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Montreal, May 15, 2001 At the University of Montreal, the latest round of bargaining with the best paid employees, i.e., the professors, left a bitter taste in the mouth of the other employees. The three CUPE-QFL unions, representing the support staff at the University of Montreal and the Polytechnique (about 2,115 employees), have banded together to have their members salaries corrected.

The members of the University of Montreal Employees Union (Local 1244 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees) are going to demonstrate their discontent publicly at noon on Wednesday, May 16. The solidarity demonstration will begin at 12:10 p.m., at the corner of Queen Mary and Decelles streets.

The two other CUPE unions, representing about 350 members, have announced that they, too, will start using pressure tactics in the next few days.

Some of our members are from single-parent families living below the poverty line. They had to make do with a small wage increase, which keeps them at that level. The gap between the richer and the poorer continues to grow and, following the increases granted to the higher wage earners, if nothing is done, this gap will continue to widen in future, said CUPE representative, Michel Poirier.

The three presidents of this group of unions affirm that they are not the least bit jealous of those earning higher salaries. But we do not deserve less, they added. The group intends to force the University of Montreal to respect its own rules concerning internal equity with respect to pay.

CUPE represents about 15,000 people in the education sector in Quebec, 6,000 of whom are in the various Quebec universities.

SOURCE: CANADIAN UNION OF PUBLIC EMPLOYEES (QFL)

For Information: Michel Poirier: 514.343.6111, ext. 5018

Robert Bellerose: 514.384.9681, ext. 239