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July 31, 2009
Toronto approves new agreements that save the City tens of millions of dollars
Read the agreements:

Toronto City Council today approved new collective agreements with unionized employees that will save the City tens of millions of dollars while allowing full resumption of City services to continue.

"I am very pleased Council approved the agreements and recognized the achievements made during bargaining," said Mayor David Miller. "The City took on tough issues in these negotiations that had been left unaddressed in previous agreements by former Toronto governments. I know this has been a difficult time for everyone, and I want to again thank Torontonians for their patience and support during the strike."

The agreements approved by Council today reflect the City's bargaining principles; they are fair to workers, affordable to Torontonians and provide management the flexibility required to effectively deliver high quality public services. The agreements were also within the bargaining mandate set by the City's Employee and Labour Relations Committee.

The agreements provide employees with modest wage increases of 1.75%, 2% and 2.25% between 2009 and 2011. These increases reflect the City's current financial circumstances and the impacts of the world-wide recession. Two and half weeks into the strike the unions were still seeking wage increases of 3% a year.

Approval of the new agreements means that the current sick leave plan has been removed from the collective agreements after having been in existence for 50 years. This provision will be phased out by not providing it to new hires, partially paying out existing accumulated sick leave credits and putting staff into a new short term disability plan or allowing existing staff to remain in the current plan. The new short term disability plan that all new hires will have does not allow the accumulation and cashing out of sick days.

The savings come from the fact that the new agreements will reduce the City's overall sick leave payout costs. The new plan will contain the growth of the City's sick leave liability costs. As employees exercise the payout option and move to the new short-term disability plan and significant numbers of staff retire, it is projected that implementation of the agreements will reduce the City's sick leave liability costs by an estimated $140 million over the next five years.

As directed by the Employee and Relations Committee, the new agreements contain no increase in the cost of benefits provided to employees. City employees will now have Family Day off to spend time with their families. The cost of providing this day to workers will be offset by increasing the time between which dental examinations will be covered from 6 months to 9 months.

The Mayor's remarks from the meeting and the presentations and reports considered by Council are available on the City's resumption of services page at

Media contacts:

Stuart Green
Deputy Communications Director, Office of Mayor David Miller

Kevin Sack,
Director, Strategic Communications, City of Toronto, media relations line - 416-338-7768 or 416-919-6500 (cell)

Public information: Call Access Toronto, seven days a week, 24 hours a day, at 416-338-0338 or email



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