The settlement reached with CUPE was well within the mandate set by Council’s Labour Relations Committee which has Councillors from all parts of the city and all political stripes. The wage increase works out to a modest and affordable 2% a year in these tough economic times.
The sick bank is being phased out and has been replaced with a short term illness and injury disability plan ( IIP). It will be phased out by a number of methods – buy out, freeze out and grandparenting. This is the same approach taken by Mississauga, the Region of Peel, the former city of Etobicoke and the former East York when they phased out their sick leave plans. Toronto’s sick leave liability will be reduced by $140 million over the next five years. This is far from a “cave-in” as some opposition Councillors have suggested.
I want to assure you that I believe we achieved the best possible agreements that could have been reached. A rejection of these agreements would have meant a renewal of the strike. Since the settlements met the mandate of fair and affordable, the only responsible thing to do was to ratify the agreement.
I want to thank all residents and business for your patience and extra efforts during this difficult time.
I have heard from many of you asking for me to vote no because it was ‘too much” and others because it was “too little”. Others wanted me to vote to end the strike because they think it is a fair settlement and they want to get back into our pools and our parks.. Politicians are elected to make decisions – often difficult decisions. I want to assure you my decision to end this strike was made after a thorough weighing of facts and consequences.
Here is information for you on resumption of City Services.
www. toronto.ca will have regularly updated information
Access Toronto - 416-338-0338 will be operating 24/7 with details on when each city service will be up and running.
Here are a few highlights of interest for Parks and Recreation, Waste Collection and Permits
• The City’s outdoor pools are expected to open between Wednesday, August 5 and Saturday, August 8. Check the list of pools that have been opened. Some openings may be delayed due to maintenance or operational issues.
• Instructional programs at outdoor pools may resume as early as Wednesday, August 5. Please confirm the availability of your program after August 4. Information will be changing so please check regularly for updates.
• Leisure swim programs at the City’s indoor pools are expected to resume Wednesday, August 5. Instructional programs at indoor pools may resume as early as Thursday, August 6. Please confirm the availability of your program after August 4. Information will be changing so please check regularly for updates.
• Wading pools will re-open on Wednesday, August 5. There may be some delayed openings due to required maintenance.
• Registered camp programs run by Parks, Forestry and Recreation are tentatively scheduled to resume on Monday, August 10.
• Two week sessions that should have begun on Tuesday, August 4 will be reduced to one week if necessary.
• Registrants can expect to be contacted directly by phone by program staff prior to commencement.
• Some programs may be cancelled or modified due to low program registration or to the unavailability of staff. To confirm the status of your camp program or call your local community centre after Friday, July 31.
• Considerable maintenance (including litter removal, grass-cutting and turf rehabilitation) must be carried out at sports fields before we are able to resume full operations. Premier and Class A sports fields are expected to re-open on Saturday August 8, weather permitting, for existing permit holders. It may take as long as two weeks before all Class B and C fields receive their first cut. To check on the status of your permit, contact Customer Service at 416-392-8188 after Tuesday, August 4.
• Requests for new permits for sports fields will not be taken until Monday, August 10.
Parks will continue to be open for casual use. Previously booked special event permits will resume on Saturday, August 8 to allow staff time to cut grass, collect and remove litter and garbage. To check on the status of your permit, please contact Customer Service at 416-392-8188 after August 4.
Curb-side collection of green bin, recycling, garbage and yard waste
• Collection will resume starting on Tuesday, August 4.
• Follow your collection calendar regarding day of collection and material to be collected (i.e. do not put out garbage if scheduled for recycling collection).
• Return to separating your material and placing it in the appropriate bin. Green Bin collection will resume on your scheduled pick-up day starting on August 4.
• Unlimited waste or recycling may be put out for your first two collections of both garbage and reclying after the labour disruption (i.e. two garbage pick-ups and two recycling pick-ups). No yellow tags needed for garbage. Extra recycling should be placed in clear plastic bags. This will be in effect for four weeks only following service resumption.
• On scheduled pick-up day, leave materials at the curb until collected. Crews may be delayed in finishing their routes.
• Full service for the issuance of parking permits will begin on Friday, July 31. The City will allow a grace period until Friday, August 14 for customers to purchase their parking permits and to return for cancellation any parking tags/tickets received during the labour disruption due to their inability to obtain a parking permit.
• When purchasing a permit, residents should follow the same directions as noted on our permit parking website
• Please note that any permit parking related tickets will be cancelled through our Permit Parking Service Counters located at City Hall and East York Civic Centre only between 8:30 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. weekdays.
• More information about Permit Parking in the City of Toronto
• All building permit counters will be open on Friday, July 31.
o Please wait until August 10, 2009 before requesting general zoning or Building Code information at our Customer Service counters or by telephone. Pending issues and information requests that were received prior to the strike will be given first priority.
• Building Inspectors will begin to take requests for inspection on Friday, July 31. There will be some delays in processing your inspection requests initially, but regular service will resume as soon as possible.
• More information about Toronto Building
Thank you again for your incredible patience during these last 5 weeks. As always, please call or email me with any concerns or questions.