Union members verified and voted at a meeting on Sunday on the adoption of a four-year collective agreement. More than 400 unionized employees went on strike on May 11 after breaches of contractual agreements due to job security and language issues in the contract, which the new employees would refuse to protect themselves, which the union described as “two-tier” safety. Union members include zookeepers, veterinary technicians, maintenance personnel and mechanics. The Toronto Zoo and its union have agreed on a temporary reduction in wages and hours for all permanent employees to avoid further layoffs. “Our members understood that their negotiating committee negotiated the best possible agreement on their behalf. The strike may be over, but our commitment to put in place for good jobs and the animals we care for will never stop,” she added. Following today`s ratification vote, the interim agreement awaits ratification by the Toronto Zoo Management Board, which is expected to take place on Monday. After ratification by both parties, the zoo is expected to reopen this week. A month-long strike at Canada`s largest zoo is now one step closer after members of Local 1600 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE 1600) voted to ratify a four-year collective agreement.
“While we look forward to returning to work and caring for the animals we care for so much, our employer should not be under any illusions that it was an easy decision for us to decide together. It was a month of struggle, for the right reasons, and I am incredibly proud of what our members have accomplished,” said Christine McKenzie, President of CUPE 1600. Toronto Zoo spokeswoman Jennifer Tracey said if the board ratifies the agreement, the zoo could be reopened Thursday. No details were released on the four-year contract, but the union identified job security as a problem. The zoo`s board of directors ratified an interim collective agreement on Monday after being informed by its negotiating team. Members of Local 1600 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees voted on Sunday to ratify the agreement. The agreement will enter into force on Saturday and will apply until June 6, when it will be re-evaluated. We are grateful for our support as we continue to care for our 5,000 animals. Here are some ways to support the zoo until we reopen: At the beginning of the strike, a llama, suffering from a series of age-related disorders, died and another animal was stillborn, but no deaths were due to the strike, she added.
“The animals are doing very well. They were cared for by self-employed people who worked under the supervision of wildlife keepers, caregivers, caretakers, veterinarians and curators at the Toronto Zoo, each with decades of experience with these animals,” she said. Ticket sales are a significant part of the zoo`s revenues and have been closed to the public since March 13 due to the COVID 19 pandemic. She said the zoo would not comment on the contract until after Monday`s meeting. “We would like to thank our guests, members and customers for their patience during the work stoppage and look forward to continuing to support the Toronto Zoo as a world leader in nature protection, education and science programs,” the zoo said in a statement Monday. . Jennifer Tracey, a spokeswoman for the Toronto Zoo, said her 5,000 animals were well cared for during the strike.