Toronto inside workers to vote on deal from city

Terms of final offer similar to outside workers’ contract: City

The union representing Toronto inside workers will present the city’s final offer to its members for a vote on March 28.

UPDATE: Toronto inside workers split on city’s final offer

Negotiators for Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 79 and the city met throughout the weekend to reach a deal. Bargaining concluded when city negotiators decided to end negotiations on outstanding matters, according to CUPE Local 79 president Tim Maguire.

The union’s bargaining committee will not make any recommendation to the 23,000 inside workers on whether the offer should be accepted or rejected, Maguire said.

“It’s time to let the members decide for themselves,” he said. “The City’s final offer contains significant changes to their collective agreements. We strongly encourage our members to attend, become well informed, reflect thoughtfully and vote accordingly.”

The union is making it clear the offer being voted on was not accepted by the bargaining committee, but they are allowing letting the members vote on the offer, anyway.

“The City's final offer will go to a vote ‘without recommendation’ because it is not a negotiated settlement,” CUPE Local 79 said on Twitter. “City ended talks.”

In the event the offer isn't accepted, Local 79 will wait for the city to respond before deciding on any possible job action, Maguire said.

Toronto has four collective agreements with Local 79: Full-time employees, part-time “B” employees, long-term care home employees, and services and recreation employees.

"The offer that Local 79 members will be voting on is fair, reasonable and affordable,” Toronto deputy mayor Doug Holyday said in a statement.”It is very similar to the Local 416 agreement ratified last month and we are confident that Local 79 members will ratify the deal."

While full details of the offer won’t be released until the offer is ratified by the union, highlights of the four-year contract include wage increases and benefits that are almost identical to the agreement ratified by the city’s outside workers in February, according to city officials.

Full details of the deals will be released upon ratification.

The two parties returned to bargaining on March 25, after 12 hours of negotiations the day prior — the union’s strike deadline. Negotiations seemed to be breaking down on March 24, but bargaining continued until early the next morning before resuming again in the afternoon.

Several important issues divide the parties, according to Holyday. The major one continues to be job security, which also stalled negotiations between the city and its outside workers — represented by CUPE Local 416 — earlier this year.

CUPE Local 79 represents daycare workers, nurses, caretakers, city clerks and community centre employees.

Toronto is also currently in a labour dispute with its 2,300 library workers who walked off the job on March 19.

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