Toronto Zoo

Scarborough, Canada

Toronto Zoo

Scarborough, Canada

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News Article | May 10, 2017
Site: www.marketwired.com

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 10, 2017) - Following a marathon day of bargaining in which some progress was made, negotiators for Local 1600 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE 1600) will return to the table this morning in an effort to conclude negotiations with the Toronto Zoo before a midnight lockout or strike deadline. "While we have been able to resolve some issues with the Zoo, we haven't made enough progress and I am concerned about our ability to conclude negotiations before the deadline," said Christine McKenzie, President of CUPE 1600. Although negotiators have made progress on some issues, there has been no movement on several issues the union considers critical, including changes proposed by the Zoo that would greatly diminish workers' employment security and give the Zoo more power to contract out work. "Any efforts by the Zoo to weaken workers' job security and contracting out language are non-starters," warned McKenzie. "Our members were very clear when they voted unanimously to give our bargaining committee a strike mandate if they felt it was necessary-weakening their job security and contracting out language is bad for our community, bad for the Zoo and most importantly it will be bad for the animals," she added. McKenzie said the union will continue to bargain straight through to tonight's midnight deadline, and would consider bargaining past the deadline, provided progress is being made towards a settlement. "However, that requires both sides to be at the table with a clear commitment to negotiating a fair deal both sides can live with. Ultimately, that decision will hinge on what level of commitment to achieving a settlement we see from the Zoo throughout the day," she said. CUPE 1600 represents more than 400 zookeepers, horticulturists, trades people, maintenance, administration and public relations staff, concession and ride operators at Canada's largest zoo.


News Article | May 10, 2017
Site: www.marketwired.com

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 10, 2017) - The President of Local 1600 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees will update the media on the status of collective bargaining with the Toronto Zoo today, Wednesday, May 10, at 4:00 p.m. The media update will be held at the front entrance of the Delta Toronto East Hotel, located just north of Highway 401 at Kennedy Road. Notice to assignment editors and photo desks: Following a brief statement, CUPE 1600 President Christine McKenzie will hold a short media availability. Media wishing to cover today's event are encouraged to contact Kevin Wilson, CUPE Communications. CUPE 1600 represents more than 400 zookeepers, horticulturists, trades people, maintenance, administration and public relations staff, concession and ride operators at Canada's largest zoo.


News Article | May 19, 2017
Site: www.marketwired.com

OTTAWA, ON--(Marketwired - May 19, 2017) - As the Auditor General reported on numbers just south of the Hill, meanwhile, on the Hill's eastern side, the numbers of living species were tallied, as Parliamentarians led a demonstration nature count to launch BioBlitz Canada 150, a nation-wide Canada 150 Signature project. "This fascinating project will help us raise our environmental awareness," said the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage. "Let's take this opportunity to celebrate Canada 150 by connecting with Canada's natural beauty and learning more about Canada's wild species -- a priceless resource." In only 45 minutes, the Parliamentarians' teams blitzed an impressive 137 species of the air, land and water, all logged onto the national iNaturalist.ca database. This, for a location in middle of Canada's capital, downtown, within centimetres of where hundreds of tourists walk by, and metres from the turbulent Ottawa River, at historic flood levels only days before. Two squads vied in a little friendly contention, this time outside Parliament, by representatives of the different political stripes, plus the Clerk of the House of Commons on behalf of all the Hill officials. Several are top-notch naturalists in their own right, and they were joined by some local specialists. The Parliamentary Secretary for Science Kate Young cheered them on, and added her estimate of how many species would be found. Estimates ranged from 3,100 species to 67 (the latter more symbolic than serious). The closest to the actual total was by MP (and professional biologist) Richard Cannings (South Okanagan-West Kootenay) who predicted 167. Among the smallest of the species were barely visible freshwater plankton. A special find was a Yellowbanded Bumble Bee, a species listed as "Special Concern" by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. Among the largest species identified was a Butternut tree along the escarpment of the Hill. A mere ten minutes drive away, the maximum species list is 3,592, in the Gatineau Park area, site of the Bioblitz Canada 150 National Capital BioBlitz for the public on June 10-11. This tally has been compiled over decades by constant surveying and by experts in the most obscure taxa -- and even there, a species new to science was added this past year. Other bioblitzes are set for the next days and months across Canada: there will be 35 official events, with a growing list of independent projects posted at bioblitzcanada.ca. CWF and its partners in conservation across the country call on Canadians to join in all year at a Bioblitz Canada 150 event or on their own with the resources available through the website. The CWF will be inviting all Canadian to play along by guessing the total species identified under the project as of October 31, 2017, the end of the events season. About the Canadian Wildlife Federation: The Canadian Wildlife Federation is dedicated to fostering awareness and appreciation of our natural world. By spreading knowledge of human impacts on the environment, sponsoring research, promoting the sustainable use of natural resources, recommending legislative changes and co-operating with likeminded partners, CWF encourages a future in which Canadians can live in harmony with nature. Visit CanadianWildlifeFederation.ca for more information. About BioBlitz Canada: BioBlitz Canada is a national partnership of leading conservation, education and research organizations with the goal to document Canada's biodiversity by connecting the public with nature in a scientist-led participatory survey of life from sea to sea to sea, and make sure this important information can be useful to current and future science, with open-source access to all. Its vision is to help Canadians learn about and connect with nature, be it in one's own backyard or the most important ecological sites in Canada. Other partners in conservation include: Alliance of Natural History Museums of Canada, Biodiversity Institute of Ontario, Biological Survey of Canada, Birds Studies Canada, Canadian Museum of Nature, Canadian Wildlife Service (Environment and Climate Change Canada), iNaturalist Canada, Nature Canada, Nature Conservancy of Canada, NatureServe Canada, New Brunswick Museum, Parks Canada, RARE Charitable Research Reserve, Royal Ontario Museum, Royal Saskatchewan Museum, Stanley Park Ecology Society, Toronto Zoo, Vancouver Aquarium and other organizations. About iNaturalist Canada: Launched in 2015, iNaturalist Canada is a virtual place where Canadians can record and share what they see in nature, interact with other nature watchers, and learn about Canada's wildlife. The app is run by the Canadian Wildlife Federation (CWF) and the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in collaboration with iNaturalist.org and the California Academy of Sciences. Parks Canada, NatureServe Canada and CWF's Hinterland Who's Who have been key partners in the development of iNaturalist Canada and will continue to play a role in the program. Image Available: http://www.marketwire.com/library/MwGo/2017/5/19/11G139307/Images/BioBlitz_Canada_150_Logo-06e7dfbae1048b518343499c85e03879.jpg Image Available: http://www.marketwire.com/library/MwGo/2017/5/19/11G139307/Images/mw1bggo93tgma01pcmtvvmfo1f6q2-fc5e904644859ce3a72a8d7d3d8fc3dc.jpg Image Available: http://www.marketwire.com/library/MwGo/2017/5/19/11G139307/Images/mw1bggntv641hf8vev1qkp1rq11sia2-9bd032cc4beaac678edd64a202b2a648.jpg Image Available: http://www.marketwire.com/library/MwGo/2017/5/19/11G139307/Images/mw1bggnkbkth8glup6q614raedl2-d3af64f9d31da9929d8912828e52264b.jpg


TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 18, 2017) - One day ahead of an special meeting of the Toronto Zoo's Board of Management, community and labour allies will join striking members of Local 1600 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE 1600) on the picket line for a barbecue and solidarity rally. Organized by CUPE Ontario, today's solidarity barbecue and rally and will begin at 11 a.m. at CUPE 1600's main picket site, located in front of the main visitor parking lot at the Toronto Zoo, located on Meadowvale Road. Media interested in covering this event are encouraged to contact Kevin Wilson, CUPE Communications, for further details. Christine McKenzie, President of CUPE 1600 and Fred Hahn, President of CUPE Ontario, will have media availability following the rally portion of the event, which is scheduled to begin at noon. CUPE 1600 represents close to 400 zookeepers, horticulturalists, trades people, maintenance, administration and public relations staff concession and ride operators at the Toronto Zoo, Canada's largest zoo and a world leading research, education and conservation facility.


TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 19, 2017) - Negotiations between Local 1600 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE 1600) and the Toronto Zoo have ended with no further talks scheduled at this time. "At this time, we are waiting for the Zoo's negotiating team to respond to our last offer," said CUPE 1600 President Christine McKenzie. "We believe that the two sides made progress last night. If we were 90 per cent of the way to an agreement last week, we are 95 per cent of the way there now. Now is the time for both sides to roll up our sleeves and finish the job," she added. The two sides adjourned late Thursday evening after several hours of bargaining. No further talks have been scheduled, pending a special meeting of the Toronto Zoo's Board of Management, which takes place at 2:30 p.m. this afternoon. McKenzie said she hopes the Board of Management gives the Zoo's negotiating team "the flexibility it needs to conclude a fair collective agreement that ensures our 5,000 animal ambassadors get the best possible care, while also ensuring the Zoo continues to be a world leader in education, conservation and research."


News Article | May 18, 2017
Site: www.marketwired.com

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 18, 2017) - Negotiators for Local 1600 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE 1600) and the Toronto Zoo will resume bargaining this afternoon, one week after a breakdown in talks led to a strike at Canada's largest zoo. "The only place where this dispute can be settled is at the bargaining table, so I am very pleased both parties have agreed to a resumption in negotiations," said Christine McKenzie, President of CUPE 1600. After pushing workers into taking strike action one week ago, management closed the Zoo down just as peak visiting season was ready to commence. "The dispute can and should be resolved quickly, provided the City of Toronto (the Zoo's owner) doesn't have an agenda they aren't sharing with the public or the union," said McKenzie. "Our bargaining team is prepared to sit down and negotiate a fair contract that protects good jobs communities depend on and ensures our Toronto Zoo continues to be a world leader in research, education and conservation," she added. In order to provide the parties with the space necessary to conclude negotiations, the union will be making no further comment at this time. CUPE 1600 represents close to 400 zookeepers, horticulturists, trades people, maintenance, administration and public relations staff, concession and ride operators at the Toronto Zoo, Canada's largest zoo and a world leading research, education and conservation facility.


TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 20, 2017) - Negotiations to settle the week-long strike between Local 1600 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE 1600) and the Toronto Zoo broke down following the Zoo's refusal to provide any rationale around why they insist on changes to the collective agreement that only hurt the important work of the zoo. "It is incredibly frustrating and disappointing," CUPE 1600 President Christine McKenzie said in a statement released following the breakdown of negotiations. "We have repeatedly asked the employer to provide a compelling rationale for why they are demanding changes to language that protects needed staffing levels. The Zoo has been unwilling or unable to provide any such rationale," she added. The two sides met this morning, following a meeting of the Zoo's Board of Management, which took place yesterday. The Board's long contentious discussion resulted in a split vote, with one city councillor stating afterwards that the Board was "waging war on (workers) for no good reason." "We will not sell out future generations of the Toronto Zoo's important work," said McKenzie. "The employment security and contracting out language we are fighting to protect maintains the Zoo's world-leading conservation, research, education and species survival programs. It helps maintain our world-renowned veterinary research facility. These are the programs that will be put at risk by cuts to staffing, contracted out work and a revolving door of staff. These are programs that are integral to a 21st century zoo," she added. Despite repeated requests to provide a clear rationale for seeking these concessions, negotiators for the Toronto Zoo were either unable or unwilling to do so. "The only justification they can provide is that their proposals more closely mirror agreements negotiated with other City of Toronto bargaining units," said McKenzie. "We are Zoo workers with a collective agreement negotiated to reflect the needs of our Zoo workplace," she added. "We are asking - what is the agenda for the future of the zoo? Let's be transparent about what this is really about." No further talks are scheduled at this time. The union remains available to resume negotiations on short notice, but "we will not bargain with ourselves or trade away the rights of future generations of Toronto Zoo employees," said McKenzie.


TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 24, 2017) - As the strike between the Toronto Zoo and Local 1600 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE 1600) enters its third week, Mark Hancock, CUPE's National President, will join strikers tomorrow on their picket lines. Hancock will arrive on the picket lines tomorrow, May 25, at approximately 9:00 a.m., and remain there until approximately 11:30 a.m. He will be joined by other CUPE leadership and community allies. Media wishing to interview Mark Hancock or CUPE 1600 President Christine McKenzie are encouraged to contact Kevin Wilson, CUPE Communications. He can be reached via mobile at 416-821-6641. CUPE 1600 represents more than 400 zookeepers, horticulturists, trades people, administrative and public relations staff, concession and ride operators at Canada's largest zoo. The members of CUPE 1600 began strike action on May 11.


TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 4, 2017) - With a May 11 deadline fast approaching, members of Local 1600 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE 1600) today came to Toronto City Hall, calling on the Toronto Zoo's Board of Management to 'get serious' about negotiating a fair collective agreement with its workers. "What's come across the table thus far from zoo management wouldn't just be bad for our members," said Christine Mckenzie, President of CUPE 1600. "If we were to accept what the employer has put forward, it would also harm our community, which depends on stable, secure employment that supports families, and it would be bad for the animals we care for," she added. CUPE 1600 has been in bargaining with the Toronto Zoo for several weeks, following the expiry of their most recent collective agreement. Late last month, Zoo management requested a 'No Board' report from the Ministry of Labour. Unless the two sides reach an agreement, a labour disruption could take place as early as 12:01 a.m., Thursday, May 11. Mckenzie said negotiators for the Zoo are demanding members accept dramatically-weakened job security protection, in addition to more power to contract out work. "I hope the Zoo understands that their proposals on job security and contracting out cannot and will not be accepted by our membership. If accepted, they would set the stage to roll back so much of the work we have done to make our Toronto Zoo a world leader in education, conservation and research," she said. Last month, members of CUPE 1600 voted unanimously in favour of giving their bargaining committee a mandate to take any and all actions necessary to secure a fair contract, up to and including strike action. Mckenzie urged the Zoo's Board of Management to give their negotiating team the flexibility they need to negotiate "a collective agreement that is fair to our members, while protecting and enhancing the work we all do to make the Zoo a place we're all proud to call 'Our Toronto Zoo'." CUPE 1600 represents more than 400 zookeepers, horticulturists, trades people, maintenance, administration and public relations staff, concession and ride operators at Canada's largest zoo.


TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 4, 2017) - With contract negotiations with the Toronto Zoo about to kick into high gear, members of Local 1600 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE 1600) will today hold an information session in front of Toronto City Hall. The information picket will take place as negotiators for both sides prepare for collective bargaining in advance of a lockout or strike deadline of May 11. A small contingent of participants is expected to attend the Toronto Zoo Board of Management meeting scheduled for 2:00 p.m. at City Hall. Following the event, CUPE 1600 President Christine Mckenzie will hold a brief availability with media to update them on the status of collective bargaining with the zoo. Media wishing to arrange interviews with Christine Mckenzie are encouraged to contact Kevin Wilson, CUPE Communications. CUPE 1600 represents more than 400 zookeepers, horticulturists, trades people, maintenance, administration and public relations staff, concession and ride operators at Canada's largest zoo.

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