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Tentative deal reached between City and outside workers, strike averted

Last Updated Feb 29, 2020 at 1:01 pm EDT

File photo of a Toronto recycling bin. CITYNEWS

A tentative agreement was reached between the City of Toronto and its outside workers Friday night, averting a potential labour disruption.

In a joint statement issued half-hour before the strike deadline on Friday night, Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 416 and the City of Toronto said a five-year deal had been struck.

“All City services, including City-owned arenas, remain open as usual. Curbside and commercial garbage collection will also continue as scheduled,” the statement said.

Details of the agreement were not released but one of the key issues for the union was job security for senior members with more than 15 years of experience. They were looking to ensure they don’t lose their jobs to privatization.

At a news conference on Saturday, Mayor John Tory said it’s a good deal for both parties.

“I firmly believe this is a good outcome for everyone,” he said. “I am proud we continue to get things down in a calm and respectful way.”

He thanked the union leadership for working with city to get the deal done.

“At all times respectful that in the end reached a deal that was fair both for the city of Toronto residents and for the local 416 workers,” he said.

Tory added there was never any intention of privatizing services and cited his track record, claiming no jobs have ever been at risk while his council has been in office.

“There were no plans to privatize anything in particular,” he said.

Toronto City Council and the union membership are expected to review and vote on the deal next week.

The City will now turn its attention to getting an agreement with its approximately 22,000 inside workers, who will be in a legal strike or lockout position as of 12:01 a.m. on March 14.

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

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