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March 2, 2012
City of Toronto requests No Board Report for CUPE Local 79 Bargaining
This afternoon, the City of Toronto requested a “No Board” report from the Ontario Minister of Labour with regard to collective bargaining with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 79. Local 79 represents approximately 23,000 "inside workers” in four collective agreements.

The City provided notice to commence collective bargaining with Local 79 on October 4, 2011 -five months ago. The collective agreement between the City and Local 79 expired on December 31, 2011. The City filed a request with the Ministry of Labour for the appointment of a Conciliation Officer on November 8, 2011.

Although the parties have been meeting regularly at the bargaining table, conciliation with Local 79 has not worked so far and the parties are at an impasse. In order to obtain new agreements, the City has taken the next legal step available in our ongoing efforts to negotiate new agreements. We have asked the Conciliation Officer to request a No Board report from the Ontario Minister of Labour in regards to Local 79 bargaining.

When the City of Toronto and Local 79 are notified of a No Board, the union will be in a legal strike position and the City in a legal lockout position approximately 17 days from that date. The notification will provide a specific date from which any actions may be taken.

"The City of Toronto has taken this step because we want to negotiate new agreements with Local 79,” said Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday. "We are continuing to bargain with Local 79 and remain hopeful that a resolution is possible during this 17-day period."

As with the recently negotiated agreement with the Toronto Civic Employees' Union Local 416 (CUPE) representing the City’s approximately 6,000 “outside” workers, the City of Toronto is committed to negotiating a settlement that is fair, reasonable and affordable and that takes into account the City of Toronto's business operations needs and the fiscal challenges it faces.

The goal is to bring the collective agreements back to a more reasonable level regarding the terms and conditions of employment that govern how the City effectively manages its operations. The City also needs to negotiate appropriate wages and benefits to ensure ongoing financial sustainability.

The City has a contingency plan in place that addresses the operation of key City services in the event of a labour disruption. Plans will be communicated at the appropriate time.

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.7 million people. Toronto's government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Media Contact
Jackie DeSouza
Director, Strategic Communications



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