BY LEADER-POST, THE LEADER-POST APRIL 14, 2014
REGINA — Nearly 14,000 regional health employees have a new contract. A five-year collective agreement between the Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations Inc. (SAHO), health region employers and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) has been ratified …
read more ...
BY TIM ANDERSON, THE LEADER-POST - MARCH 3, 2014
I write regarding the comments of Colin Craig of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation in the Feb. 18 Leader-Post. Why is the answer to most of the questions relating to the City of Regina's financial issues to "scale back the pension plan" ....
BY MARION BRASS, THE LEADER-POST APRIL 10, 2014
Lately, Premier Brad Wall and talk show host and columnist John Gormley have been promoting Saskatchewan privatizing Crown assets, some government operations and some areas of health care ...
2014 Elections to Executive Positions
- May 13th General Membership Meeting:
Nominations will be accepted for various two (2) year term positions, elections for these positions will be held during the June 10th Membership Meeting.
If you are considering putting your name forward for any of the above-noted executive positions and would like to post your bio or campaign platform on the front page of the Local 21 website, then please send your information to email@example.com for review and posting.
Meeting notices will be posted a week in advance of the meeting dates.
We encourage all members to participate in this democratic process.
Good luck to all the candidates.
Restore health funds, feds told
BY TERRENCE MCEACHERN, LEADER-POST APRIL 1, 2014
REGINA -- With the expiration of the Canada Health Accord on Monday, organized labour in Saskatchewan says without a new deal with the federal government, the $1.1 billion that will be lost in federal funding …
on Consortia shortlisted for
Regina Waste Water Treatment Plant P3
Following a referendum that gave the city the green light to proceed with a public private partnership (P3), the City of Regina announced on October 16, 2013 that it had shortlisted three consortia (“proponent teams”) to compete for the P3 contract to build the new waste water treatment plant.
The three proponent teams are:
According to the timeline in the Request for Qualifications, the three proponent teams have until February 24, 2014 to submit their final proposals on how they will design, build, finance, operate and maintain the new waste water treatment plant. The city plans to notify the successful proponent on February 28, 2014 and sign an agreement by April 30, 2014.
The RFQ (Request for Qualifications) also states that each of the consortia that are not successful in the RFP (Request for Proposals) process will receive an honorium of $250,000. The winning team will have a 30-year multi-million dollar contract for the new WWTP.
Who are the companies involved in the three consortia?
Each “proponent team” is a newly-constructed consortium comprising five or six companies who came together to bid on the WWTP project. Each company plays a different role in the project.
The following companies make up each of the proponent teams:
EPCOR Saskatchewan Water Partners
Prairie Water Partners
Wascana Environmental Partners
Background on the Water Companies in the Consortia
Of the three water companies vying to operate and maintain the waste water treatment plant, one is based in the United States (CH2M Hill) and one is a U.S. subsidiary of the French multinational company, Suez (United Water). The third company - EPCOR - is owned by the City of Edmonton but operates water and waste water treatment plants in numerous communities in Alberta, British Columbia and the United States.
United Water Environmental Services
United Water is one of the largest private water companies in the United States. Since 2000 it has been fully owned by Suez Environnement, a major French multinational water company. United Water serves about 5.5 million people in 21 states, operates 90 municipal water systems and owns 16 water utilities. Since 2000, however, it has lost major contracts in Atlanta, Milwaukee and Gary, Indiana.
United Water’s headquarters are in Harrington Park, New Jersey. Total U.S. revenues were $765 million in 2012.
Suez’ headquarters are in Paris, France. The company’s total revenues in 2012 were $20 billion and its total profit was $331 million. Its CEO Jean-Louis Chaussade made $1.9 million.
The website of United Water promotes public private partnerships and privatization, stating that local governments realize “20% to 50% in cost savings” through a public private partnership. Their website states that half of all water systems in the U.S. (24,290) are privately owned, while 1,343 have shared ownership and the rest are publicly owned. This is not the case for Canada, where the large majority of water and waste water systems are publicly owned and operated.
In 2003, the city of Atlanta, Georgia cancelled its 20-year contract with United Water after only four years. The company cut its workforce in half, fell behind on more than 13,000 work orders and did not respond adequately to emergencies. The company also failed to deliver on promised savings and lost millions by failing to collect bills on meter installation and readings.
In 2010, the district of Gary, Indiana dissolved its contract with United Water to save $4.4 million a year. The company had eliminated half the workforce through attrition which led to serious decline in service quality. Between 2003 and 2007 there were more than 80 cave-ins as sewer lines fell apart. In May 2008 state inspectors found that United Water had violated discharge limits 84 times, had broken equipment, failed to monitor properly or meet mandated deadlines. In 2010 a federal indictment accused the company of conspiracy and felony violations of the Clean Water Act but a jury acquitted the company of all charges even though United Water admitted to having lowered chlorine levels.
In 2007 United Water lost its largest contract with the city of Milwaukee after receiving 20 notices of contract noncompliance including sewage overflows.
Gloucester, Massachusetts did not renew its contract with United Water in 2009 after bacterial contamination left residents boiling their drinking water for 20 days.
CH2M Hill is a large engineering, construction and water firm based in Colorado and operating in 122 countries. The company has 28,000 employees worldwide and works in the area of energy, water and facilities, government infrastructure and international projects.
CH2M Hill’s net income for 2012 was $93 million and total revenue was $6.2 billion. Its CEO Lee McIntire made about $8 million in total compensation in 2012 (salary of $1.5 million, bonus of $1.2 million, $4.9 million in stock awards and options and other compensation).
Its website claims it is ranked second in the industry for international design in sewer, rated by Engineering News Record. It also cites its selection as recipient of The World’s Most Ethical Company for the last five years in a row from Ethisphere Institute. Yet researchers on privatization have revealed a radically different profile of the company.
Privatization and private management of government services
According to the privatization watchdog website Source Watch, CH2M Hill is heavily involved in privatizing public infrastructure and water/waste systems. It has a number of contracts with municipalities to manage a wide range of municipal services.
Violations of the company
CH2M Hill has been involved in a number of scandals relating to bribery, no-bid contracts, labour and environmental violations, and over billing its clients. Below are a few examples.
Radioactive Safety and Environmental Violations
/privatization/Background Companies (January 16 2014)
No Matter Where You Are, Fairness Work!
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