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Union, City of Toronto at standstill after final offer tabled

Last Updated Feb 28, 2016 at 10:05 pm EDT

Toronto mayor John Tory says the City’s final offer to its 20,000 inside workers is both “fair” and “responsible” and he called on the union membership to take a look at it for themselves.

“The offer we presented made significant progress, took significant steps forward on the key issues raised by Local 79 throughout these talks,” said the mayor, who added the offer was available online for everyone to see.

“This is about being honest and open and transparent, not only with our employees, but also with the public so that they can see the state of our negotiations.”

Tory added the offer is consistent with the deal recently reached with CUPE Local 416, which was ratified last week.

Highlights of the offer posted online include a five per cent increase on base pay over the course of four years; a change to the amount of benefits for workers on long-term disability – previously, workers could claim for 75 per cent of their basic salary while on disability, but the city has proposed changing that to 70 per cent for new claims.

“Any deal we reach must be balanced. It must be realistic in the context of where our city government finds itself and where individual, tax paying citizens find themselves,” said Tory.

Tory said the City is sitting by the phone, ready to resume talks anytime.

(To watch this video on mobile, click here)

Union president Tim Maguire called the City’s decision to post their final offer online “disrespectful”.

“It’s not helpful to the bargaining process to put those proposals out there in the public and for the workers we represent.”

Maguire said despite what the mayor says, the City has yet to address their key issues.

“It’s never been about the money,” he explained. “The key issues are about protecting stable jobs and creating more predictable hours of work for part-time workers.”

Maguire said, contrary to reports they dismissed the mediator, the union is willing to talk.

“I don’t understand that. We rejected the final offer, we were told it was a final offer with no further movement. The city stopped negotiating, not Local 79.”

The union, which has been without a contract since December 31, has been on a work-to-rule campaign since last Monday. Maguire said the work-to-rule campaign will continue while they review their options in the days and weeks ahead.

(To watch this video on mobile, click here)