Against a challenging economic backdrop, white-collar and blue-collar employees in Lebel-sur-Quévillon working in the town’s administrative services and departments of public works and recreation signed a new collective agreement with the employer on September 8.
“The town of Lebel has been facing significant challenges for years since the Domtar plant shut down,” explained CUPE representative Marjolaine Boutin. “The workers made every effort to contribute to an economic recovery by agreeing to give back multiple benefits that were hard-earned by them over the years.”
Employees have lost certain leave days and will have to begin paying more for their health insurance and other medical services.
“We are now expecting management employees to do the same when it comes to their own benefits, which were the same ones our members had before the new collective agreement came into effect,” she added.
The new agreement prescribes wage increases of 1.25% to 2%. Additionally, compensation to employees who provide their own tools will go up from $25 a month to $25 a week.
Other improvements include lengthening the probationary period to allow workers to qualify for a position from 90 to 150 days.
The previous labour contract had expired on March 31, 2016. A total of seven bargaining sessions took place along with two conciliation meetings in April 2017. The new agreement will be in effect for six years from April 1, 2016, through March 31, 2022.