Mediator unlikely to help resume talks, Kinnear says
Transit union head Bob Kinnear is not optimistic a meeting with a provincial mediator tomorrow will be successful in kick-starting talks with the TTC.
It’s unlikely the mediator will be able to resolve the issue of compensation for workers injured on the job — the deal-breaker that caused the union to walk away from bargaining Monday, he told the Toronto Star.
Workers who take short-term leave following a job-related injury now lose 25 per cent of their pay. If they qualify for worker’s compensation, they still lose 15 per cent, said Kinnear. Ordinary sick days are compensated at 100 per cent.
"We feel that it is completely justifiable that when we have members that are being punched, kicked and spat upon, that there is no financial penalty to them," he said, adding the TTC has refused to say what such a move might cost.
But Kinnear said the union is "trying to do everything to avoid a strike," because his 8,900 members don’t want to compound the frustration of riders already fed up with overcrowding and poor service.
Mayor David Miller prodded both sides to resume talks. "I urge both the union and TTC management to be at the bargaining table; that’s where these things need to be resolved," he said yesterday.