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February 14, 2013
City of Toronto supports call for improvements to interest arbitration system
The City of Toronto supports the call for improvements to the province's interest arbitration system announced by the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO), alongside representatives from the Large Urban Mayors' Caucus of Ontario (LUMCO) and the Mayors and Regional Chairs of Ontario (MARCO), at a news conference today.

"The AMO proposal is aligned with what Toronto has been requesting for many years. These are critical recommendations that will make the interest arbitration process fairer for taxpayers. We will continue working with the provincial government and AMO to achieve these changes in the best interest of Toronto taxpayers," said Mayor Rob Ford.

The AMO is calling for legislative improvements to the interest arbitration system, including:
• Streamlining the process and creating a 12-month timeline for completion
• Clear, measurable criteria for evaluating the fiscal health of a community
• Requiring that arbitrators give priority to and provide clear, written explanation of how the fiscal health of a community was considered.

"Eighty-four per cent of the City's operating budget increases for the past 10 years have been driven by salary increases for essential emergency services and TTC personnel," said Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday, Chair of the City's Employee and Labour Relations Committee. "We value our Police, Fire Services, Emergency Medical Services and TTC staff, but salary increases need to be affordable and in line with compensation increases given to other City employees and reflect the fiscal health of our municipality."

Interest arbitration is the dispute resolution mechanism available to municipalities when negotiating with essential workers who are not permitted to strike.

"City staff will be working closely with AMO staff to help move forward this proposal," said City Manager Joe Pennachetti. "These recommendations would further our goal of delivering a long-term sustainable budget for the City of Toronto."

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
George Christopoulos
Press Secretary, Office of the Mayor

Wynna Brown
Strategic Communications



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