EXCLUSIVE: New tentative deal for Toronto outside workers moves goal posts on 'jobs-for-life'

A City of Toronto garbage truck is seen in an undated file photo.

NEWSTALK 1010 has exclusively obtained details of the tentative collective agreement reached between the City of Toronto and its 5,000 unionized outdoor workers.

The agreement, which is to be ratified by CUPE Local 416 members on Thursday and by city councillors on Friday, includes an average raise of 1.3 per cent over each of the next 5 years.

The first 3 years of the agreement call for 1 percent raises.

In the final two years of the CUPE Local 416 agreement, wage increases are as high as 1.75 per cent.

City sources close to the negotiations contend the raises are a win for Toronto ratepayers, considering unionized civil service workers doing similar jobs in Brampton recently signed a contract that included average raises of 2 per cent.

They add it is also in line with what the Ford government has offered Ontario's unionized teachers.

The city's bargaining team was also able to negotiate caps and restrictions into the union's benefits plan.

Where it looks like the city has been forced to step back is job security.

Mayor John Tory had a long-term goal of shrinking the number of Local 416 workers who qualify for the union's so-called 'jobs for life' provisions, in which senior employees cannot be left without a job in the event their position is outsourced to the private sector.

Before the tentative agreement was reached, Tory pledged that the city, "will not be going backward on jobs-for-life."

In the previous agreement reached with the union, a sunset clause was negotiated that would see only union members with 15 years of service at the end of 2019 qualify for this protection.

The document that workers and city councillors will vote on this week moves that cut-off back to 2024.

It is not clear how many additional workers might qualify for the jobs-for-life provision, if the agreement is approved by both sides.

A written statement from the Mayor's office insists that this is a deal that is 'affordable and responsible.'

City officials will not comment on what's in the document until its ratified by union workers and by city councillors.

That should happen Friday afternoon at a special meeting of city council.