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Lac-au-Saumon, Quebec ­– Last Thursday, the union representing the five Lac-au-Saumon municipal employees filed a final offer to the conciliator, Martin Plante. This offer maintains the status quo with respect to the previous employment contract, including wage increases. This goodwill gesture towards a rapid settlement is an attempt to repair the damage caused by the employer’s lack of good will since the fall of 2010.

It was in a particularly difficult context that last fall’s negotiations were launched for the renewal of the collective agreement for employees of the Matapedia municipality of Lac-au-Saumon, which had expired in December 2009. These employees are members of CUPE Local 1142 (CUPE-FTQ), which includes over 100 members.

The meeting presenting the union demands took place in early fall 2010. Last January, faced with the impossibility of obtaining meeting dates to get the employer’s reaction, the union asked the Minister of Labour to appoint a conciliator. At a meeting with him on March 25, the small municipality filed demands deemed “inconceivable” by the union.

The employer wants to reopen the agreement from A to Z. They presented more than 80 demands, including several major ones, which would affect job security, contracting-out, overtime, arbitration costs, health and safety, working hours, the work of managers, seniority, job postings, vacation, sick leave, etc. Yet nothing has changed in this municipality except that the new council and new general manager are lamentably lacking in experience,” noted CUPE representative Yanick Proulx.

In response to these demands, the union filed its comprehensive and final offer last Thursday. “This is a more than reasonable proposal under the circumstances. We hope that the employers will seize this opportunity and make the best choice for both labour relations and for the quality and cost of services to the taxpayers. Otherwise, we will have to take all necessary means to ensure that we are treated with respect,” concluded Proulx.

May 27 will be the 43rd anniversary of the union certification of the municipality’s employees.It was issued in 1968.In addition to the municipal employees in Lac-au-Saumon, CUPE 1142 represents those working in Amqui, Causapscal, Saint-Léon, Sainte-Irène, Sayabec, Sainte-Angèle and Saint-Gabriel-de-Rimouski.

For more information:
Yanick Proulx, union representative, cell: 418-750-5115
Sébastien Goulet, CUPE Information, cell: 438-882-3756