Mayor Tory’s Remarks at the Bargaining Update Press Conference on February 24, 2020.

Feb 25, 2020

Good afternoon.

This afternoon, I met with our bargaining team for an update on our ongoing negotiations with CUPE Local 416.

Talks have been progressing – we provided an offer to the Union yesterday and they have passed it back to our bargaining team this afternoon.

That kind of productive discussion took place through the weekend and will continue.

I’m encouraged by the progress at the negotiating table.

We remain resolved to securing a fair, reasonable and timely agreement – as we did four years ago.

In my time as Mayor and in my time in private business, I have experienced the back and forth of negotiations.

Like everything, I approach this in my usual calm manner with a focus on being respectful of our employees and their representatives and getting a negotiated deal that is fair to our residents and fair to our employees.

We have made it clear to the bargaining team that we won’t be going backwards on Jobs For Life.

The city has made progress over the last decade on phasing out Jobs For Life.

Jobs For Life keeps the city from being flexible and modernizing to serve our residents in the best way possible.

Just four years ago, the Union and its members, along with city council, approved an agreement which set a fixed, sunset date on Jobs For Life.

The wording is clear, it was agreed to at the bargaining table and ratified in a free vote by CUPE 416 members.

Effectively, Jobs For Life was eliminated for all employees with less than 15 years seniority after December 31, 2019.

The Union ratified this.

This was a historic step forward for our City and its ability to run a modern, efficient government.

It was a positive step in the right direction together, by agreement, without a work stoppage.

Nothing in the last four years has justified a change to Jobs For Life or turning the clock back on the progress we have made.

Our bargaining committee has been clear that the provisions negotiated and agreed to four short years ago should remain unchanged.

To be clear, we are not asking for anything different on job security and Jobs For Life – just to keep what was agreed to and ratified four years ago.

While the negotiations will continue, I believe it was important today to make it clear to the Union and our residents that we will not be going backwards on Jobs For Life.

I was encouraged that the Union President acknowledged today that both sides have been working hard at the bargaining table and I am very hopeful we can both continue to do so.

I understand we are making progress. We have been at the table since September.

We now have 48 hours to reach a timely and fair agreement and I remain hopeful that an agreement can be reached.