TORONTO — The City of Toronto has added six more demands to their long list of concessions in bargaining with Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 79 over the weekend. The union responded by laying a charge of bargaining in bad faith against the City at the Ontario Labour Relations Board.
Tim Maguire, president of CUPE Local 79, said the City’s move to add more concessions was a step backward in the negotiations that had up to that point been making steady, if slow, progress.
“Their move was completely outside the usual scope of our bargaining with the City,” Maguire said.
While the two sides are continuing to bargain, Maguire said he hopes that the bad-faith charge will “inject some discipline” into the City’s negotiating strategy. The union has asked the Labour Relations Board to nullify the new concessionary demands, since the City had already tabled all of its proposals and the union had responded to them.
The escalation in demands includes a further rollback to benefits on vision care, further deletion of scheduling by seniority for part-time employees, reduced hours for day program workers at long-term care facilities and the ability of the City to unilaterally change the hours of work for EMS employees.
Local 79 represents 23,000 City of Toronto employees working in all City offices, parks and recreation centres, public health facilities and long term care centres. The two sides are now in conciliation and will be in a legal strike/lockout position on Saturday, March 24.
For more information, please contact: