Media Advisory - City of Toronto media briefing on contingency plan



    Media Briefing

    TORONTO, June 29 /CNW/ - The City of Toronto continues to work towards a
negotiated settlement with the Toronto Civic Employees' Union Local 416 (CUPE)
and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 79.
    The City will hold a media briefing and update on the City's contingency
plan later today. This is the only planned media availability for the City
today. The City will not be conducting one-on-one media interviews with
individual outlets. To ensure the public continues to understand the
contingency plan media can call to clarify information in the plan. During the
labour disruption the Media Relations contact line is 416-338-7768.
    The City will immediately issue news releases and/or hold additional news
conferences on any major developments.

    
    City of Toronto media briefing:
    -------------------------------

    Date:     TODAY, June 29

    Time:     2:30 p.m.

    Location: Metro Hall, 55 John Street, main floor. Media are asked to
              enter through the King Street entrance. Trucks can park on the
              patio in front of the building (at the King Street entrance).

    Statement

    City encourages Local 79 to return to meaningful negotiations
    

    The City of Toronto today called on Canadian Union of Public Employees
(CUPE) Local 79 to bargain face-to-face and respond faster to proposals being
tabled by the City.
    The City wants a negotiated settlement to be reached at the bargaining
table and is prepared to work around the clock to make that happen.
Unfortunately, the Local 79 negotiating team is not responding quickly or is
refusing to respond to City proposals. Since Sunday June 21, 2009 Local 79 has
been available for less t than six hours of meetings, either directly or
through the mediator. The delays in responding to City proposals is slowing
the bargaining process and delaying an end to the strike and getting employees
back to work.
    The City wants a resolution to the strike as quickly as possible and a
return to normal services but the City must have the Local's cooperation to
resolve outstanding issues. The City continues to believe a strike was
unnecessary, however the City cannot simply agree to all of Local 79's
requests in order to end the strike. The bargaining process must be allowed to
work and the City wants Local 79 to demonstrate that it shares the City's
commitment to resolving matters as quickly as possible.
    The City continues to believe that the collective agreements being
negotiated must be fair to employees, affordable to Torontonians and contain
the flexibility required to continue to provide the vast number of services
the City delivers within Toronto's many diverse communities.
    Given the City's financial circumstances, operating budget pressures and
the ongoing economic recession, it is important that collective agreements
reflect the financial ability of the City.
    The City remains committed to reaching a negotiated settlement at the
bargaining table as this is the best way to maintain a positive workplace and
provide the best service delivery for residents and businesses.
    The City has implemented a contingency plan for the duration of the
labour disruption. Residents and businesses with questions about the
contingency plan may contact Access Toronto by calling at 416-338-0338 / TTY
416-338-0889 or emailing accesstoronto@toronto.ca. Access Toronto is open 24
hours a day, 7 days a week and therefore residents may call after normal
business hours when call volumes may be lower. Updated information about City
services and programs is also available at www.toronto.ca.
    Visit our website at www.toronto.ca





For further information:

For further information: Media contact: City of Toronto Media Relations
line during the labour disruption - (416) 338-7768; Public information: call
Access Toronto, seven days a week, 24 hours at day, at (416) 338-0338


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