It’s a fictional notion that all City of Toronto employees enjoy good, stable jobs with benefits. Shockingly, half of CUPE Local 79’s members are part time or temporary workers, many of whom have little or no benefits, nor stable shifts they can rely on to make ends meet. And their average salary is nowhere near the $85,000 figure the City is using!
Consider the case of part-time workers in the City’s Shelters: management requires them to be available 24 hours a day without any guarantee that they will receive a single shift. This makes finding supplementary work nearly impossible, it disrupts families, and it makes arranging child care extremely difficult. This is a shameful practice, making the workers who deal with some of our most vulnerable residents vulnerable themselves. Shelters and similar services are key anti-poverty measures – and should be delivered by workers with stable, secure jobs.
Also, a small but important correction to a recent claim by the City:
In 2012 Local 79 was forced by the City to put a final offer to its members in all four bargaining units. It was not “overwhelmingly approved” as claimed by the City, in fact two of four units rejected it outright, and it was barely approved at the other two units.
Tim Maguire, President, CUPE Local 79