TORONTO – The bargaining team representing members of Local 79 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE Local 79) today agreed to terms on a tentative four-year contract with the City of Toronto.
“In every round of bargaining, you set out to get the best deal possible at that time, under those circumstances,” said Tim Maguire, President of Local 79. “While this was a very difficult round of negotiations, we believe we have secured the best possible collective agreements for our members, ensuring they will continue to be able to deliver the great services Toronto residents depend on.”
He added that the Local 79 Bargaining Committee would be recommending acceptance of the tentative agreements to members. Part-time employees at the City’s ten long-term care (LTC) facilities will have their contract sent directly to interest arbitration, as outstanding issues remain and these workers do not have the right to strike.
Local 79 represents about 20,000 frontline workers in four units. The union will not comment on or discuss details of the four agreements until members have been given an opportunity to vote on ratification.
Maguire will hold a brief media availability at 10:00 a.m. today, Thursday March 3, in the Gallery Room at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel, located at 123 Queen Street West, across from Toronto City Hall.
Last night we were able to reach a tentative agreement with the City. It’s been a hard round of bargaining and many important issues have been raised about the quality of jobs and services in our City. We’ve been able to move forward on some of our goals in this tentative deal, and we’ve fought off many of the City’s proposed concessions. We do believe that this is the best set of collective agreements available considering the circumstances we faced in this round of bargaining.
It’s clear from this round of bargaining that our employer is still reluctant to treat its frontline workers as partners in providing services, and reluctant to show true leadership in providing the good stable jobs our city needs so other employers follow suit.
We remain ready and willing to work with the City, Mayor Tory and community partners to push forward on creating good stable jobs not just at the city, but across this city, for everyone.
Throughout this very difficult bargaining, our union has shown our strength in so many ways.
I am so proud of the work done by our bargaining committee. They worked together, and supported one another. They were truly inspiring.
The work done by our mobilizing team and the level of engagement shown by our members created a spirit of solidarity that Local 79 has not seen in a long, long time. We took historic action with our work-to-rule campaign, and the strength we demonstrated in this round of bargaining is the foundation we will build on in the coming months and years.