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Inside workers to vote on city's final contract offers

CUPE Local 79, which represents Toronto’s inside workers, has announced it will present the city’s four final offers to its union members on Wednesday for a vote.

According to Union President Tim Maguire, the city has decided to end negotiations. He says the union will not be recommending any of the offers prior to voting by the membership.

Inside workers will vote Wednesday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., and votes will be calculated right away.

“We’re not going to be making a recommendation. It’s time for our members to be able to make their choice,” Maguire said.

In the event the offers aren’t accepted, Maguire says Local 79 will wait for the city to respond before taking any possible job action.

Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday spoke out after Local 79’s announcement, saying he was confident members would ratify the offer and that the offer was the same as the CUPE Local 416 agreement, in terms of wages and employment security.

“What you’re going to see are many, many similarities between the two arrangements and that’s what we intended to do,” Holyday said.

“After all is said and done, they’re still going to have one of the best labour agreements in all of Canada.”

For CUPE Local 416, job security from contracting now only applies to employees with 15 years of service. Under the previous agreement, all employees were covered. In addition, employees got a six per cent raise over four years.

The two sides spent much of Sunday at the bargaining table, after both sides agreed to take a break shortly after midnight.

Negotiators went well past the original 12:01 a.m. Saturday deadline as they continued to try to hammer out  a deal.

On Thursday, city manager Joe Pennachetti revealed contingency plans in the event of a labour disruption.

Pennachetti said police, fire, ambulance, the TTC, water and sewage treatment systems would not be affected.

Day care centres and parks and recreation facilities would be closed.

Click here for a full list of affected services.

The inside workers’ contract expired on Dec. 31, 2011.

Meanwhile, striking library workers picketed outside the Toronto Reference Library Sunday afternoon, a week after contract talks between their union and the city broke down.

CUPE Local 4948 said the two sides were far apart on the issue of job security.