Friday, May 30, 2008

City Staff Lock Out Poor on Welfare Day

Who is on welfare? Wednesday was welfare day and City staff at the Carnegie Center locked the poor out of the building all morning, claiming they were having a staff meeting.

Then they closed the cafeteria early in the afternoon, claiming "It's a staffing issue." One Carnegie member dropped in to buy some soup and found the cafeteria closed at 3:40 p.m. Another guy had dropped by earlier and was irritated to find the cafeteria closed, pointing out that there were two full time staff walking around inside the cafeteria. And the kitchen supervisor, Catriona Moore, was in the building too.

This is an ongoing problem. CUPE members who staff Carnegie, as well as City management Ethel Whitty and Assistant Director Dan Tetrault, act like welfare day isn't a regular work day. But you'd be surprised how many low income people in the neighborhood want to use Carnegie Center on welfare day.

It doesn't have to be welfare day for Carnegie staff to slack off though. On Tuesday morning, the day before Welfare Wednesday, the line up in the cafeteria was so long it snaked out of the cafeteria and well into the seating area. There was one inexperienced volunteer doing all of the serving and working the cash. Carnegie members reported that staff were standing around chatting with one another. Catriona Moore, the kitchen supervisor was there. Colleen Gorrie, the Volunteer Co-ordinator was there putting her hands on an older man in the line up and joking with him. "There's staff everywhere," a guy with a French accent called out. "They don't see." Another man said he stood in line for 20 minutes just to buy a bowl of cereal.

The problem of the kitchen closing early is certainly not restricted to welfare day. When Anthony -- who members say is friendly and a pretty good cook -- is supervising, it is not uncommon for the kitchen to close ten, fifteen, even twenty minutes early. This is irritating to people who make a point of going over to Carnegie to get a cheap bowl of soup before closing.

There is one thing that can be counted on to get CUPE members moving: bloggers tipping off taxpayers. The topic even dominated one of their welfare day staff meetings. Some CUPE members are worse than others though: Catriona and Anthony haven't been instigators in the witch hunt for bloggers. But Colleen Gorrie was. She would like to, as George Bush says, "Smoke 'em out."


Anonymous said...

Did you check out the article Paul Taylor wrote about the CCCA Board, past and present? It's really a piece of work, and I don't mean that in a good way. I don't understand why this guy gets to influence the voting membership with a three, THREE, page spread on who to vote for, (including his wife, Lisa! ---though he doesn't mention his connection to her!) and more importantly to him, who to vote AGAINST. I say more importantly because there was about one paragraph, containing nothing on their viewpoints, on who to vote for, while there was multiple PAGES on an unnamed member Paul Taylor, the editor of the Carnegie Newsletter wants the membership to vote against.
What the hell is the Carnegie newsletter's Publishing policy?!
All the crap he's saying about this board member is completely unsupported by evidence in this article, and yet he is allowed to publish it in our godamn Newsletter? I hope Jenny Kwan and Libby Davies find out about this, their ads are right in that newsletter, and I guess they help support it, and it's unprincipled editor, by paying for those ads of theirs!

reliable sources said...

Thanks for telling us about this article. I'll get a copy of the Carnegie newsletter and read it.

It's appalling that the City of Vancouver subsidizes the Carnegie newsletter by giving them an office in a City building. The City website even provides a link to the Carnegie newsletter, calling it "spirited".

One way to counter this corruption is to come out to the election and vote for Rachel Davis.

Dag said...

One might not see the shift taking place in Canada and much of the Western world but it is shifting radically. The time of the Red fascist is ending before our eyes. Paul Taylor and his lot are at the end of their time as bullies and thugs able to coerce the people into acknowledging them as masters and to extort money, goods and service with impunity. People are rightly sick of it. The mini-Stalins of the city and the nation had better have some cash stashed in the mattress because they're finished soon enough. This bullshit game is ending.

Paul Taylor and his wife!? There might well be a putch at the Carnegie Centre, but this lot is finished in a short time. They're history. Done. The people are fed up. Fed up with feeding these parasitic thugs at the public trough and fed up with being harassed by thugs. It's over.

the times they are a'changin'.

reliable sources said...

I just got a report that Carnegie staff cancelled the Friday night dinner they are paid to cook and serve at a reasonable price to Downtown Eastsiders.

And this morning, a Carnegie member arrived to use a computer and found the door to the computer room locked and the lights out.

Complaining changes nothing. Whitty's loyalty is with CUPE, not with the poor. The three barrings of William Simpson clearly demonstrated that.

It couldn't get much worse, but it certainly won't get much better if Lisa is elected to the Board.
On the issue of Lisa running for the Carnegie Board, Paul Taylor not only didn't mention that she's his wife, he didn't mention that she has for many years worked for a major union. (A Carnegie member told us he thought it was the Hospital Employees Union.) Her head will be so far up CUPE's ass....

A few months back, CUPE members at Carnegie, with the support of Ethel Whitty, decided they wanted policy changed so that when a complaint about them was discussed at a Committee meeting, their NAMES WOULD NOT BE MENTIONED. It is not practical to discuss a complaint without a staffperson's name being mentioned. Rachel Davis opposed this change and Ethel Whitty asked why she was treating staff as "fair game." Rachel responded that she resented being portrayed as hunting staff as game.

I can't remember if that change passed. But we still have the tape of Rachel taking on Ethel over that issue.

Whether names are mentioned or not, Carnegie members know the truth: complaints against staff go nowhere. CUPE, and Whitty who consistently sides with CUPE members over Carnegie members, make certain of that. Having union maid Lisa on the Board won't help.

Anonymous said...

If this is such an ongoing issue, can someone sit a camera at the room and just quietly record proof. By doing this daily, you will have proof of the extent of closures and can bring this proof to those who fund it. Then at least you know who to blame if nothing gets done still.

reliable sources said...


Carnegie reserves the right to bar anyone for unauthorized use of a camera inside the building. So anybody who comes forward with evidence taken by a concealed camera would almost certainly be barred from the building.

And the person would have to take their evidence to the Carnegie manager at City Hall; that would be Jacquie Forbes-Roberts -- the woman who signed a letter barring William Simpson for daring to operate a website that "features links" to a blog that criticizes Carnegie staff for too frequently locking doors to services, etc. Could you imagine what Forbes-Roberts would do if he had been taking photographs to hold staff accountable for locking doors.

Forbes-Roberts superiors at City Hall, Judy Rogers and Mayor Sam Sullivan, have also been complicit in the harassment of Carnegie members who complain.

As well, CUPE gets involved when there is any exposure of staff who aren't doing their jobs. CUPE and City staffperson categorize reporting rip-offs to taxpayers as "invasion of privacy".

I'm not saying that planting a camera can't be done. It's probably time it was done in fact. But the person who does it would have to remain anonymous or they would be driven out of Carnegie quicker than you can say "theft of service."

Anonymous said...

With the amount of transition through the eastside, is it not possible to accomplish with someone who typically does not visit the Carnegie Centre coming forward? After all, who comes forward is not important so much as the evidence having time and date recorded. I cannot imagine it been hard to record without notice especially when no one is there. Then the evidence can be compiled and passed onto the messenger.

Plus, given today's technological advances in cameras, no matter how they wish nor anyone, recordings are possible. No one can realistically hide from phone cameras to digital cameras. Even if stated as an invasion of privacy, if brought to the Vancouver Sun or Province, those responsible won't be able to hide too long from the public.

I am not an advocate of breaking laws, but I haven't come up with a better idea of providing proof if it is the case that taxpayer paid services aren't done. At the end of the day, publicity tends to expose the truth of things.

reliable sources said...

Yesterday, Tuesday, Carnegie locked the poor out of the computer room for 6 hours, from 2 p.m.-8 p.m.