2012 lockout/strike in the media (6)
March 21 - March 29
Setup: 25-Mar-2012 
FRom CP24, March 29, 2012
The city will not improve on the offer that part-time recreation workers rejected Wednesday, officials said at a news conference Thursday morning.
Part-time recreation workers are the only remaining members of CUPE Local 79 that could walk off the job or be locked out, after two other bargaining units voted in favour of the city's latest offer Wednesday.
A fourth bargaining unit representing long-term care homes and services workers also voted against the offer, but the unit is classified as an essential service, meaning binding arbitration will decide their next contract.
From Globe and Mail, March 24, 2012
The City of Toronto and its largest union were still at the table Saturday, working past a midnight deadline in an effort to prevent a labour disruption that would shut down municipal daycares, recreation centres and swimming pools, among other services.
Jackie DeSouza, a spokeswoman for the city, said the parties were back at the table at noon after taking a break for several hours in the morning.
"I can't speak to specific issues, but there certainly has been some progress through the night," she said.
Negotiators for CUPE Local 79 and the municipal government agreed hours earlier to keep negotiating past a 12:01 a.m. Saturday deadline. They haven’t set a new deadline yet, but deputy mayor Doug Holyday said early Saturday morning that may come later.
From The Star, March 24, 2012
Negotiators for the City of Toronto and 23,000 inside workers huddled in a downtown hotel Friday trying to make a deal that could prevent a strike or lockout possible as early as Saturday.
Talks continued past their 12:01 a.m. Saturday deadline.
“The city does have some serious concerns about our ability to make a deal, but we’re still talking,” city spokesman Jackie DeSouza said after midnight as both parties continued to bargain at the Sheraton Hotel.
The city responded Friday morning to CUPE Local 79 proposals tabled Thursday that would claw back ironclad job security from all permanent staff to only those with 10 years’ or more seniority.
From CP24, March 24, 2012
The city has abruptly cancelled a news conference, where they were expected to make a "major announcement" on negotiations with CUPE Local 79.
The news conference was to be held at 9:45 p.m., but was cancelled without warning.
In an email to CP24 City of Toronto Spokesperson Jackie DeSouza said the news conference was cancelled because of an unknown "development".
From Corey Broster, March 24, 2012
I am a pessimist at the best of times. Many people have advised me to be optimistic about the negotiations but I have been unable to do so. As I follow the little bytes of information that have been coming out of the Sheraton Hotel since last night my perspective has not changed. I expect the City will make an announcement at some point in the next 12 hours that will mean an end to the current negotiations. I do not think the City will seek to impose a contract either. I hope I am wrong and that the negotiations will continue without any action taken by the City. But I am prepared for a work disruption happening within the next 24 to 72 hours and for the sake of my friends and colleagues in the City and in Local 79, I am committed to any action that protects us from contracting out, from massive job layoffs, poor benefits coverage and also that protects part time workers in job security and scheduling by seniority. There is an article you should read, if you haven’t already, that indicates Mayor Ford will insist on defeating CUPE in these negotiations to recover from his defeat in the LRT/Subway decision.
From The Star, March 23, 2012
With Saturday’s strike date looming, the union representing Toronto’s indoor workers has significantly softened its position on job security, its president told the Star’s editorial board Thursday.
Under the city’s February deal with CUPE Local 416, outdoor workers are protected from outsourcing-related layoffs after 15 years of service.
Until now, CUPE Local 79, the indoor workers’ union, had proposed that no outsourcing be permitted — a notion Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday called outlandish.
President Tim Maguire acknowledged that the proposal was a mere bargaining chip meant to counter the city’s extreme initial proposal to eliminate job security for all employees. At present, all permanent full-time employees are protected.
The union’s latest offer, submitted to the city late Thursday, would protect workers only after 10 years of service. The 10-year threshold would cover about 70 per cent of Local 79 members, the same percentage of Local 416 members that are covered by the 15-year threshold, Maguire said.
Maguire said the new offer also includes several other major concessions.
From The Star, March 21, 2012
An “overwhelming majority” of the City of Toronto’s inside workers have given their union a mandate to strike, the union says.
CUPE Local 79, representing 23,000 workers, announced the result of Tuesday’s strike vote in a new release early Wednesday morning.
Over 85 per cent of voting workers supported the strike mandate, Local 79 president Tim Maguire said at a Wednesday news conference. He called turnout “historic” but refused to give an actual figure.
The release said that having the mandate in down-to-the-wire talks with city negotiators this week will “assist the union in reaching a fair settlement, as well as protect workers from potential threats the city may make to strip workers of basic employment protections,” by unilaterally changing their terms and conditions of employment.