Settlement at University of Toronto, Strike Over

May 21, 2009, 10:00 AM EST

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CAW Local 2003 members who work as operating engineers at the University of Toronto have ratified a new three-year agreement by 97 per cent, ending a strike that started May 2.

The new contract includes increases to wages of three per cent in each year, a $300 return to work bonus, a new child care benefit, PEL funding and numerous benefit improvements.

The employer had originally demanded a one-year deal with a 1.5 per cent wage increase.

"This struggle has clearly demonstrated to the university that the solidarity of our membership could not be broken and it is that unity that set the stage in achieving the gains in this round of negotiations," said Pat Warren, Local 2003 President.

The CAW represents 84 members who work at three University of Toronto campuses - downtown, Scarborough and Mississauga. These CAW members are responsible for heating, cooling and ventilation at all university buildings, including more than 160 buildings on the downtown St. George campus. 

The local executive expressed thanks to all those who stopped at picket lines and sent messages of support. They also thanked CAW Local 40 for opening their union hall in downtown Toronto to CAW Local 2003.

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