On Monday, May 29th, 2017 — the City took a step forward to improve the general work standards for anyone who works for the City. The Government Management Committee directed staff to develop new standards that provide anyone working for the City either directly or through a contractor with:
- At least 7 paid sick days a year (by accrual and pro-rated).
- At least 2 weeks advance notice of shifts and premiums for on-call work.
- Equal pay and benefits for part-time or temporary workers who do the same job as full-time workers.
- A living wage that acknowledges the cost of living in Toronto.
- Guarantee of payment within 30 days of doing the work.
Despite the City attacking good job provisions in its collective agreements — as it’s done in previous rounds of bargaining with Local 79 and is now doing with striking CUPE Local 1600 members from the Toronto Zoo — these new standards would provide needed improvements in some of our own workplaces and could help protect our collective agreements in the future. They would also go beyond what the Province is considering in changes to employment and labour legislation and push back against low-wage unstable work created through contracting out.
Local 79 President Tim Maguire and Local 79 member Carlo (pictured above) presented on the differing treatment of cleaners in the private sector and at the City (watch their deputations below). Carlo described how the City provided him with more training opportunities and a fair wage, but also offered how the City could make cleaners’ lives easier by providing 2 weeks advance notice of shifts — something especially imprortant to Carlo as a single father.
Local 79 has so many allies to thank in partnering with us to push this forward – Atkinson Foundation, Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives, Colour of Poverty, Social Planning Toronto, Toronto York Region Labour Council, Women’s Habitat, Workers Action Centre, Urban Workers Project, plus many more.
We expect the standards to come to City Council in the late fall, and we will need everyone to help us win the vote!
Watch Tim’s deputation below. For a better quality version of Carlo’s testimonial, see the video underneath.