TTC strike averted as union, management reach last-minute deal

TTC strike averted as union management reach last minute deal
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The union local that represents nearly 12,000 Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) workers says it has agreed to a “framework settlement” with management, averting a strike that would have caused chaos for millions of commuters.

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The Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 113 said in an update shortly after 11:30 p.m. that the framework for a new contract allows it to put a planned strike on hold. The union local had planned to strike just after midnight Thursday if no deal had been reached with the TTC.

As a result, the TTC transit system’s buses, streetcars, subways and Wheel-Trans vehicles will run normally on Friday.

“We will continue to work through details and to arrive at a fair and reasonable contract that we can recommend to our members to ratify,” ATU Local 113 said in the update.

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“Our demands have been reasonable. We asked the TTC for assurance on job security, for protections on contracting out our jobs, for improvement in benefits for active members and pensioners. Today we finally saw action on these critical issues.”

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WATCH | Toronto transit strike avoided with last-minute deal: 

Toronto transit strike avoided with last-minute deal

The union representing Toronto transit workers has reached a deal with the Toronto Transit Commission, meaning the city’s 1.3 million transit users are likely breathing a sigh of relief and won’t have to make alternate arrangements on their Friday commutes.

Marvin Alfred, president of ATU Local 113, told reporters that the mood at the bargaining table, despite the framework, has been one of frustration.

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“There is a culture here where we have an employer that stands in the way of progress,” Alfred said. “At times it feels as though they’re not really aligned with us in providing any sort of opportunities for transit delivered in a comprehensive way. We are frustrated.”

Framework covers 3 year period, union local says

Alfred said the framework covers a three year period until March 31, 2027. He wouldn’t provide details of the framework, saying there is more work to do before the union local presents a finalized agreement to its members.

“We do not have a deal at this time. We have a framework. We want to make sure that all the gaps are looked after before we take something to our members. We have to make sure it’s ironed out, to make sure it’s polished for our members,” Alfred said.

Alfred said that work will be done over the next couple of days before the union thinks about a schedule for ratification.

He said transit riders should be relieved that there is no strike, but he blamed the TTC for not agreeing to a framework earlier.

WATCH | ATU Local 113 President Marvin Alfred speaks to reporters: 

Union president discusses ‘framework settlement’ reached with TTC

ATU Local 113 president Marvin Alfred spoke to reporters after the union local that represents some three quarters of the agency’s workers said it had reached a “framework settlement” with the TTC that allowed it to put a planned strike on hold.

Coun. Jamaal Myers, chair of the TTC board, said both sides reached a “tentative agreement.” He said he hopes the board will approve the agreement at its next meeting.

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“This deal reflects the commitment to maintaining high standards of service for transit riders, while also valuing the hard work that ATU Local 113 members perform each and every day,” Myers said.

“Most importantly, this deal will keep Toronto moving. Torontonians and their families can sleep tonight with comfort knowing that the TTC will be there for them tomorrow.”

TTC CEO Rick Leary said the tentative deal is a good one for employees, the city and the transit agency.

“For the next three years, we have confirmed service in the city with the TTC,” Leary said. “Nobody wanted a strike tomorrow,” he said.

“We still have to dot the i’s and cross the t’s. You can imagine there’s lot of wording that has to be confirmed, but that’s a normal process when it comes to bargaining and negotiating. And over the coming weeks.”

Leary said the deal will have to be ratified by the union rank and file before it’s taken to the TTC board.

In a statement, Leary added that the TTC is not prepared to talk about specifics of the deal because it’s not yet ratified by the union and approved by the board.

WATCH | TTC officials speak to the media: 

TTC chair, CEO praise ‘tentative deal’ with transit workers’ union

TTC Chair Jamaal Myers and CEO Rick Leary expressed confidence that the framework settlement reached with the union representing around 12,000 transit workers will guarantee service on Toronto’s public transit system for the next three years.

The union represents operators, fare collectors, maintenance and station staff and other frontline employees who account for roughly three-quarters of all TTC staff.

The two sides had been in collective bargaining since February, with union representatives saying previously that wages, benefits and job security were the main sticking points in talks. 

Union members voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action in April, after their previous collective agreement expired at the end of March.

This was the first time unionized TTC workers were in a legal strike position since 2011. Last year, an Ontario Superior Court judge ruled that a 2011 law that forbade them from walking off the job was unconstitutional.



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