CUPE 416 and the City of Toronto have just over two weeks to come to a contract agreement to avoid a lockout.
The two sides were at the bargaining table this morning; a long-standing process that began October last year. The Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 416 would not disclose details on if any progress was made during the day.
The Ontario Board of Labour issued a “no board” report yesterday to ensure a conciliation board will not participate with negotiations.
“The City continues to be strongly committed to negotiating a new collective agreement with Local 416,” said Joseph P. Pennachetti, Toronto’s City Manager in an online statement. “We want to achieve a fair, reasonable and affordable agreement that takes into account the City of Toronto’s business operations needs and the fiscal challenges it faces.”
CUPE 416, representing 6,000 outdoor workers, are in a legal strike position but have yet to vote. The City will be in a legal lockout position as of Saturday, February 5 after midnight. An unnamed source at CUPE 416 told thedailyplanet.com the union does not want to strike.
Garbage collection, snow removal and park maintenance will be affected. Pennachetti said a contingency plan would be executed for key services, without naming specifics. Pennachetti added he hoped parks would not turn into temporary garbage dumps, a reminder of the 2009 labour strike.
The main issue of debate is the “jobs-for-life” provision. In 1999, employment guarantee was granted to all permanent employees with ten-year seniority. In 2005, it covered all permanent staff. When the contract ended December 31, last year, the City wanted to grant the guarantee to permanent employees of only 25-years and more.
The source at CUPE 416 told thedailyplanet.com the City said senior union staff “places restrictions on their ability to manage.”
According to media reports, CUPE 416 president Mark Ferguson said “a number of agreements” were made at Thursday’s meeting; however, CUPE 416 would not comment on the contract details.
“I am hopeful that the city is going to continue with the effort that they put in today and if they do it is very good news and I think a settlement may be achieved,” said Ferguson to CP24 Thursday night.
CUPE 416 and the City of Toronto will meet this weekend to continue negotiations.
Posted on thedailyplanet.com on January 20, 2012