Letter to the editor.

Private companies will cut wages and benefits to make a profit

Privatizing the municipal public works department not a great idea

In response to a letter from Joe Sawchuk (Chemainus Valley Courier, Dec. 29, 2022).

Mr. Sawchuk says it is time for the Municipality of North Cowichan to bite the bullet and privatize the public works department. The reason we should do this is because the District of West Kelowna has done it (a community I expect is made up of predominantly white privileged retirees sitting on a nest egg and no longer having to worry about a decent meaningful job that might not just cover ‘food and rent’ but may provide for children’s post secondary education).

He then goes on to list further savings, such as investing in new equipment, equipment repairs, fuel costs, vehicle insurance, tires, etc.

Does he for one minute think the contractor hired to replace the public works department won’t incur these expenses and will obviously include them in his ‘tendered price’ with, of course, his profit margins added (something we taxpayers do not have to cover under the present arrangement).

He also includes in his list of savings to the public by contracting out public works we could eliminate employee benefits. What an unbelievable crass and selfish idea.

Did he think about that as he wrote his Christmas cards the same week he wrote his letter to the editor, did he write that just after making a seasonal donation to his local food bank – a place where the working poor who toil at jobs without benefits are forced to go?

Mr. Sawchuk did print his name, but gives no context of what lofty perch of privilege and economic security he is speaking from.

He also accused the council of failing to do research before spending taxpayers’ money. Maybe he should look in the mirror and research the infinite societal problems that result in a massive tract of working people in this country being disenfranchised, excluded from an equal opportunity to share and enjoy the security and dignity of a decent job, with benefits.

Mr. Sawchuk did not ask for a trimming of bureaucracy, he did not ask for a push to create a leaner, more efficient and productive administration. No, he asked for regular hard-working blue collar workers to be ‘laid off,’ their jobs given to private companies who have the same expenses and therefore only have one area to cut costs and go on to make a profit and that is in the area of wages and benefits.

Mr. Sawchuk, you need to not only research before you make such inequitable comments and suggestions, you need to ‘walk a mile in the shoes’ of low-tiered workers forced to work for inadequate wages and no benefits.

Colin James,


EmploymentLetter to the Editormunicipal politicsOpinion

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