Posts Tagged ‘CUPE 416’
Toronto City Council voted 21 to 17 to ratify the CUPE 416 and CUPE 79 collective agreements that will allow for City Services to be restored. By Tuesday August 4th, the temporary dump sites and street should be cleaned up and many of the City Services including day cares will re-open. City of Toronto summer camps will resume August 10th.
Toronto Island Ferry service has been restored in time for the long weekend.
I wrote Friday morning urging Councillors to act responsibly and not attempt to cause a management lock out that would have deprived Torontonians of services for an undetermined length of time and cause a more expensive arbitrated settlement. Watching 17 Councillors take a politically opportune but disasterous public policy position in trying to defeat the collective agreement was unfortunate.
They weren’t the only ones looking bad however. It was David Miller who turned the sick pay issue into such a big deal. Two months ago, most Torontonians had no idea workers could bank sick days. Miller educated residents, sought their overwhelming public opinion against this system, promised to end it and failed to. He failed because he could not have ended it anyways and it was a bad promise to make. His opponents on Council should be wise enough to understand they too could not hope to end the sick pay bank – and fighting blindly against this would result in an arbitrated deal that would see the status quo in place.
Miller did better at the negotiating table than could have been done at the arbitration table, but the bizarre left/right politics at City Hall has resulted in both sides being dishonest or misleading with the public about their positions.
Miller’s talk of millions of dollars in savings is based on a hypothetical raise of 3% annually, something the City had never intended to go for. It was money never spent, it was money that was never going to be spent making it an argument that isn’t rooted in fact.
The fact that six Councillors didn’t feel the need to attend the meeting is scandalous. This is probably the most important decision this Council had to make so far in 2009 and these individuals, duly elected, did not appear to have their voice or the voices of their constituents heard. There names are : John Filion (Willowdale); Gloria Lindsay Luby (Etobicoke Centre); Giorgio Mammoliti (York West); Cesar Palacio (Davenport); Kyle Rae (Toronto Centre Rosedale)
The following Councillors voted in favour of a management lock out: Paul Ainslie (Scarborough East); Brian Ashton (Scarborough Southwest); Mike Del Grande (Scarborough Agincourt); Mike Feldman (York Centre); Rob Ford (Etobicoke North); Cliff Jenkins (Don Valley West); Norm Kelly (Scarborough Agincourt); Chin Lee (Scarborough Rouge River); Peter Milczyn (Etobicoke Lakeshore); Denzil Minnan-Wong (Don Valley East); Ron Moeser (Scarborough East); Frances Nunziata (York South Weston); Case Ootes (Toronto Danforth); John Parker (Don Valley West); Karen Stintz (Eglinton Lawrence); Michael Thompson (Scarborough Centre); Michael Walker (St. Paul’s)3 Comments »
I have had a number of conversations with people about how difficult it would be to be a Councillor who opposed the concessions Miller gave in on. While often the best plan in opposition to a government in politics is to vote against it, risking defeating a labour agreement and forcing a management lock out is totally irresponsible and would result in the City being taken to the cleaners at arbitration.
A Councillor voting against the agreement, is in fact voting for a management lock out. It is plain and simple. Voting against the agreement means that you’d like it to fail, if you’re a Councillor and you want it to fail, its because you want a lock out. Let’s hope that the Councillors who disagree, at least are wise enough to slam the Mayor and company during the debate, but not vote against the agreement. Leave the Chamber if you have to, but don’t demonstrate irresponsibility by fanning the flames in favour of a management lock out.
Citizens need their services back, they need garbage pick up, daycares open, pools, rec centres and parks open, clean and safe for children. Voting against what is a done deal won’t make it any better, and risks making it a lot worse.
We’ll find out today what Councillors decide to do, let’s hope its the right thing.4 Comments »
This is a no-brainer. The City of Toronto needs to forget about trying to fire workers who acted up on the line during the strike. CUPE 416 decided not to vote today to ratify the collective agreement when the City refused to agree not to take measures against workers who misbehaved on the line. Generally the Union and the City agree to overlook the misbehaviour and wrongs each commits during a strike as part of a collective agreement.
There are over 600 workers who crossed the line who need the City to protect them from expulsion proceedings that would see them lose their jobs for crossing the line, but the City seems prepared to risk the jobs of those individuals to go after some militant strikers.
What the City should have done is called the police if there was objectionable behaviour happening on the line that they wanted addressed. Waiting until the strike has ended to decide to go after workers who misbehaved seems to me like a bad idea that both risks serious and irreversible harm to the City’s allies in both CUPE 416 and 79 and the City’s relationship with unions.
I think all Torontonians want this strike to end, we want our workers back at work and our Council to get the job done – the City needs to get out of the way and let it happen.
Let’s go guys, shake hands, agree to move forward together, and repair the relationship through a mutual protection of those each side would otherwise seek to punish.4 Comments »
Regardless of how you felt about the whole strike situation, Mark Ferguson, President of CUPE 416 has to be given the credit for finally causing negotiations to come to a head and forcing the City to allow for an agreement that would avoid arbitration or a strike that could have dragged out all summer.
His threat to walk away from the table if the City didn’t get serious within 48 hours was well played for a number of reasons. One, it forced the City to get real and budge (to the degree we do not know). Two, even if it had failed, CUPE 416 stepping back from the table would have made it easier for McGuinty to step in and force arbitration as a lack of negotiations means the parties can’t solve it on their own.
It was clear that Miller and the Union both recognized the City’s position was indefensible at arbitration, so Ferguson setting things on course to find it’s way in that direction represents the kind of arm twisting it often takes for an adversarial round of negotiations to come to an end.
It is good news that CUPE 79 followed shortly after CUPE 416 penned the basis of an agreement earlier yesterday morning. My hope now is that Wednesday’s ratification among workers will go well, and end with a clear result.
I do have a warning for Councillors who also need to ratify the agreement – if Councillor’s act out against the Mayor and try to defeat the agreement during their ratification vote, I expect the damage that has been done to the Mayor would largely be reversed as trying to lock the workers out after a 36 day strike would result in a total electoral revolt I expect against all current elected officials, the left for causing the first strike and the right should they defeat the agreement forcing a lock out.
Everyone is going to need to act like adults, allow for things to get back to normal and for a process that will allow labour relations in this City to return to normal. An adversarial relationship between the City management and Union leadership can only serve to hurt Torontonians in the future and both sides have put residents through enough for many years to come with what has become the longest strike in the City’s 175 year history.1 Comment »
City of Toronto CUPE 79 and 416 Strike – Day 36 – CUPE 416 (Outside Workers) and City Reach Tentative Agreement!
Yesterday I wrote that Mark Ferguson did us all a big favour by threatening to walk away from the bargaining table if the City could not negotiate an agreement by Sunday at midnight. Talks were extended until 1am, and then 7:30am. It is now reported as of 8:30am on Monday morning that the City and the Union have reached a tentative agreement.
CUPE 79 continued to negotiate throughout the weekend, but did not threaten to walk away if talks did not result in a deal. They still do not have a tentative agreement reached, but it stands to reason that CUPE 79 will follow CUPE 416 and allow for the strike to end within days.
I have not seen the text of the tentative agreement, but it is promising that all members of the CUPE 416 negotiating committee voted unanimously to accept the deal.
The next step is ratification, which would take place by allowing CUPE 416 members to vote to accept or reject the deal. Union management now needs to sell the deal to its 6200 members, and hope that a majority vote to allow the agreement to be ratified and return outside workers to work.
I got an email from David Miller’s Director of Communications that was sent to all registered media who cover City Hall saying the Mayor will not comment on today’s developments until both unions have collective agreements. That in itself is promising as to me at least it seems like CUPE 79 will likely follow with an agreement of their own within a day or two, considering much of the inside workers leverage is gone when outdoor services resume.
This is good news for all residents in Toronto.No Comments »