Building a new model for labour relations in T.O.

Heading back to the bargaining table, City of Toronto tries out an interest-based approach
By Uyen Vu
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 09/13/2004

The stench of garbage steaming in the sun may have long faded from the streets of Toronto, but not so the memory of the rancid labour relations that brought city services to a halt two years ago.

This fall, as the City of Toronto heads into collective bargaining with two CUPE locals, it’s hoping to replace that taint with a new reputation. It’s a reputation for collaboration and trust that the city has tried to establish through interest-based bargaining with the city’s 3,000 firefighters.

“The record was clear. Labour relations weren’t working in the City of Toronto,” said Bill Adams. Brought in as the city’s director of employee and labour relations in 2002, Adams had a mandate to clean up the mess that labour relations had become.