Mayor John Tory is calling the eleventh-hour tentative agreement between the City of Toronto and the union representing outside workers “a good outcome for everyone.”
“This five-year agreement is timely. It is affordable. It is responsible,” Tory told reporters Saturday morning.
“I firmly believe this is a good outcome for everyone. In a world that is growing ever more unpredictable, I am proud that we continue to get things done at Toronto City Hall in a calm and respectful way that produces results and maintains stability.”
Details of the deal will not be made public until after it is ratified by CUPE Local 416 members. After that, it needs to be approved by city council.
CUPE Local 416 represents the city’s 5,000 outside workers. The union’s membership includes garbage collectors east of Yonge Street as well as those who work in animal services, parks and recreation and building maintenance, among other things.
A major source of contention was the issue of job security. Members with 15 years of experience as of Dec. 31, 2019 were protected from job loss if the city privatized services, what Tory has described as a “jobs for life” provision.
In the 2016 contract negotiated between the city and Local 416, that protection was limited to union members who had reached 15 years of service as of Dec. 31, 2019, effectively capping the number of members who could qualify.
During negotiations, CUPE Local 416 president Eddie Mariconda said that 90 per cent of union members indicated they wanted to restore the protection to all workers who reach 15 years of service, including those who reach it after Dec. 31, 2019.
Members could still be let go over job performance issues.
A labour disruption was avoided after a last-minute tentative deal was struck between the union and the city late Friday night.
The workers had been in a legal strike position, or could have been locked out, since 12:01 a.m. Thursday but both sides agreed to extend bargaining by another 48 hours.
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