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February 2012 President’s Report

Dear Fellow Local 79 Member:

Both Local 416 and the City have now ratified the contract settlement that was reached on February 5th. Local 416 beat back many of the worst concessions in the face of an all-out attack by the Ford Administration.

The City’s bargaining focus will soon turn to Local 79. It remains to be seen whether the City will now consider that the key features of the Local 416 settlement have created an iron framework to be forced upon Local 79 in the same way the City did to Local 416. We will continue to emphasize that bargaining between the City and Local 79 requires a different approach. We reiterate that Local 79, unlike Local 416, has four bargaining units – three of them encompass thousands of part-time workers. We have more than 400 job classifications, covering a variety of important City services. Your bargaining committee continues to work hard on your behalf, in the midst of an extremely tough negotiating environment. We will not be deterred from endeavouring to obtain the best possible settlements for our members.

Bargaining dates have been scheduled until the end of February, and a “no board” report has not yet been requested. We strongly urge you not to listen to rumours. We are not interested in bargaining through the media. Local 79 is committed to keeping members informed: We continue to post regular Bargaining Bulletins on the members’ Portal, and we will host further telephone town halls meetings.

At City Council’s January vote on the 2012 Budget, an Omnibus motion by Councillor Josh Colle reversed many major proposed budget cuts, such as:  child care centre programming; Priority Centre Youth programs; ice rink funding; pool funding; funding of shelters; proposed user fees for children, youth and older adults in priority centres.  

However, the 2012 budget still cuts $59 million from the City finances, resulting in the loss of more than 500 full-time equivalents (FTE’s) for Local 79, affecting most City Divisions. Cuts to the Youth Outreach Program will be re-evaluated as part of the Recreation Service Review with a report going to City Council. Unfortunately, by a narrow vote, Council failed to reverse the contracting out of cleaning jobs in City facilities.

Local 79 is also very concerned about the degree to which some members will have their wages reduced as a result of the Part-Time Recreation Worker Harmonization Award. While a majority of members of the Part-Time Recreation Unit will have their wages increased, we are disappointed that the Local 79 arguments in favour of red-circling were rejected at arbitration. The Local is supportive of the concerns expressed by employees negatively affected by the Award. Concerns gathered through the Job Evaluation office will be raised directly with the City in an attempt to find solutions, understanding that this is the decision of an arbitrator. Local 79 will take whatever steps we can to address wage rates of members that were reduced by Mr. Kaplan’s award. 

The sale of over 700 social housing units at TCHC is still being debated. The controversial sale of hundreds of family homes will be on the agenda of the Executive Committee on February 17th. Local 79 has argued that if these ‘stand-alone’ units are sold, it will devastate hundreds of family units. The selling off of these homes will only serve to marginalize and isolate people further.

At Bridgepoint Hospital, Local 79 representatives continue to meet with management monthly to ensure fair treatment of Local 79 members as the process of transition to the new hospital unfolds. We will continue to seek additional dates for conciliation in the Nurses and Paramedical contract negotiations.

Join us March 3rd for the 2012 Annual Toronto International Women’s Day Rally and March. This year’s theme is “Good Jobs, Services, Dignity: Reclaim Our City”. The rally starts at 11 am at OISE, 252 Bloor Street West. A march – to support City workers and the public services they provide – will leave from OISE and proceed to Nathan Phillips Square at City Hall, and end at Ryerson University.

*There are new features to access in the Members’ Portal*

Here’s what’s new: we’ve added a section on your Profile page called “My Politicians” that will enable you to contact the Mayor, your Councillor, Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) and Member of Parliament (MP) directly by email, phone, fax, mail and website. If you don’t live in the City your Councillor won’t be listed but the other politicians’ contacts will be available.

Also, you can now opt to receive the President’s Report, Notice of Meeting and Information Order form electronically. All other important information from Local 79 will continue to be mailed to your home address.

If you haven’t registered yet, please do so. The latest Bargaining Bulletins and updates are also posted in the Members’ Portal.

In Solidarity,

Tim Maguire
President

 

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Shall replenish. Tree doesn’t face. There which creepeth multiply fish unto of Seed. Behold made two Rule divided. Fruit form.

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