That buzzing and crackling sound audible earlier this week was the rumor mill churning full tilt at the prospect of London Hydro and St. Thomas Energy uniting in utility bliss.
Mum’s the word from the potential partners, however the picture may come into better focus following a special in-camera meeting Tuesday where St. Thomas council – sole shareholders of parent company Ascent Group – will be briefed on the findings of Grant Thornton, the financial consultants hired by the city to explore merger partners.
Their suitor search has been completed, advised Ascent Group board chairman John Laverty on Tuesday, and they “are in the middle of putting together a summary that is to be presented to the Ascent Group board and city council.” Continue reading
There was more pruning over at Ascent/St. Thomas Energy this week, leaving the city’s utility pared back to the bone.
A release issued Thursday announced Alltrade Industrial Contractors Inc. of Cambridge, Ont., had acquired Ascent Utility Solutions for an undisclosed amount.
This small division of Ascent dealt with traffic and streetlights in the Greater Toronto Area and employed four or five non-union staff and any union staff were retained through a union hiring hall, according to Ascent acting CEO Rob Kent.
Alltrade operates in numerous sectors including automotive, food and beverage, manufacturing and its energy group works within the renewable energy sector, solar, water and wind and within the power and utilities sector.
The transaction does not include St. Thomas Energy, the local distribution company owned by the city and Ascent Energy Services which deals in fibre optics and provides IT services in the city. Continue reading
After steadfastly refusing last week to allow us access to St. Thomas-Elgin General Hospital board of governors chairwoman Melanie Taylor, a change of heart – sort of – this week.
To recap, Coun. Linda Stevenson – the city’s representative on the board of governors – has tendered her resignation over allegations Taylor is attempting to circumvent a CEO salary cap imposed on STEGH and all hospitals in the province in order to make the position more “competitive.”
STEGH administrators won’t cut Taylor loose to respond to Stevenson, instead we are in receipt of a carefully crafted statement from Cathy Crane, vice-chair, on behalf of the STEGH board of governors. Continue reading
Six years after the infamous Paul Collins retire/rehire shuffle, administrators at St. Thomas-Elgin General Hospital find themselves at the centre of another CEO controversy.
Coun. Linda Stevenson – the city’s representative on the board of governors – has tendered her resignation over allegations board chairman Melanie Taylor is attempting to circumvent a CEO salary cap imposed on STEGH and all hospitals in the province in order to make the position more “competitive.”
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg, according to Stevenson, who would like the ministry of health to come in and review the practices of the board of governors. Continue reading
It’s a case of “inefficiency, it’s disrespectful to the employees and it’s going to cost the city a fortune.”
Not a flattering assessment of labour negotiations between the city and Valleyview Home employees, represented by Unifor Local 27.
In fact, Unifor national representative Robert Buchanan calls the turn of events since May 25 when a settlement was reached with city administration both “bizarre” and “ludicrous.”
To recap, on June 8 about 100 City of St. Thomas employees at Valleyview voted in favour of the May 25 settlement.
The three-year deal provides for a two per cent wage increase in each year of the deal in addition to health and welfare benefit improvements.
The employees have been without a contract since Dec. 31 of last year.
The union’s bargaining team also secured a commitment from the city to maintain full-time jobs and add more staffing hours to the laundry department.