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City of Toronto inside workers request no-board report as talks falter

Last Updated Feb 21, 2020 at 3:23 pm EDT

The union which represents City of Toronto inside workers has requested a no-board report, setting the table for a possible strike or lockout.

CUPE Local 79, which represents 22,000 workers, claims the city has failed to engage in meaningful discussion on significant issues.

The union says the main sticking point between the two parties is job security.

“The City has been quite open about their attempts to seek significant concessions, erode job security and set the stage for further privatization and contracting out of the services Torontonians rely on,” said Dave Mitchell. “Unlike their negotiations with Local 416, who they are pushing toward a labour dispute, they seem unwilling to talk to us at all. With us they just dropped their concessions down and left. So we’re going to use every tool we have to bring them to the table and bargain.”

The union will be in a legal strike or lockout position within 17-days of a no-board report being issued by the Ministry of Labour.

Inside workers include public health nurses, child care workers, court services staff, ambulance dispatchers, social service workers and long-term care home workers.

The announcement comes one day after the City discussed contingency plans in the event 5,000 outside workers with CUPE Local 416 go on strike or are locked out as early as Feb. 27.

Garbage collection, recreation centres and city-owned event spaces would all be affected if a strike does take place.

The city says it’s hoping weekend negotiations conducted with help from a conciliator appointed by the Ontario Ministry of Labour can head off any job action.