Friday, October 9, 2009

Trash Talk update

Well I actually like my new bin so far. It's bigger than I thought it would be but still a bit of a pain in the arse. I saw an old man near my work building a new enclosure for it so the truck can pick it up easier and I talked to him about it for a minute. He said this is the 4th alteration he has been forced to make on his garbage bin enclosure in 4-5 years. But he has to do it because it's back alley pickup and if you put the bin outside the fence, it could block vehicles trying to drive down there so he had to dig up part of his veggie and flower garden and make a special space so the truck can pick up the bin with nothing blocking it's way. His old enclosure had a 'roof' over it and was in a different spot. Poor dude lost some veggies to keep up with the city's latest venture. Our problem is that the neighbour across the alley has to put his bin a foot away from his fence and it's right behind where we have to back out of our garage.... it should be interesting in the winter when it's a bit more slippery back there because we only have about 5cm space before hitting it as it is. Backing out at another angle sets us up for hitting the next neighbour's bin or our own lol. I just laugh because I remember getting a ticket in Calgary years ago for not leaving enough clearance in an alley ($150!) and now we are blocking alleys with our bins instead.

But regardless of not minding my bin so much afterall, my thoughts in my previous post remain the same - the mentality of the city employee who told our friend that THEY bought him the bin, when it has been HIS money that went into the system all these years through property taxes and utility bills that actually funded the program.

At work we are finding other examples of fun and games starting up... with the province being in money trouble, they may cut some of the programs they put into place a few years ago, such as Wage Enhancement for childcare workers. I am on the fence with it because while I know it's tax payer money funding these programs, I fear what it could do to the industry. This is why it is SO hard to put these programs into use in the first place - it is VERY hard to get rid of them and remain fair. If the program is deleted, childcare workers in alberta will lose anywhere from $2 to $6 an hour in wages. In order to keep staff at the prior rates, the centers will have NO choice but to raise their parent fees. So - at a time when people are struggling with bills and job losses, wage cuts, etc - the cost of putting their children in care could literally skyrocket. Imagine a large center employing 50 staff having to come up with an extra $5 per hour for EACH worker every month when the only other income is parent fees. These programs might have seemed like a good deal in the first place, but it is NOT sustainable and the Big Cats should have been able to see that. I am ashamed of my past because I actually attended meetings demanding wage enhancement from the govt and signed a petition :( My only excuse is that was when I was in my 20s, before I even had children of my own, and I was clueless about what was really going on. 10 years later, I could kick my OWN ass for not thinking about this more clearly. We got the wage enhancement for several years but having it taken away is going to hit a lot of people HARD.

They might not take it away, we don't know yet, but there WILL be cuts and you can guarantee it will NOT be in the bureaucracy itself. They won't whittle down their own teams of people at the top - they will chop away from the bottom. Parents and employees WILL be hurt in one way or another, most likely with some sort of fee hike for the parents and stalled wages for staff. If I lose my wage enhancement and we do not increase parent fees to make it up, for example, I will be making $1 more than minimum wage after working in this field for over 15 YEARS. People will be leaving the field in droves since they would make more money at Tim Hortons and that in turn hurts parents and children because of high staff turnover or centers even completely shutting down, leaving hundreds or thousands of parents throughout Alberta with no childcare. there WILL be repercussions and it will ONLY hit people who are just trying to work for a living. But keeping the program will further bankrupt the province and make things more difficult for an even larger group of people.

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These are my views and opinions. If you don't agree or think I am sadly misguided, that is your view. Feel free to share your thoughts but I also reserve my right to moderate content (IE foul language, excessive flaming, etc).

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