City of Toronto outlines contingency plan for potential CUPE Local 79 labour disruption

Mar 9, 2020

The City of Toronto today announced its contingency plan for service delivery in the event of a labour disruption involving members of Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 79, the union representing the City’s inside workers. The City and its approximately 24,000 inside workers will be in a legal work stoppage position as of 12:01 a.m. on March 14.

A Local 79 labour disruption would impact the delivery of City services and programs. The most visible impacts of a Local 79 labour disruption would be:

  • Closure of all City-operated early learning and child care centres
  • Closure and cancellation of programming, March Break camps, and event permits at all City recreation centres, greenhouses and conservatories, pools, fitness centres, ski hills, and some arenas and outdoor ice rinks
  • Suspension of non-critical Toronto Public Health operations
  • Limited access to civic centres including Metro Hall and City Hall
  • Suspension or longer wait times for many City administrative services, including permitting and licensing.

The City remains prepared to respond to emergencies. Emergency response by Toronto Police, Fire Services, and Paramedic Services will not be impacted. Seniors Services and Long-Term Care, TTC, Toronto Community Housing, and Toronto Water operations will continue during a labour disruption. Court proceedings will continue, and individuals with court trial dates are required to attend court. Critical Toronto Public Health services will also continue, including infectious disease monitoring and leading the City’s COVID-19 response.

The City’s bargaining team has been at the table with Local 79 since December and remains committed to negotiating a new collective agreement that is fair and reasonable to employees, and affordable for residents.

In the event of a labour disruption, picketing can be expected at City facilities. Residents should follow all direction given by picket line monitors when crossing a picket line.

At a special meeting on Friday, March 6, City Council approved a new collective agreement between the City and Toronto Civic Employees Union (TCEU) Local 416 – CUPE, the union representing the City’s 5,000 outside workers.

The contingency plan announced today can be found at toronto.ca/labour. Residents and businesses with questions about the contingency plan should call 311. During a Local 79 labour disruption, 311 will be available by phone only and those calling should expect longer wait times.