Toronto Mayor David Miller was working the phones hard last night amid a chorus of criticism calling for councillors to vote down the city’s new deal with its civic workers.

City council was to meet Friday to sign off on the new three-year contract with its two CUPE locals, which ratified the deal over the last two days.

Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 416, representing Toronto’s 6,000 outside workers, voted Thursday by “a healthy margin” to return to work early Friday morning and get the city cleaned up, although curbside garbage collection for Toronto residents won’t begin until Tuesday.

Local 79, representing 24,000 inside workers, ratified the agreement Wednesday.

With a municipal election set for next year, the councillors face a tough balancing act.

On the one hand, the city gave in on the controversial sick bank. On the other hand, councillors know that voting down the agreement means prolonging the strike, which would also infuriate a public fed up with mounting garbage around the city.

It’s expected to be a close vote, with 11 fiscally conservative councillors saying they plan to oppose the contract over the sick bank provision, and a handful of councillors still undecided.