There is a major dispute between the Montreal civil servants’ union (CUPE-FTQ) and the City of Montreal, which has taken a unilateral decision not to make the salary adjustments provided by law. The employer is denying a number of men and women the full salary adjustment due to them.
“CUPE has concluded more than 300 settlements across Quebec regarding pay equity. None of the other employers — whether the Quebec government, Hydro-Quebec, the cities of Longueuil, Laval, Quebec, etc. — behaved as the City of Montreal is doing now. All, without exception, made salary adjustments in accordance with the law,” said Lise Simard, the CUPE representative responsible for this matter. “Montreal is not only denying women their due and their rights, but in so doing, is attempting to gain a benefit that was not sought by the other employers who complied with the law,” said the union representative.
Union president Monique Côté noted that “pay equity is a law with which the employer must comply. It cannot try to negotiate the amount of money that women have been deprived of all these years. If Mayor Tremblay had no hesitation about moving heaven and earth to inject an additional $37 million into the BIXI rescue plan, then he should do as much to honour his responsibility to his workers and, in compliance with the law and as agreed on last December 23, proceed with the correction of all levels of job categories that are the subject of a salary adjustment.”
Even today in 2011, many women’s job categories that have achieved substantial corrections are compensated at a rate that is close to the minimum wage .By trying to negotiate pay equity, this employer is attempting to maintain that rate. This would mean that those who started working in 2006 would not receive any correction before 2011, flying in the face of the public notice of the Pay Equity Commission (CÉS). That is simply disgraceful,” said Côté.
On December 23, 2010, following an intensive period of hard work and in accordance with the Pay Equity Act, the Pay Equity Commission determined that nearly 60% of the 400 female-dominated jobs, affecting nearly 4,500 white-collar workers, would get salary adjustments.
The Syndicat des fonctionnaires municipaux de Montréal (SFMM, CUPE-FTQ) is the largest municipal-sector union in Quebec, representing more than 10,000 white-collar municipal and para-municipal employees working for the City of Montreal, for the 12 reconstituted municipalities in the Montreal area, and for para-municipal corporations, such as the Société du Parc Jean-Drapeau, the Société d’habitation et de développement de Montréal (SHDM), Corporation Anjou 80, Stationnement de Montréal, the Office municipal d’habitation de Montréal (OMHM), and the private company Parc Six Flags Montréal SEC (La Ronde).
CUPE represents about 70% of all municipal employees in Quebec, totalling 31,100 members. CUPE is present in 10 other sectors in Quebec, including health and social services, education, urban and air transport, energy, Quebec government corporations and public agencies, and communications. With a total of more than 110,000 members in Quebec, it is the largest affiliate of the FTQ.
SOURCE: CANADIAN UNION OF PUBLIC EMPLOYEES (FTQ)
Information: Monique Côté, President, 514,842-9463, cell: (514) 707-0106
Michèle Blais, Information Officer, 514,842-9463, cell: (514) 703-4856
Ronald Boisrond, CUPE Information Service, (514) 802-2802