Union members, city councillors ratify agreement

Garbage should continue to be picked up in communities east of Yonge Street for the next five years, with the ratification of an agreement between the city and its outside workers.

Both the city and union have voted to ratify the agreement reached by negotiators last week to keep 5,000 outside workers on the job.

City councillors voted to support the agreement at a special meeting of council earlier today. All 20 of the councillor present at the meeting voted in favour.

Yesterday the members of CUPE Local 416 also ratified the agreement.

“Our members look forward to continuing to provide the quality service residents depend on and expect for the next five years,” local president Eddie Mariconda said when the ratification was announced in a press release today.

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“We always believed that a freely-negotiated deal that was fair to the City and our members, and that protected vital public services to residents, was achievable,” Mariconda said.

The agreement achieves all the objectives the union set out for the bargaining process, the press release stated.

The details of the five-year agreement include annual wage increases of 1 per cent for three years and 1.75 per cent for two years, improvements to benefits and continued job security for employees with 15 years seniority.

Negotiators announced late on Feb. 28 a tentative deal had been reached to avert a work stoppage that could have gone into effect after midnight that day.

The city and union had been bargaining since September 2019. The outdoor workers have been without a contract since the previous contract expired Dec. 31.

A work stoppage would have meant garbage not being picked up from residences east of Yonge Street, as well as the closing of community centres, pools, arenas, outdoor rinks and other facilities.