TORONTO — There is labour peace in Toronto’s public sector now after that the city’s inside workers voted in favour of a new four-year contract Wednesday night.
The city and CUPE Local 79, which represents approximately 20,000 city workers, spent weeks haggling over pay raises and precarious employment, and the union commenced a work-to-rule campaign three weeks ago as negotiations reached a stalemate.
“We are pleased our members ratified the agreements we negotiated, made possible because of the strength they showed during bargaining,” said Tim Maguire, president of Local 79. “We achieved some improvements and more important, pushed back serious concessions that would have hurt both the quality of city services and city jobs.”
Terms of the contract were not released, although the city’s last offer offered a five per cent wage increase over four years, and scheduling concessions to meet union demands for greater job stability.
CUPE Local 79 says the new deal covers full and part-time workers in three units.
A contract for a fourth unit, whose members work part-time in long-term care facilities, will be addressed in binding arbitration, as those members do not have the right to strike.
Depite the deal, Maguire said the union plans to “focus our strength on improving jobs and city services that build better lives for all of us.”
With files from The Canadian Press