Tag Archives: Toronto Strike

Daycare, garbage, EMS essential services?

Toronto councillor wants these city services deemed essential
The issue will be up for debate at power Exec Committee Sept 8
By Kris Scheuer
(Originally written Aug. 7 for Town Crier.)

Enduring 39 days without trash pick-up, city-run daycare and full emergency medical service wasn’t anyone’s idea of a great way to start the summer.
While Torontonians don’t want to see another strike like it anytime soon St. Paul’s councillor Michael Walker wants to go a step further. 
He doesn’t want them to strike again … ever.
The midtown rep thinks its wrong and is advocating for essential services status for all these city programs. 
Walker brought forward three motions to city council Aug. 6 to ask that the province mandate daycare and children’s services, garbage collection and EMS as essential services, like police and fire, which would legally prohibit striking.
There was no debate on any of his recommendations, but rather these motions were referred off to the Executive Committee’s September 8 meeting.
Walker outlines his argument for each programs being declared essential. Continue reading

Miller strikes back at critics

An exclusive op-ed for the Town Crier by Mayor David Miller
This opinion piece by T.O’s mayor offers his thoughts on the strike

By Mayor David Miller
(Written by Mayor Miller Aug. 11 for the Town Crier. This is the paper Kris Scheuer works as city hall reporter.)

The strike by CUPE local 79 and TCEU local 416 was an extremely difficult time for the people of Toronto, city employees and city council.
However, Torontonians coped remarkably well. City management and non-union staff deserve immense credit for the work they did to keep the city moving while 30,000 people were off the job.
One question I was repeatedly asked during the labour disruption was why it had to happen at all. Now that we’ve reached a negotiated settlement with our employees, I believe it’s a good time to answer that question.
The unions went on strike because they wanted parity with provincewide contracts like the one awarded to the Toronto Police Service by an arbitrator. Such settlements, reached between 2006 and 2008, followed a provincial pattern of wage increases of at least 3 percent per year. With benefit improvements, those contracts saw employment costs for Ontario cities climb in the range of 11 and 12 percent over a three-year period. Continue reading

Who voted for new union contracts

Toronto city council approved new deals two unions
Here’s how each politician voted
By Kris Scheuer

The strike is over after city council approved new contracts for CUPE locals 416 and 79.
The final vote was a close one at 21-17 in a heated debate on July 31.
Want to know how every politician voted? Continue reading

Council votes for union deal, ends strike

Toronto’s 39-day strike is over as politicians approve new labour contracts
July 31 close call vote came after a heated all day debate at city hall
By Kris Scheuer
(Written for the Town Crier July 31.)

Council’s final decision to vote for the new union deals was a squeaker at 21-17.
Another seven councillors were absent from the vote or had to sit out because of conflicts of interest during the all-day debate July 31.
Don Valley East councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong voted against the deal.
“I’m standing up for this city and my constituents because they stood up for Toronto (during the strike),” he said during the debate that began at 9:30 this morning.
Etobicoke-North councilllor Rob Ford also voted the deals down. “The average person out there doesn’t get to bank sick days,” the outspoken councillor said. “The mayor said negotiations were a matter of give and take. The mayor was giving and the unions were taking.” Continue reading

Council approves union deal, strike over

Politicians approve contracts with CUPE locals 416 and 79
Labour disruption now over, city services start back
By Kris Scheuer
(Written July 31 for Town Crier)

The 39-day strike is now over as city council has ratified all new contracts with both unions around 6:30 tonight.
“I am very pleased to be able to advise Torontonians that the labour disruption with CUPE locals 416 and 79 is finally over with a council ratification today,” Mayor David Miller told the media following the vote.
“I wish to thank Torontonians for their patience and understanding.”
Union staff started to empty 5,000 litter bins at the strike of midnight this morning even before a council vote was held.
Now that the strike’s officially over, workers will immediately begin the work of cleaning up the 26 temporary dumps of 25,000 tonnes of trash.

Continue reading

CUPE local 416 votes yes for contract

Garbage collectors vote for new deal, back to work at 12:01 July 31
By Kris Scheuer
Good news Toronto. It’s official, CUPE local 416 members ratify new contract offer from the city.
It’s July 30 at 11:36 p.m. and I just read the confirmation from the source, the union’s website.
“Ratified Collective Agreement. Local 416 outside members have ratified the collective agreement. All members should return to the regular shift as of 12:01 am Friday July 31/09.”
Union members returning to work after the strike of midnight are going to start emptying trash cans on the streets and picking up litter. You should see a difference by the time you wake up Friday morning. And beginning next Tuesday, garbage will picked up from homes and small business customers on regular collection days. Continue reading

The good, the bad and the smelly

Evidence from garbage strike is we still have long way to go in conservation quest
(Originally written July 17 by Kris Scheuer for Town Crier.)

Conservation and consumption.
There’s both good news and a shocking reality check when it comes to how much we conserve and consume in Toronto.
We are becoming more aware of ways we can cut back on our use of everything from energy to plastic bags.
But on the other hand, the garbage strike that hit the city at midnight June 22 made it oh so obvious that we are still producing far too much waste.
While it’s true that as the clock struck midnight, it had been two weeks since the last regularly scheduled garbage pickup for some folks, there were already reports of people illegally dumping waste in parks like Christie Pits on day 1 of the strike.
Continue reading

CUPE local 79 returns to work

City’s inside workers back on job at 12:01 tonight
Daycare workers, nurses in homes for aged among returning strikers
By Kris Scheuer

City council still has to vote on Friday for this union’s four new contracts.
But no matter, the light at the end of the tunnel is striking workers will be back on the job just after midnight tonight.
“Please report for work at your next regularly scheduled shift or workday as of 12:01 a.m. Friday, July 31,” says a statement on CUPE local 79‘s website tonight. Continue reading

City services resume as strike ends

Dufferin-St.Clair 1.jpg
Clean up of trash and litter starts July 31. Photo by Kris Scheuer/Town Crier.

Workers will resume all strike-affected services starting with emptying trash
By Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier July 30.)

Toronto’s summer can now begin, Mayor David Miller said at a press conference this afternoon.
“The resumption of all city services beginning at midnight tonight,” he said. “I want to thank Torontonians for their continued patience and good will. 
“While it may take us a few days, Torontonians can expect to have all of their city services up and running by early next week,” he added. “This has been a challenging time for Toronto.” 
Starting at midnight tonight, you will start to see workers picking up litter and emptying garbage cans. On Sunday the 26 temporary dumps will be cleaned up. Continue reading

Council vote on union deal hits roadblock

At least 10 city politicians to vote against union contracts tomorrow
Wage increases, bankable sick days points of contentions
By Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier July 30. Read July 31 UPDATE on the final vote.)

City councillors known as the Responsible Government Group vowed to vote against the negotiated deals with CUPE locals 416 and 79 at tomorrow’s special council meeting.
“Throughout the last five weeks of a strike the people of Toronto have put up with trash in their parks and cancelled services because they believed it was necessary in order to achieve a fair and affordable contract,” Eglinton-Lawrence councillor Karen Stintz said at a press conference this morning. “We have achieved neither.”
The contracts award striking workers with a six percent pay increase over three years and an option to continue to bank sick days until retirement or take a buyout and switch to the new short term disability plan.

“After a strike of almost six weeks the unions and mayor have declared they have reached an agreement that is fair to both employees and the people of Toronto,” Toronto-Danforth councillor Case Ootes said today.  “Citizens have been let down. 
“The mayor promised to eliminate the costly sick benefit program and has failed to meet that commitment,” he added. “This agreement is not affordable and not acceptable to the taxpayers of Toronto.” Continue reading