Toronto Zoo Board of Management Ratifies Ground-Breaking Collective Agreement

TORONTO, ON: Following the ratification process by CUPE Local 1600, the Board of Management of your Toronto Zoo ratified the new collective agreement at a special board meeting held this morning.

This new watershed agreement acknowledges the unique work that is done at your Toronto Zoo by our professional and committed employees and now enables the Zoo to be a more flexible workforce that services our valued Zoo members and guests year-round.  This new agreement is a pivotal moment for your Toronto Zoo and our dedicated employees and well positions us to build back better and stronger from this devastating global pandemic.

Throughout the past year, your Toronto Zoo has consistently demonstrated its ability to be innovative and adapt our operations to the new challenges faced during COVID-19 while identifying operational efficiencies.  During this time, the Zoo has also clearly demonstrated its ongoing commitment to its dedicated and professional staff and volunteers, the animals in our care and the broader community we serve.  And now, more than ever the Zoo is committed to better represent that community with clear commitments and steps to achieve Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.  Your Toronto Zoo is looking forward to continuing to build a world class zoo with a world class diverse team that reflects Canada’s most diverse city.

Your Toronto Zoo’s mission is connecting people, animals and conservation science to fight extinction and I am truly excited how this agreement will benefit our staff, our animals, our guests and our community.  In 2020, we released the Zoo’s new Strategic Plan which has five strategic priorities and this agreement will further help us achieve these goals,” said Dolf DeJong, Chief Executive Officer, Toronto Zoo.

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. Through a new scholarship program to the Zoo’s 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.

The Board of Management of the Toronto Zoo acknowledged the outstanding work of the members of both the Zoo and CUPE Local 1600’s negotiating teams.

The individuals who were part of the bargaining process should be exceptionally proud of this landmark agreement and I want to thank them for their commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion and for ensuring the Zoo will continue to play a key role in Toronto and beyond by providing exceptional guest experiences while ensuring the highest level of care to the animals that call the Zoo home,” said Councillor Paul Ainslie, Chair of the Board of Management of the Toronto Zoo.

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