City of Toronto, unionized outside workers reach tentative agreement to avert strike

A City of Toronto roads maintenance work truck. File / Global News

Minutes before CUPE Local 416 reached its strike deadline, the union representing thousands of municipal workers and the City of Toronto announced a tentative agreement had been reached.

“The five-year agreement is fair to Toronto residents and Local 416 workers,” a joint statement issued by both sides Friday night said.

“All City services, including City-owned arenas, remain open as usual. Curbside and commercial garbage collection will also continue as scheduled.”

About 5,000 City employees – often referred to as “outside workers” – were without a contract since Dec. 31.

The union said provisions around job security for senior employees have been the primary sticking point during contract talks, which were facilitated by a mediator in recent days.

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The City of Toronto previously said garbage collection, recreation centres and City-owned event spaces would have all been affected if a strike were to occur.

The original strike deadline was set for 12:01 a.m. on Thursday. However, both sides agreed to a 48-hour extension in talks.

The details of the tentative deal weren’t announced Friday night, pending reviews and approval votes by union members and Toronto city council.

Click to play video: 'City of Toronto, CUPE Local 416 agree to extend work stoppage deadline'
City of Toronto, CUPE Local 416 agree to extend work stoppage deadline

“The full details of the agreement will be made available following ratification by union members at a special meeting that they will hold, as well as a special meeting of city council that will take place sometime this coming week,” Toronto Mayor John Tory said in a press conference Saturday morning.

“This five-year agreement is timely, it is affordable, and it is responsible.”

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CUPE Local 416 president Eddie Mariconda called it a “good deal” for both union members and city residents.

“This tentative agreement is a result of both parties working hard and sharing a commitment to a strong public service,” Mariconda said.

— With files from Ryan Rocca and The Canadian Press

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