TORONTO — Tim Maguire, president of CUPE Local 79, reacted today to the City of Toronto’s request for a “no board” report regarding contract negotiations.
“I’m very concerned by the City’s decision to move to request a no board without engaging in meaningful bargaining,” said Maguire. “We’ve waited 12 weeks for discussions and real proposals on issues affecting Local 79. Instead they’ve moved toward a countdown period as a threat against daycare workers, lifeguards, long term care staff and people who rely on them.”
A no board report, once issued, will set a 17-day countdown in effect. When that countdown elapses, the City can threaten to use options such as can unilaterally change the terms and conditions of staff’s work – effectively imposing a new contract.
“The City can’t use a settlement with Local 416 as an inflexible template,” said Maguire. “I was pleased to hear yesterday Deputy Mayor Holyday recognize that Local 79’s issues aren’t the same. That needs to be communicated to their bargaining team. And it needs to translate into a flexible approach that respects our members, and those they support across Toronto.”
About CUPE Local 79
Local 79 has four bargaining units, covering 400 different classes of jobs, each with unique skills.
- Three of those units include thousands of part-time workers
- Three-quarters of Local 79 members are women
- A great many members are students or young workers
Some troubling proposals exclusive to talks with Local 79:
Treatment of layoff and recall – language and process that works for 416 can’t be assumed to work in Local 79, where members work in broad classifications with multiple skill-sets.
Members in long term care facilities are facing an absolute reduction of seven per cent in the incomes of thousands of workers, resulting from a cut in hours including shift overlap. This is an attack on caregivers, and a reduction in care for each senior citizen.
- Part-time workers would have even greater difficulty making ends meet, due to a loss of negotiated scheduling rights associated with seniority for thousands of its part-time employees, thereby removing any meaningful commitments about their hours of work and earnings from week to week, resulting in reduced access to benefits and pensions.
Some of the services provided by Local 79 include:
Long term care, daycare, lifeguards who teaches us how to swim, other recreation services, employment services, public health (nurses and inspectors), building inspection, water quality inspection, cleaning, and clerical work across various divisions of the City.
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