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CUPE 301 will appeal an arbitration decision that guts their contract, awarding the city of Montreal most of their wish list.

The union had asked that the contract which merges 6,100 employees of several former city governments into a single contract be referred to binding arbitration.

“It’s a frontal attack on everything we have gained in the last 30 years of collective bargaining,” said CUPE 301 president Michel Parent. “With the stroke of a pencil, the arbitrator has wiped out years of effort and reduced the quality of life of thousands of people.”

FTQ president Henri Masse called the decision unprecedented and one-sided.

“The arbitrator sought no accomodation, no compromise, nothing to place the award on a third path between the parties’ demands,” Masse said. “Obviously, the arbitrator abdicated his responsibilities and adopted the employer’s position. This is a botched effort and a serious break from the practice of labour relations.”

Some of the arbitrated rollbacks:
  • abolition of anti-contracting out language;
  • one hour increase in the work week
  • increased use of casual workers
  • elimination of floating holidays
  • reduce statutory holidays from 15 to 8;
CUPE Quebec director Pierre Dupuis said the arbitrator’s decision to gut the local’s contracting out language is particularly ominous in light of the province’s recent labour law changes.

“This is no co-incidence. It’s a deliberate effort to dismantle municipal public services and give them to the private sector,” he said.