The bargaining teams for the City of Toronto and CUPE Local 79, the union representing City inside workers, have been in collective bargaining since the beginning of December. In this time we have met with CUPE Local 79 on a number of occasions and discussed a wide range of issues. As is the norm in the course of bargaining, earlier this month CUPE Local 79 requested that the Province appoint a conciliation officer and today after one meeting with the conciliator, the union requested a No Board Report.
Amongst the issues that remain outstanding between the City and CUPE Local 79 are: job security/jobs for life, wages, benefits and parental leave.
Over the last two rounds of bargaining, the City has worked diligently to achieve agreements that address this historic issue of “Jobs for Life.” Through freely negotiated agreements and without a single day of labour disruption, the parties have reached a fair compromise which mitigates the impact of the “Jobs for Life” provision, while continuing to provide City employees with strong job protections in the event of an actual lay-off.
The City has been crystal clear with both CUPE locals, in this round of bargaining, the City is not seeking to make any changes in regards to this provision and that the date that CUPE bargained was not a “rolling date” – it is a firm date.
The reality is that more than 50% of Local 416 permanent employees and 53% of Local 79 permanent employees have 15 years or greater seniority as of December 31, 2019, and in the last four years, only 3 permanent employees have not been able to secure alternate employment through the comprehensive layoff and bumping provisions contained in the collective agreements and were laid off.
The City of Toronto remains committed to negotiating a collective agreement that is fair and affordable and will continue to engage with the union to achieve that goal.