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President’s Message, Third Quarter of 2011

As we were happy to report back in February, Mayor Sanders abandoned his plan to sell the Miramar Landfill to the highest bidder. Yet before we could even take a moment to reflect on the process and to thank and congratulate the Environmental Services Department employees and our coalition members on a fight well fought, Sanders simultaneously announced that the City would now be competitively bidding out Landfill Operations. So the next song in this song and dance began…

If there is any comfort to be taken during what will inevitably be a long and drawn out process, it should come in the form of our most recent managed competition success. The first department to officially complete the managed competition process was Publishing Services. This, being what one City politician (it shouldn’t be hard to guess which one) argued was essentially low hanging fruit and even exclaimed, “I’m sure Kinko’s can do it cheaper!”

The Employee Proposal Team (consisting of Publishing Services employees assisted by MEA staff member Cathleen Higgins) worked diligently and navigated through uncharted territory in order to respond to the request for proposals (RFP) in just 45 days. With time clearly not on their side, the Team worked long hours and had to overcome more than a few obstacles to submit a comprehensive response to a very long and detailed RFP. Yet even with the challenges and a steep learning curve to overcome, our team won! City employees have proven time and again, no one can do it better or more efficiently (much to the chagrin of DeMaio and Kinko’s)!

The City will certainly continue to put various departments and divisions out to bid in the hopes of saving some money. Just as the City is not swerving from this race to privatize, we too shall remain steadfast in our commitment to have the best car out there every single race day. The Publishing Services Department was our first showing and there wasn’t another competitor within miles of our bid!

I have no doubt that you and I will continue to do our jobs and to do them well. I also know that MEA will continue to work on our behalf and will remain alongside us throughout the managed competition process. These two truths not only encourage me as a City employee, but they also help me to laugh, rather than scoff, at those who try to purport that the private sector is the superior and cost effective option. They can continue to spout off the supposed benefits of privatizing and we will simply point to the mounting bids that City employees will win time and again!