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Sherbrooke, Sunday, November 24, 2002 Public transport users in Sherbrooke will be relieved. On Wednesday, during a meeting attended by 85% of the members, the bus drivers for the Socit de transport de Sherbrooke (STS), members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), voted 72% in favour of ratifying the bargaining settlement presented. This vote puts an end to the labour dispute at the STS. This agreement was concluded after 35 bargaining meetings, 12 conciliation sessions and three work stoppages representing five days of strike.

According to the new labour contract, concluded for a term of four years, the bus drivers’ hourly wage will increase from the current rate of $18.65 to $20.79 on March 1, 2005, representing a total increase of 11.5%. Another important point in the agreement for the drivers is that the employer has withdrawn its demand to create part-time or surplus positions. Several other regulations have also been improved, including those concerning vacations, holiday pay at 150% and a four-day work week for a portion of the drivers, depending on their seniority. For Jean-Pierre Roy, union representative and spokesperson for the bargaining table, this is a good agreement for the city drivers.

In addition to some 115 drivers for the STS in Local 3434, CUPE represents 6,500 members in urban transportation in Qub0065c and is active in 10 other sectors, including universities, communications, education, municipalities, air transportation, and health and social services. With close to 100,000 members in Qub0065c, it is the largest FTQ affiliate.

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