5519 Crossing Guards Team
A multi-ethnic group of elementary students are on their way to school. The children are crossing the street with the assistance of a smiling crossing guard. The male crossing guard is happy to help the kids stay safe. It's a rainy day and the children are wearing rain coats and rain boots. The crossing guard is holding a stop sign and his wearing a reflective safety vest.

Toronto is about to decide which companies win the contracts for more than 700 crossing guard positions around the city. And they are threatening to contract-flip on a group of unionized workers.

City of Toronto staff have already made their recommendation. Nearly 385 workers with ASP Security Services – the majority of whom are Black and brown women – just won their first collective agreement after a year-long fight. Now city staff are trying to flip their contact and push them out of work. The City would rather save a few dollars than treat workers fairly. But we still have time to pressure city councilors to do the right thing.

The City of Toronto has a chance to ensure crossing guards are treated well and paid fairly. Tell City Councillors to do the right thing.  

When CUPE organizers started working with Carraway – the other major company bidding – management did everything they could to undermine worker power. They didn’t want their workers to unionize because they didn’t want to have to treat them fairly.

Now the City is on the cusp of rewarding them – and punishing the brave workers at ASP Security Services who organized themselves to have a say in their future.

The General Government Committee is meting on May 30. The committee is made up Alejandra Bravo, James Pasternak, Stephen Holyday, Lily Cheng, Josh Matlow, and Gord Perks. They need to hear from the public about this. They need to know that we are watching and we demand better. They need to live up to their promises to be a fair employer and do right by hard working Torontonians.

LETTER: The City of Toronto is a major employer and has a duty to ensure its workers are treated well. The city even has a Fair Wages Policy and wants to be known as a fair employer. Yet city staff have recommended to flip contracts on the newly organized CUPE Local 5519 working for A.S.P. Security Services.

This group of more than 350 crossing guards – the majority of whom are Black and brown women – fought for more than a year for their first collective agreement and to achieve improvements in wages and benefits. Now you are threatening to undermine that work in a race to the bottom that will hurt workers and communities.

Crossing guards put their lives on the line every day to keep kids and communities safe, dealing with aggressive drivers at some of our city’s busiest intersections. They deserve to be looked after by their employer. They deserve a decent wage, adequate sick days, and benefits.

The other companies being considered don’t provide any of that.

Workers at ASP, meanwhile, recently organized for the types of jobs that will attract and retain dedicated workers, ensuring we don’t face the type of chronic crossing guard shortages other municipalities across the province have experienced. They’ll keep workers safe by ensuring they can stay home when sick. And they’ll guarantee better services for communities as workers have a collective voice through CUPE.

In January, City Councilor’s voted overwhelmingly to update the wage schedule of the city’s Fair Wages Policy. You voted that way because you recognized – as all Torontonians recognize – that the people who work in our city need to be able to afford to live here.

You have a chance to help ensure that the City lives up to that promise on May 30 when you vote on the next round of crossing guard contracts.

Please, do the right thing and award the crossing guard contract to unionized workers at ASP who have organized for a say in their future.




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