The union representing City employees in Regina, has some concerns over the results of an efficiency review released last week.
The review was conducted by Deloitte and looked at six service areas and identified 14 major target areas for improvement, while also making numerous recommendations.
It’s estimated that the City could save $17 million within those target areas.
Some of those items include reducing operator damage to city equipment, improving civic maintenance operations, monitoring utilities at city locations, and acting to reduce usage.
Laird Williamson is the president of CUPE Local 21, which represents 1,500 city employees, said they have a similar efficiency project underway.
“In early 2020, Local 21 started a project called the ‘Union Lead Efficiency Initiative. This initiative had the goal of identifying our weaknesses, magnifying our strengths, and improving where we need to improve,” he said. “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 per cent.”
Williamson outlined some of their major concerns while speaking to the council. One of those is the idea of outsourcing to get some work done.
“We would like to flag that the Unions have significant concerns about any move to outsource City services,” he said. “Outsourcing is not the solution to address efficiencies. It will result in the erosion of services and a loss of control over those services. ”
The review also touched on how the City does not have a ‘service culture,’ something Williamson disagrees with.
“We must point out that the assertions by your consultant were baseless and couched in anecdotal evidence,” he stated. “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.”
Williamson said that though they do have concerns with the Deloitte report, it outlines a chance for them to improve their services.
“It does present an opportunity to advance the already good work the Unions have put forward,” Williamson said. “We are very interested in some sort of shared commitment to an efficient service model and we do believe we have that,’ he said. “The work that we are already doing in our opinion needs to be expanded to include some of these areas that are listed in the report.”