Council to debate parking division tender

City councillors in Windsor, Ont., will decide Monday night whether to seek formal proposals from private companies interested in running the city's $1.3-million parking enforcement division.
The division includes 14 full-time provincial offences officers whose sole responsibility is to issue parking tickets.

But high absenteeism among those workers costs the city approximately $354,410 every year, according to a report by the city's licence commissioner to be delivered to council on Monday. In 2008, the 14 workers took a total of 508.61 days of "unplanned leave," an average of 36 days each.

Meanwhile, salaries increased 27 per cent between 2005 and 2008, and the number of tickets issued has dropped in 2009 because of the downturn in the city's economy, said the report by licence commissioner Diane Bertolin.

The report estimates the city could save $480,781 a year by outsourcing parking enforcement.

Some councillors feel the city has little to lose by issuing a request for proposals from private companies.

"We need to go out to tender to find out what kind of response we get, and then we can make an intelligent decision whether there are going to be any savings, and whether it's worthwhile moving ahead," Coun. Fulvio Valentinis told CBC News.

"Until we know what their bids would be, it's hard to determine whether it's a good idea or a bad idea," Coun. Alan Halberstadt said.

Outsourcing would not come without some risk to the city, according to Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 543, which represents the offences officers.

Any officer who loses his or her job because of it would be entitled to bumping rights, forcing the city to find them alternate employment, the report acknowledged.

The city also needs to upgrade and update parking meters, signage, and Bylaw 9063, which regulates parking within city limits.

The city received quotes from seven private companies in the process of compiling the report.
City of Windsor, Ontario
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