He wants staff to report back in January on ways to outsource and then immediately launch a bid process.
“Now we must test the market and see if perhaps there is a better deal, and better service can be done for less money…,” said Tory.
“The city is saving millions of dollars contracting out garbage in the west end of the city. We need to get the same savings and level of service for residents in the rest of Toronto.”
Councillor Jaye Robinson, a Tory ally and public works chair, is expected to ask city staff today for suggestions on outsourcing options, including a process that would allow the union to bid for that work.
An update last week from city staff outlined “significant changes” since the outsourcing debate was deferred last year, including new collection data and a new collective agreement with city workers.
Staff requested time to prepare an additional report with that information for Jan. 18. Robinson plans to endorse that request but also push for staff to report on next steps.
“We feel it’s time to stop studying it and get moving,” Robinson told the Star last week. “This issue’s been out there for years.”
Council will have final say over any new contracting out of services.
Although Tory promised to outsource the city’s remaining public collection as he faced off against the Ford brothers in the 2014 election campaign, a city staff analysis in September 2015 found privatizing east-end collection may actually cost the city more.
At that time, Tory and others challenged the staff report, criticizing their analysis for leaving what Tory called “unanswered questions.” The staff report was reviewed by a third party, Ernst & Young, which found the analysis to be “reasonable.”
The public works committee punted the debate to this fall, giving upcoming negotiations with the union representing city employees, CUPE Local 416, as a reason to delay.
Last week’s holdover report from the city’s new general manager for solid waste management services Jim McKay requested more time to prepare an additional report for January. McKay took over from the previous head of solid waste, Beth Goodger, who departed shortly after the release of the outsourcing report in 2015.
In an email to the Star last week, Matt Figliano, executive vice-president for CUPE Local 416, said “no new information will change the fact that privatizing waste collection east of Yonge would place quality of service at risk.”
“We ratified a four-year contract earlier this year, and now, they’re threatening to fire the very same people they signed that agreement with. All we are asking for is some decency and respect by the city in exchange for dedicated members who do important work for all Torontonians.”