Academics warn that partnerships with private companies might "deepen the current job crisis"

J. David Hulchanski, associate director of research at U of T’s Cities Centre, and around 100 other academics advised Mayor Rob Ford and the council to stop contracting out municipal cleaning jobs Thursday.

In an open letter addressed to the mayor, the group said that instead of alleviating the city’s budget concerns, partnership with private cleaning companies will only “deepen the current job crisis.”

The letter comes a week after the Toronto Police Service’s newly signed $1.7 million agreement with a private cleaning company. The contract will last for a year and will make 100 workers jobless.

It also followed a report revealing that 70,700 workers struggle for survival with poverty-level wages in Toronto. The percentage jumped by 8.2 per cent between 2000 and 2005.

Currently, almost 1,000 workers in daycares, municipal buildings, social housing, police stations, and long-term care facilities are at risk of losing their jobs to private companies.[1]

In comparison to city-funded cleaning jobs that pay about $20 an hour with some benefits, jobs at private companies pay minimum wage with few to no benefits.

Hulchanski told Huffington Post that the report outlines 97 recommendations.

“They aim to be affordable, to be practical, to be down-to-earth, to be doable,” he said.

The recommendations touch on everything from transit and taxation to immigration and housing.

 

With files from Toronto Star and Huffington Post.

 

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