TORONTO – Members of the City of Toronto’s largest union will vote this Sunday on whether or not to give their bargaining committee a mandate to call a strike if the union fails to reach a satisfactory agreement with the city.
“This round of bargaining is about protecting quality services for the citizens of Toronto,” says Ann Dembinski, the president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 79. “The city wants to take away our employment security provision so they can quickly eliminate and contract out as many city services as possible. We have to stop them.”
CUPE Local 79 went on strike two years ago. “We are doing everything we can to achieve an agreement,” says Dembinski. “We do not want to go on strike, but we want to be prepared in case it proves necessary. City workers are not going to be scapegoats for downloading and other bad government policies. That’s why we are asking our members to support their negotiating team by giving them a strike mandate.
“Privatizing services will hurt everyone. Public service delivery means more accountability, better safety, and higher standards because no one is lining their pockets at the taxpayer’s expense. Residents cannot afford to lose public services.“
CUPE Local 79 represents 17,000 city workers including public health nurses, nurses in homes for the aged, city planners, hostel employees, bylaw inspectors, ambulance dispatchers, child care workers, water and sewage treatment employees, parks and recreation employees, and many others.
Shannon McManus, CUPE Communications: 416-292-3999 ext. 222