Toronto

City of Toronto says it's prepared to keep talking to avoid strike

On Friday afternoon the city of Toronto said it is willing to keep talking past the deadline in order to get a settlement with its workers.

Time is becoming a factor in the negotiations between the City of Toronto and its main unions.

A strike deadline is set for Monday, with garbage collection, city-run daycare services, summer camps and swimming pools all facing shutdown.

On Friday afternoon the city said it is willing to keep talking past the deadline in order to get a settlement.

"The city remains committed to negotiating until a settlement is reached, regardless of the deadline that has been set in place by the unions," the city said in a statement.

About 24,000 workers could walk off the job Monday morning if a deal isn't reached over the weekend.

Police, fire and long-term care facilities will not be affected by any labour disruption.

The ambulance service will be reduced, but the union has promised that any reduction will not have any effect on service.

Social services, community centres, parks, and water and sewer services will all be affected to varying degrees, but continue to provide emergency service.

The city's museums, art galleries and other cultural institutions will all be closed and any programs run in those centres will be cancelled.

Ryan Fabricias was at City Hall on Friday morning applying for a building permit.

"I just had to do it [today] or I might be waiting a few weeks, or months, or who knows," he said.

Negotiations are continuing around the clock.

The Toronto Civic Employees Union, CUPE Local 416, which represents garbage collectors and other outside workers, has said it is frustrated with the city's bargaining position and is prepared to walk off the job at one minute past midnight Sunday night.

The main stumbling block, according to the TCEU, is a wide range of concessions the city wants in the next contract.

CUPE Local 79, which represents office workers and other staff, is also in negotiations.

The city said in its statement on Friday that it will provide updated information on negotiations at news conferences on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

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