Instead of misleading the public, the City of Toronto should come back to the table and negotiate to avoid the path to labour dispute that they’ve started down, says Eddie Mariconda, President of CUPE 416.
Earlier today a “no-board report,” requested by the City last week, was issued, triggering a countdown to 12:01 am on Thursday, February 27, when the two parties will be in legal strike or lockout position. The City followed this announcement with a communication outlining several key bargaining issues including job security, benefits, and parental leave.
“Our job security language, like our entire contract, expired on December 31, 2019. This means the whole contract is up for negotiation. To say that we are going against what was previously negotiated, because we want the job security date to follow the rest of the contract, is purposely misleading,” said Mariconda, about the City’s bargaining communication. “If we go by the City’s logic, then they are the ones going back on what was previously agreed when they insist on deep concessions to benefits that were freely and fairly negotiated in previous rounds of bargaining.”
Mariconda called the City’s tactics predictable, and aimed at trying to divide his members and turn residents against the people who deliver their services.
“At the end of the day, renewing our job security language costs the city nothing. On benefits, the City saved $18 million in one year after they switched benefit providers, they don’t need to go back on what was previously agreed to in order to find savings,” Mariconda said. “Our contract is affordable and sustainable, and we provide world class services to the people of Toronto. If they have the residents’ best interests in mind then they will come to the table, make a commitment to front-line workers and negotiate a deal.”