October 16, 2013 6:30 pm
Updated: October 17, 2013 10:40 am

Mammoliti accuses city employee of sleeping on the job

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ABOVE: Councillor Mammoliti is accusing a city employee of sleeping on the job. The union though disputes the councillor’s claims. Carey Marsden reports. 

TORONTO – ­­The union representing a public employee accused of sleeping on the job by Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti is calling the accusation a “media stunt.”

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The photo was allegedly taken at 10:30 a.m Wednesday, October 16, on the first floor of the Carmine Stefano Community Centre near the facility’s gym. It was taken from the doorway of an office and shows an unidentified person, head resting on the table, cushioned by an arm.

Mammoliti’s office tells Global News it was notified of concerns regarding the employee. Mammoliti’s staff then went to the community centre and claim they caught him sleeping.

But Tim Maguire, President of CUPE Local 79 which represents the employee, suggested the release of the photo was nothing more than a “media stunt” to distract from ongoing service cuts.

“This is a distraction. This is a distraction from the real issue of city services,” Maguire said during a press conference at city hall. “In this instance, it should have been investigated first rather than a media stunt.”

The issue of sleeping employees, according to a press release sent out by Mammoliti’s office, is a problem throughout the city.

“2014 Budget debates will be the next major discussion we have on the Council floor. We have asked Staff to look for efficiencies to help reduce our budget…I found one,” Mammoliti said in the press release.

He warns in his press release that managers and supervisors should “carefully consider” proposing budget increases “if these are the types of employees” they’re hiring.

WATCH:  Mayor Rob Ford and Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti both agreeing that serious consequences may be coming to the city employee supposedly caught napping on the job.

Mammoliti claimed there is a systemic problem among Toronto’s public employees and that he had previously raised concerns about this particular employee to no avail. Maguire though, disputed both claims.

“This has not been raised by the councillor with us, nor has it been raised by the city with us,” he said, adding the employee should be “innocent until proven guilty.”

“There is not a culture of people sleeping on the job at the city,” he said.

Instead, Maguire claims the photo does not show the whole picture and suggested the employee may have been resting at his desk while on a break.

“Our assumption is it was break time until it is proven otherwise,” he said. “I think that sometimes people are working hard because they are overworked and while that’s not preferable, if it happens, it shouldn’t be a huge issue if it happens occasionally, if someone’s working two jobs, etc., on their break.”

“If someone is on their break, they shouldn’t be fearful of very powerful people using them to distract from service breaks,” he said.

WATCH: CUPE Local 79 president responds to Mammoliti’s charges

Mayor Rob Ford called for an investigation into the employee and told reporters at city hall Wednesday, if the employee was indeed sleeping, he should be dismissed.

“If we have someone that’s literally sleeping at the desk, which is how it looks, we cannot tolerate this. The managers who are overseeing this employee are obviously not doing their job,” he said. “If this is the case, I’m going to ask for the manager and the employee to be dismissed.”

© 2013 Shaw Media

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