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Press release content from Business Wire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

Toronto Zoo Workers Ratify New Contract With City of Toronto

April 19, 2021 GMT

TORONTO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Apr 19, 2021--

Animal caretakers and other staff, represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 1600, have concluded bargaining and voted overwhelmingly to ratify a new five-year collective agreement.

“I am incredibly proud of our bargaining team for their solidarity as we reach a new agreement that enhances the well-being of the Zoo’s animals and our members who care for them,” says Cassia Devison, President of CUPE Local 1600. “The contract includes job security improvements, strengthens our hiring processes and retention of specialized staff, and makes important strides to enhance equity, diversity, and inclusion at Canada’s largest zoo.”

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The goal of negotiations is always to improve working conditions for dedicated and highly experienced staff so that they can continue providing life-sustaining care and enrichment to the animals, conduct world-leading research, provide public education, and advance important conservation efforts.

“The welfare of the Zoo’s 5,000 plus animals relies on having expert staff who can enjoy meaningful, long-term, and sustainable careers at the Toronto Zoo,” says Devison. “This new agreement embodies a strong commitment to staff while starting necessary programs to ensure a vibrant, diverse, and equitable future of the Zoo.”

Through a new scholarship program and youth camps, CUPE members will build on their legacy of inspiring youth, especially those from equity seeking communities, to love nature, our planet, and conservation.

Earlier this month, CUPE Local 1600 voted 91 per cent in favor of striking, if necessary, in a stand to preserve and improve animal welfare. The employer filed a no-board with the Ministry of Labour, Training, and Skills Development on March 31 that triggered a 17-day countdown to an April 24 strike deadline, which has now been averted.

CUPE Local 1600 represents more than 400 zookeepers, horticulturalists, trades people, administrative and public relations staff, concession and ride operators at Toronto Zoo.

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View source version on businesswire.com:https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210419005887/en/

CONTACT: Paul Whyte

Communications Representative

CUPE Communications

647-212-9887

pwhyte@cupe.ca

KEYWORD: NORTH AMERICA CANADA

INDUSTRY KEYWORD: PUBLIC POLICY/GOVERNMENT HEALTH STATE/LOCAL PUBLIC POLICY LABOR VETERINARY

SOURCE: Canadian Union of Public Employees

Copyright Business Wire 2021.

PUB: 04/19/2021 04:28 PM/DISC: 04/19/2021 04:28 PM

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210419005887/en