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TTC workers accept contract proposal

By JEFF GRAY AND JORDAN PRESS

Friday, April 15, 2005 Page A10

Toronto Transit Commission workers yesterday accepted a contract proposal with the city.

More than 8,000 workers had been expected to vote at various polling stations yesterday. TTC sources said they expected workers would approve the deal. Last night, 60 per cent voted in favour.

TTC chairman Howard Moscoe said yesterday before the results of the vote were known that he had been hopeful the union members would accept the contract offer.

“I believe it’s a fair deal for our workers and a fair deal for the city,” he said yesterday.

Mr. Moscoe said management could do no better than the $166-million package agreed to on Sunday, which includes wage hikes, $600 a worker in special payments, increased pension contributions and new rules about contracting out and employee discipline.

“They’ve taken us to the cleaners. There’s nothing left to give — but blood,” he said.

TTC vice-chairman Joe Mihevc said he had hoped the workers would give it careful consideration.

“There’s enough in the deal that meets the needs and goals of the union and the workers, while at the same recognizing the city’s financial difficulties.”

Leaders of Local 113 of the Amalgamated Transit Union reached the tentative agreement with the city on Sunday afternoon, about 12 hours before workers had planned to stop all streetcars, subways and buses around Toronto. Union president Bob Kinnear said he recommended workers accept the contract.

The key to the deal was an extra $5.6-million to be paid out to union members in yearly cheques of $200 for three years, in addition to wage hikes and increased pension contributions.

Union officials were also concerned with the TTC contracting out work.

To ease these concerns, the three-year deal obligates the TTC to give the union six weeks notice before it outsources work.

Currently, that notice period is two weeks.

The new three-year deal, which replaces a three-year contract that expired March 31, will give workers raises each year: 2.75 per cent this year, 3 per cent next year and 3.25 per cent in 2007. The deal also includes pension and benefits increases.

Currently, a TTC bus driver with three years service makes $24.32 an hour. The last three-year contract gave unionized transit workers 3-per-cent annual raises.




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