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Châteauguay, Thursday, January 14, 2010 – At an evening general meeting, 96% of the approximately one hundred Châteauguay blue-collar workers ratified the in-principle agreement for the renewal of their employment contract reached yesterday by their union, affiliated with CUPE. As a result, the strike which was supposed to begin at midnight has been canceled.

The new three-year employment contract will terminate December 31, 2010 and provides for across-the-board pay increases of 6.5%, a higher minimum entrance level, the institution of an evening shift, and improved vacation bonuses. “We are very satisfied,” declared the president, Stéphane Duguay. “Our members were mobilized, our bargaining strategy has borne fruit, and we have achieved meaningful gains.”

In an innovative move, the union and the City also signed a letter of understanding that sets forth annual pay increases (between 2.5% and 3.5% based on the CPI) and the increase in the minimum entrance level in advance and through the year 2015. This understanding, however, is conditional upon reaching an agreement regarding an increase in the municipality’s contribution toward its manual employees’ retirement plan before the new agreement expires.

In addition, all the disciplinary notices and suspensions that resulted from the recent conflicts have been withdrawn and the lost work days will be compensated.

CUPE represents around 70% of all Quebec’s municipal employees. In addition to the municipal sector, CUPE is present in ten other sectors in Quebec, including health and social services, education, urban transportation and airlines, energy, public corporations, Quebec public agencies, and communications. With nearly 105,000 members in Quebec, it is the largest FTQ-affiliated union.

This release and other information can be found at scfp.qc.ca