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March 29, 2012
Services to public continue as 11,500 full-time and 1,150 part-time employees accept City's final offer
  
Two significant bargaining units of the City of Toronto's inside workers voted Wednesday to accept the City's final offer made during bargaining with CUPE Local 79 on the weekend. The Full-time and Part-time B units of CUPE Local 79 and TCEU Local 416 (CUPE) have all now ratified their collective agreements. These employees represent approximately 90 per cent of the full-time equivalent employees represented by CUPE.

"This is a huge win for taxpayers," said Mayor Rob Ford. "The City's offer was fair, reasonable and affordable, and I'm pleased that the offer was ratified by these employees without any disruption to City services. This is great news for the City of Toronto."

"It is a significant achievement for the City that the majority of employees in the largest CUPE local in the country have ratified an agreement that had no endorsement from their union executive," said Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday. "It is unfortunate that the other two part-time employee units did not accept this very fair and reasonable offer that is very similar to the agreement ratified by CUPE Local 416 last month and by the other two employee units yesterday."

The City is pleased that is has resolved two long-standing issues. Employment security is no longer a matter in dispute between the parties as the job security provision of 15 years of seniority has only ever applied to permanent full-time employees, who have now ratified their collective agreement. In addition, the ratification of the full-time unit also now means that the City has successfully eliminated the unnecessary administrative 30-minute shift overlap in the Long-Term Care Homes and Services Division.

The other two units (part-time Recreation Workers and part-time Long-Term Care Homes and Services Workers) voted yesterday to reject the City's offer. The part-time employees in the Long-Term Care Homes and Services unit will proceed to binding arbitration and do not have the legal right to strike.

"It appears that the primary issue for the part-time recreation workers is related to a binding arbitration award issued in December," said Bruce Anderson, the City's Executive Director of Human Resources. “This award harmonized their part-time hourly rates so that employees whether working in Scarborough, Toronto, North York, York, East York or Etobicoke will now receive the same rate of pay for the same work." Anderson added that the award resulted in 73 per cent of the recreation workers receiving a pay increase and 22 per cent receiving a decrease and a lump sum payment to offset the decrease.

The next step in the process is for City Council to meet in a special session to consider the two agreements ratified by the Local 79 members. The date of the meeting will be announced as soon as possible. Details of the agreements will be posted on the City's website when they have been approved by Council.

In terms of the part-time recreational workers, the City intends to meet with the union to hear their outstanding issues however it is important to note that the other employee units have just ratified their agreements and they are similar to the Local 416 agreement ratified last month.

Local 79 has suggested that if the City implements terms and conditions of its final offer, it could lead to the union calling a strike. "I do not believe that the implementation of these reasonable terms and conditions of employment would warrant strike action by the union, however that is a decision that the union would have to make if the City takes that decision," said Anderson.

"I must emphasize that all City workers are on the job today," said City Manager Joe Pennachetti. "The only area that may possibly be affected in the future is recreation services. In the event of a labour disruption, the City has a contingency plan in place that outlines which City services will be affected.” The City’s contingency plan is posted on its website at www.toronto.ca.

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.

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Media Contact
George Christopoulos
Press Secretary, Office of the Mayor
416-338-6642
gchrist2@toronto.ca

Jackie DeSouza
Director, Strategic Communications
416-919-6500
jdesouz@toronto.ca

 

 

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