Toronto outside workers ratify contract

Toronto's outside workers have voted in favour of a new four-year contract with the city.

Deal includes wage increases in 2nd, 3rd and 4th years

Outdoor workers ratify deal

10 years ago
Duration 1:40
Toronto’s outdoor workers ratified the deal offered to them by the city.

Toronto’s outside workers have voted in favour of the tentative settlement their union reached with the city last week.

Toronto's outside workers voted Monday in favour of a new four-year contract after their union reached the deal with the city last week. (CBC)

CUPE Local 416 president Mark Ferguson said 3,400 ballots were cast, with a large majority backing the new agreement. The union won't release final results of the vote because other bargaining units are still in negotiation with the city.

Details of the settlement are contained in a document you can view at the bottom of this story.

Deal will raise wages, trim back job security

In terms of wages, the agreement includes base-rate increases of 0.5 per cent in the second year, 1.75 per cent in the third year and 2.25 per cent in the fourth year of the deal. Workers are not being offered any wage increases in the first year.

A 1.5 per cent lump sum payment in the second year is also part of the deal.

With regard to the so-called "jobs for life" provisions that the city had been seeking to claw back, the deal stipulates that no permanent employee with 15 or more years experience will lose their job as a result of contracting out or privatization.

At one point during negotiations, the city had sought to eliminate similar job protection for workers with less than 25 years experience.

Paramedics will become an essential service, but they will not get arbitration.

That particular part of the deal had some paramedics urging their fellow union members to reject the deal.

Workers see give and take in settlement

Union members say the settlement is give and take: a pay raise but in return a reduction in some benefits and job security.

"I just want to keep my job," said Vic Grima, who was among the workers who voted on the deal Monday.

"A lot of the members, you know, we just want to keep working … I know we have to give a bit, but in this day and age, everybody's got to give a bit now right."

Leo Lapointe, a sewage treatment worker, told CBC News that both sides "gave a little" but, in the end, "everyone came to their senses and everybody’s a winner here."

Negotiations continue with CUPE Local 79, the union representing Toronto's 23,000 inside workers.

With files from The Canadian Press