Presentation to City Council – Efficiency Review

City Council
City of Regina Queen Elizabeth II Court
Regina, SK, S4P 3C8

Re:     CR21-175 Deloitte LLP – City of Regina Efficiency Review 

My name is Laird Williamson, and I am the president of CUPE Local 21 which represents a membership of 1,500 City employees. I am also here today representing the shared interests of CUPE Local 7, ATU Local 588, IAFF Local 181, and the RCMMA whose members combined account for another 850 employees.

We wanted to speak today to share our thoughts on the Deloitte report which was prepared for the City of Regina through the Efficiency Review, and the recent Executive Committee meeting in order to help City Council direct administration ahead of the January report.

To start, all Regina Civic Unions are committed to safe and efficient service delivery. Our members are proud of the work they do for the City of Regina, and are committed to making the City of Regina an even better place to live and work.

To emphasize that fact we would like to share with Council some information regarding our own
initiative. In early 2020 Local 21 started a project called the Union Led Efficiency Initiative in conjunction with the City of Regina. This initiative had the goal of identifying our weaknesses, magnifying our strengths, and improving where we need to improve. As a first of its kind, the pilot project saw leaders from the Union, the City administration, and operational leaders working together without ego or position, in order to have fulsome productive conversation surrounding the improvement of our service level efficiency.

During this pilot, numerous steps were taken such as: identifying performance indicators, creating
roadmaps to success, engaging staff, changing processes with equipment, and creating new scheduling styles. This work saw an increase of efficiency to the tune of 30%. While this pilot was in full swing City Council launched their own efficiency review which eventually gave rise to the Deloitte report.

After reading the report and listening to Executive Committee we wanted to get in front of you to
address some of the questions and comments and give Council the chance to ask us questions directly.

1. There were numerous questions surrounding why action is not already being conducted. In
response we can share that many of the items raised in this report are already underway. In
addition this report served to confirm the work on efficiencies that is happening presently.

2. Within the 53 opportunities identified in the report, there are several recommendations that are
incompatible with our Collective Bargaining Agreements. That being said however, the Unions
and Administration have a good track record for collaboration, and we are confident that with a
cards-up, open and respectful approach, we can action demonstrable change without collapsing
our service delivery.

3. In response to the recommendations for outsourcing, we would like to flag that the Unions have
significant concerns about any move to outsource City services. Outsourcing is not the solution
to address efficiencies. It will result in the erosion of services and a loss of control over those
services. Your own consultant recommended looking for efficiencies internally before looking
externally and noted that there are no huge returns to be had from outsourcing.

4. We want to emphasize that the Unions are not hamstringing efforts to increase efficiencies. In
fact it is quite the contrary as frontline workers often have the best ideas to improve
efficiencies. To that end Local 21 has been leading this discussion in our tailgate talks with our
members on topics such as the Union Led Efficiency Initiative.

5. We also wanted to respond to the idea that the City does not have a service culture. We must
point out that the assertions by your consultant were baseless and couched in anecdotal
evidence. We would submit that our members are service-focused but unfortunately the
infrastructure does not currently exist to allow this to be done to its fullest. In addition, it is
important to understand that the concept of culture is far broader reaching than just service and
performance, which cannot be quantified in this report.

The broader topic of workplace culture is yet another topic the Unions are advancing and working towards changing. With the above being said we would like to thank everyone for their hard work on this and are thankful for the undertakings that were presented at Executive committee. We believe that this additional information will allow Council the ability to fully appreciate the impacts of their decisions.

While we do have concerns with the Deloitte report, it does present an opportunity to advance the
already good work the Unions have put forward. It is through this lens that we should focus, and look to the future instead of dredging through the past.

To close, we would ask that Council direct administration to include in their report: a summary of the
work that is already underway for efficiencies, and that they more explicitly include a plan to engage in meaningful consultation with their Union partners prior to the implementation of these
recommendations.

Thank you and I am happy to take any questions.

Submitted by,

Laird Williamson (Local 21 Cupe)

Richel Nixon (Local 7)

Keven Lucier (ATU 588)

Tyler Packham (IAFF 181)

Ian Cantello (RCMMA)