Following days of stalled negotiations and with the clock ticking on potential workers’ strike during the mRach break, Toronto’s union of inside workers announced they have reached a four-year tentative deal with the city just before 6 a.m. Wednesday morning.
— CP24 (@CP24) March 3, 2016
“In every round of bargaining, you set out to get the best deal possible at that time, under those circumstances,” said Tim Maguire, President of Local 79. “While this was a very difficult round of negotiations, we believe we have secured the best possible collective agreements for our members, ensuring they will continue to be able to deliver the great services Toronto residents depend on.”
He added that the Local 79 Bargaining Committee would be recommending acceptance of the tentative agreements to members. Part-time employees at the City’s ten long-term care (LTC) facilities will have their contract sent directly to interest arbitration, as outstanding issues remain and these workers do not have the right to strike.
A post on the city’s Web site also read:
The City of Toronto has reached a tentative agreement with CUPE Local 79, which represents the City’s 21,000 active inside workers.
Details of the agreement will be released once it is ratified by the Local 79 membership and subsequently approved by City Council.
A new agreement with the City’s 4,200 active outside workers, represented by Toronto Civic Employees’ Union Local 416 (CUPE), was approved by City Council on February 29.
Many CUPE Local 79 members at Metro Hall say they’re happy tentative deal reached, but are anxious to see details pic.twitter.com/xQgqhZGVVl
— Tammie Sutherland (@citytammie) March 3, 2016
Local 79 represents about 20,000 frontline workers in four units. The union will not comment on or discuss details of the four agreements until members have been given an opportunity to vote on ratification.
Maguire will hold a brief media availability at 10:00 a.m. today, Thursday March 3, in the Gallery Room at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel, located at 123 Queen Street West, across from Toronto City Hall.
Earlier this week, the city ratified a deal with Local 416’s outside workers, adding extra pressure for Local 79 to get a deal.
A strike or lockout, which both sides were in a legal position to force, would have made registration for the city’s summer camps this Saturday impossible and threatened to cancel March Break programs that thousands of parents rely on for child care.
Union leadership and the city were essentially in a standoff over the weekend when talks broke down. After the city presented the union with what they later called their “last offer,” the city blamed union negotiators for dismissing the provincially-appointed mediator and essentially ending negotiations. Local 79’s Maguire later called that a misunderstanding, saying they believed there was no more room to bargain.