Toronto Parking Authority Strike December 20, 2008?

Update:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

The collective agreement between the City of Toronto and Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 416, representing the workers at the Toronto Parking Authority, expired on March 31, 2008. The Bargaining Committee of Local 416 CUPE met with the City of Toronto almost a dozen times prior to filing for conciliation and on four (4) occasions since the Ministry of Labour appointed a Conciliation Officer.

The former president of Local 416, Brian Cochrane, who had been the local president since the creation of Local 416 CUPE in 1997 recently stepped aside and Mark Ferguson, who was vice-president at the time, became the Local’s 2nd President.

CUPE Local 416 President Mark Ferguson wants a fair collective agreement. On December 7, 2008 the Toronto Parking Authority workers voted 80% in favour of going on strike, as early as 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, December 20, 2008, when the Union is in a legal strike position.

Almost 50% of the Toronto Parking Authority workers are students, out of the almost 300 Toronto Parking Authority workers across the City. The City of Toronto refuses to provide any benefits to these workers and in negotiations refused to offer any benefits or pay in lieu of benefits. The Union requested an additional holiday day and the City of Toronto refused.

Earlier this year the City of Toronto spoke of their intentions to begin to sell off City of Toronto assets in a report named the “Blue Ribbon Report”. Local 416 believes that there is a distinct possibility that the City of Toronto may be thinking of selling the Toronto Parking Authority or contracting it out to private companies. In response to this real possibility, Local 416 had contract demands on a “no contracting out” provision in their collective agreement, as well as a “job security” provision, in the event that the City of Toronto decided to sell the Toronto Parking Authority. The City of Toronto flatly refused to agree to these contract demands. City News

Local 416 is 100% committed to trying to bargain a collective agreement with the assistance of a provincially appointed mediator. Mediation is tentatively scheduled for December 18 & 19, 2008.

For more information Local 416 CUPE

The Toronto Parking Authority’s $10 million folly: To stop rampant use of invalid credit cards to obtain free parking, the TPA approved a $10 million purchase of new credit card readers in 2006 for its 2,700 pay-and-display meters on city streets.

The cost was about $3,840 each – by far the priciest card readers we could find in weeks of research. To the embarrassment of the TPA, we revealed that the new readers were no less vulnerable to bogus cards than the ones they replaced.

It took the parking authority at least six months to find a way to get their card readers to refuse our cancelled credit card. Even today, the meters are ripe for the picking. (This is an exerpt from the Toronto Star)

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