Labour disruption averted

Heading out to grab his Sunday morning coffee, Frank De Rocchis says he was happy to wake up to news that a looming labour stoppage was likely off the table.

“That’s good news,” said the Deer Park retiree. “You don’t want a disruption of garbage, snow removal, ice arenas.”

It’s a thought likely crossing the minds of many Toronto residents who were bracing for a city service disruption after a bargaining deadline between the city and the union representing outside workers came and went early Sunday morning.

Nine hours after a midnight deadline, both sides emerged to announce a tentative agreement had been reached.

“We are extremely excited in fact that we were able to resolve this through direct negotiations,” CUPE Local 416 president Mark Ferguson told reporters.

Mayor Rob Ford echoed that sentiment, saying today is “a great day, an absolutely fantastic day” for Torontonians.

The mood was vastly different on Friday, when negotiations seemed like they had taken a turn for the worse. Ferguson told reporters then that the city put a “threatening” offer on the table.

[font=Times New Roman]During the bargaining process, the union had offered what they said were significant proposals with concessions, including a three-year wage freeze and a five-year restriction on employment security. [/font]

[font=Times New Roman]But the city said Friday they weren’t budging on their terms and conditions, which give the administration greater control and flexibility over wage protection, shift scheduling, employment security and redeployment of workers. [/font]

[font=Times New Roman][/font]The details of the tentative agreement were not released on Sunday, as it must first be ratified by union members and city council. [font=’Times New Roman’]