However, Kaplan rejected these proposals and wrote in his decision that such a “drastic change” in the terms of the contract was not demonstrated. A provincial arbitrator awarded the TTC`s largest union a new three-year contract in a decision that prevented the transit agency from removing job security protection from the collective agreement. “Toronto`s hard-working public transportation workers welcome the new collective agreement that recognizes our crucial role in the communities we serve through fair wages and social benefits. From the outset of the trial, ATU Local 113 came to the table in good faith to negotiate an agreement and, despite the TTC`s efforts to shorten, shorten and suspend the talks, the arbitrator agreed that the contract should be concluded for years and should not be based on draconian and unfair concessions. The Arbitrator also rejected the TTC`s assertion that the City of Toronto workers were an appropriate man of comparison with our 11,000 skilled transit workers and agreed that comparisons with Metrolinx, Mississauga MiWay and Brampton Transit were more appropriate. To be clear, whatever the outcome, the interest rate arbitration procedure does not replace the Charter`s fundamental right to free collective bargaining, which was denied to ATU Local 113 by the lifting of the right to strike by previous governments. The TTC had attempted to remove the language from the agreement prohibiting the allocation of shipping services. It also wanted permission to introduce a part-time worker and eliminate the requirement to pay a 25 per cent per hour bonus to workers who work on Sundays. “Toronto`s hard-working public transportation workers welcome the new collective agreement that recognizes our crucial role in the communities we serve through fair wages and benefits,” Frank Grimaldi, president of Local 113, said in a statement.
The dispute over a new contract ended this month with an interest arbitration procedure, after the union and the TTC failed to reach an agreement through collective bargaining and mediation. While Grimaldi said the union was satisfied with the award, he said that arbitration “does not replace the Charter`s fundamental right to free collective bargaining, which was denied to ATU Local 113 by the lifting of the right to strike by previous governments.” With the new collective agreement now in place, ATU Local is asking the new Toronto 113 City Council and TTC to join us in countering the provincial government`s threat to split the TTC by taking its subway and putting it on the fast track of privatization, higher rates and reduced service for drivers. On several key issues, Arbitrator William Kaplan`s October 23 decision sided with amalgamated Transit Union Local 113, which represents approximately 11,000 TTC transit operators, fare collectors and maintenance workers. The award ends a seven-month stalemate between the two parties – the old collective agreement expired on March 31.
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