestingly, DERA workers belong to CUPE 1004 and boy did they ever come after me for disclosing issues which the public needed to be aware of.

So I am going to follow up on this story with Union leaders and City of Vancouver politicians. Again, I think its vitally important for whistle-blower protection.

I also know though on a personal level that the language needs to protect those from which frivolous or vexatious claims are made as a result of bringing forward legitimate claims.

More to follow on this and I thank the striking worker for bringing this forward.

Jamie Lee Hamilton