CUPE Local 79, union for 22,000 Toronto inside workers, requests no-board report

With a potential work stoppage already looming in less than a week with its outside workers, the union representing Toronto’s inside workers is heading in the same direction.

On Friday afternoon, CUPE Local 79, which represents more than 22,000 inside workers for the City of Toronto, said it was requesting a no-board report.

Local 79, along with the city’s outside workers in Local 416, have been without a contract since it expired at the end of 2019.

Once granted by the Ministry of Labour, a no-board report starts a 17-day countdown for when workers can either go on strike or be locked out by the city. In a statement, Local 79 cited “a lack of meaningful discussion on significant outstanding issues” for its request.

READ MORE: Toronto unveils contingency plan for potential labour disruption involving outside workers

In the statement, Local 79 President Dave Mitchell accused the city of being unwilling to talk.

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“With us, they just dropped their concessions down and left,” said Mitchell in the statement, “so we’re going to use every tool we have to bring them to the table and bargain.”

Depending on when it is granted by the province, the strike or lock-out date will likely be around March 18. At the deadline, both parties are allowed to remain at the bargaining table to avoid a labour disruption.

Local 79 represents thousands of city of Toronto staff including planners and IT workers. The union said the most significant sticking point in its contract negotiations is job security. It also said there hasn’t been any movement to improve working conditions for part-time and recreation members.

City of Toronto details plan in case of outdoor worker job action

In a statement, the city’s director of communications, Brad Ross, said the goal of bargaining has been to reach a settlement that is fair to employees and affordable for residents. Much like the city’s negotiations with Local 416, Ross said the major issues to resolve with inside workers is job security, wages, benefits, and parental leave.

Ross said Local 79 requested the province provide a conciliation officer to help reach an agreement. Following the first meeting with the conciliation officer Friday, Ross said the union advised the city of its request for a no-board report.

READ MORE: Talks break down amid finger pointing but city and union say negotiations should resume

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The city requested a no-board report in connection with stalled negotiations with outside workers. It was granted earlier in the month by the province paving the way for a potential work stoppage next Thursday.

Earlier in the week, the city provided details on its contingency plan in the event of work stoppage with Local 416. If that occurs, waste collection east of Yonge Street will be interrupted.

City council and committee meetings will also be cancelled along with the suspension of programming at rec centres, pools, arenas, and ice rinks, all of which would be closed.