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Union recommends new ‘adjusted’ city offer for recreation workers

CUPE Local 79 president Tim Maguire speaks to reporters on March 20, 2012. CITYNEWS.

CUPE Local 79 will recommend its members approve an “adjusted” offer from the City of Toronto, the union’s leader says.

“Based on some outstanding issues we raised, the city agreed to adjust their approach,” president Tim Maguire said at city hall.

“We will be recommending the adjusted offer.”

Part-time recreation workers and long-term care workers rejected an earlier offer from the city on Wednesday.

The union continued to negotiate with the city on behalf of the 8,600 recreation employees, but the 1,900 long-term care workers are considered an essential service and are legally not allowed to strike or be locked out, so their issues have gone to arbitration.

The mayor was pleased with the decision.

“We won’t have any labour disruptions for the next four years,” Rob Ford said after Maguire spoke.

The revision didn’t affect the overall cost of the settlement, city negotiator Robert Reynolds said. Instead, the union presented the issue “in a different light.”

“In the spirit of co-operation, we moved forward.”

Part-time recreation workers will vote on the offer early next week, possible Tuesday. The details of the offer will be available then, Maguire said.

Two other groups represented by Local 79, including 13,000 full-time and other part-time unionized employees, accepted the city’s offer Wednesday.

On Thursday, Local 79 spokesman Cim Nunn had said the deal the city originally offered took away part-timers’ seniority and leaves them with unpredictable work schedules and, therefore, lives.

Local 79 members had been without a contract since Dec. 31, 2011.

The city recently completed negotiations with two other unions. Members of CUPE Local 416, the city’s nearly 6,000 outside workers, ratified an agreement last month. That deal includes a revised job security provision for workers with 15 years or more of service.

The Toronto Public Library Workers’ Union (CUPE Local 4948) reached a tentative deal with the city on Wednesday and its members approved the agreement on Thursday.

The deal ratified by Local 79’s full-time workers must still be approved by city council. That vote will happen Monday. When that happens, the city will release the details of the agreement.