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Mayor David Miller got one thing right in his remarks to media this afternoon.

We have said from day one that this strike should not have happened,” said Mark Ferguson, president of Toronto Civic Employees Union Local 416 CUPE.

But it did happen because the city waited until we were three weeks into the strike to table an offer that gave us something to work with. And that is what we have been trying to do since last Friday. If that offer had been tabled before the strike deadline, we may not have had to strike.”

Mayor Miller is deliberately misleading Torontonians when he suggests that the city is no longer demanding concessions from the members of Local 416, Ferguson said.

There has been nothing fair about the city’s proposals. Taking away our members’ accumulative sick plan is a huge concession,” he said. “And the city is still trying to force senior employees out the door on layoff while junior employees remain on the job. Let’s not forget, well into the strike we were still trying to fight off a total of 118 pages of concessionary demands – and the mayor wonders why we continued to bargain even after going on strike.”

The longer the strike continues, the more resistant members are to giving up hard-won benefits and working conditions, Ferguson said.

We all want a resolution to this strike. The best way to achieve it is for the city to stop its rhetoric and put in some real work at the bargaining table.”

For more information, contact:

Pat Daley, CUPE Communications, 416-616-6142