On Wednesday, November 8, Hamilton AM members were graced with the presence of City of Hamilton Mayor, Andrea Horwath who was introduced by member Cheryl Gzik.  Previously a City councilor, then MPP where she led the Official Opposition as New Democrat leader, Andrea brings not only a wealth of experience but a deep-down love for the City to this role.
Her presentation was just a day prior to the start of the Hamilton Street Railway strike so of course she spent some time talking about the challenge of settling collective agreements with the City's various unions.  She explained the City was hoping to continue with "Pattern Bargaining" but the HSR union's demands for a 23% wage increase over multiple years was out of step with the 13% settlements already reached with other bargaining units.  At the time of this story's posting, the strike has been on for 5 days with no end in sight.  This is particularly aggravating given the entire city is gearing up for Grey Gup festivities starting Thursday, November 9.
Club members welcomed Mayor Horwath's expressed approach to improving the relationship between the city operation and its citizens.  She is actively promoting transparency and open communication, something not always experienced in the past.  A return visit each year would be more than welcome!