In negotiation since September 2010 to obtain an initial collective agreement, intermediate resources (IR) and family-type resources (FTR), affiliated with CUPE, could soon exert pressure tactics. These resources provide services to over 300 adults with intellectual disabilities.
“In no way will users be affected by these pressure tactics,” reassured Gilles Murphy, union representative and negotiator on this issue.“The tactics will be symbolic. We are talking about using a distinctive emblem to identify resources: armbands or sweaters, for example. We are also considering questioning the CROM and CRDI that oversee their work. Then, if nothing changes, we could hold one or more public demonstrations.”
Gilles Murphy said that the Essential Services Council has already been informed of the pressure tactics mandates adopted by secret ballot at two general meetings in Montreal and Quebec City. “The Council has written to us and advised us that it intends to follow developments,” said the union representative.
Although IR and FTR work under the West Montreal Rehabilitation Centre (CROM) and the Quebec City Rehabilitation Centre for Intellectual Disabilities (CRDI), negotiations were held not with these institutions, but, rather, directly with the Health and Social Services Ministry, which receives its mandates from the Treasury Board.
“The talks have been very civil,” noted the union negotiator. “The problem is that the work has been hampered on the employer side by an inability to put their proposals in writing. Faced with this impasse, we want to send a very clear message that we want a settlement before the end of the parliamentary session.”
The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) represents 115 IR and FTR in Montreal and 195 in Quebec City. They are supervised by the Centre de réadaptation de l’Ouest de Montréal (CROM) in Montreal, and by the Centre de réadaptation en déficience intellectuelle de Québec (CRDI) in Quebec City.
The IR and FTR provide a living environment adapted to the needs of this particular clientele. They ensure 24-hour supervision, provide basic care, facilitate integration and contribute to the social functioning of persons with intellectual disabilities. IR and FTR can be responsible for a maximum of nine residents.
CUPE represents some 20,000 members in health and social services in Quebec.