August 1, 2009
After 5 long weeks the strike is over.
I want to update you on the details of yesterday’s settlement and
the resumption of city services.
On Friday after a long debate, City Council voted to end the city
workers strike. While there had been much information circulating in
the previous days, on Friday the actual details of the settlement were
made public for the first time. You can read it at
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
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
• 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,
• 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
• 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
• 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.
• 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
• 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