Note: This page contains outdated content and may not appear correctly.
Please Click Here to find recent news, events and information from CUPE Ontario.

TORONTO, ON – The leaders of three Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Locals representing City of Toronto Employees warned that the city’s most vulnerable people will suffer the most if Council does not step in and stop a budget that guts the services all Torontonians rely on.

“No one who cares about this City can sit quietly while this administration puts forward a budget of cutbacks and layoffs that will jeopardize the services people depend on and will hurt our city’s most vulnerable. This is yet another example of this City’s executive breaking promises and breaking faith with every Toronto resident,” said Ann Dembinski, President of CUPE Local 79, representing City of Toronto inside workers.

“Before the last Municipal Election, Torontonians were promised, “No cuts to services—guaranteed. The budget proposed by administration yesterday includes deep cuts, to some of the most critical and cherished services in our community,” said Mark Ferguson, President of the Toronto Civic Employees Union, CUPE 416, representing City of Toronto outside workers.

The budget proposal tabled by City management this week calls for deep cuts with profound negative consequences for transit, child care, shelters, libraries, community centres, priority neighbourhoods, and host of other critical services.

The union called on city council to consider alternatives to the cuts and layoffs and take steps to protect jobs and vital public services.

“Torontonians were also promised, ‘No Layoffs’. We learned from yesterday’s budget that 2,338 City employees will receive pink slips. Each of these employees represents a vital public service Torontonians will no longer be able to rely upon,” said CUPE 4948 President Maureen O’Reilly, who represents Toronto Public Library employees.

For months, City Administration and Mayor Rob Ford’s hand-picked Executive Committee have claimed the City faces a 2012 operating shortfall of $774 million, but have refused to provide City Councillors, activists, the media, unions and other concerned citizens with an accurate picture of the city’s finances. The city’s lack of disclosure had made it virtually impossible to fulfil its mandate of making informed decisions on behalf of their constituents.

The joint statement goes on to note that none of the cutbacks and layoffs are even necessary. City management admitted yesterday that the $774 million shortfall they have been claiming is overstated by more than a quarter-billion dollars. They also have admitted there is a $139 million—and growing—surplus for 2011.”

All three presidents urged City Councillors to “utilize all or part of $139 million (and growing) 2011 operating surplus, keeps property taxes in line with the annual inflation rate, and effectively makes use of the tools provided under the City of Toronto Act.


Click Here for the statement by the presidents of City of Toronto CUPE Locals.

For more information, please contact:

Kevin Wilson, CUPE Communications, 416-821-6641