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Toronto Zoo workers seeking ‘willing partner’ at bargaining table to negotiate fair collective agreement  CUPE 1600 members give unanimous mandate to bargaining committee to take ‘any and all’ steps to secure new contract.

Toronto Zoo employees unanimously voted yesterday to give their bargaining committee a mandate to take ‘any and all’ steps necessary to secure a fair collective agreement with their employer. 

Our members have never been more united,” said Christine McKenzie, President of Local 1600 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE 1600), which represents the Zoo’s 400 permanent, part-time and seasonal employees. 

None of us wants a strike or lockout, but it’s imperative we have a willing partner at the bargaining table to negotiate a contract that protects the Zoo and is fair to our members and to the public,” she added. 

Contracts for Local 1600 members expire at the end of March, and little progress has been made during five days of bargaining with negotiators for the Zoo.  Last week, Zoo management requested the Province appoint a conciliation officer. 

Since it began, we’ve approached bargaining with the aim of negotiating an agreement that all parties can live with, but we can’t do this by ourselves.  The management of the Zoo needs to be there with meaningful proposals that preserve and protect the Zoo and are fair to our members and to the public,” said McKenzie. 

Negotiators for Local 1600 are continuing to meet with their management counterparts. McKenzie reiterated that Local 1600 is prepared to meet “as often as necessary, provided the employer is serious,” to successfully conclude an agreement. 

For more information, please contact:

Christine McKenzie
President, CUPE Local 1600

Kevin Wilson
CUPE Communications