Following City Council’s unanimous rejection of bids for grass cutting and maintenance contracts for various lots owned by the Town of Rimouski, QC, CUPE 5275 believes that the work should be done in-house. CUPE union representative Yanick Proulx indicated that “we already have the expertise to do this work at a lower cost than what the private company bid. We’re already doing some of it. This would result in synergy and economies of scale.”
The union firmly believes that having blue-collar workers do this work means better quality and cost control. In recent years, some contracts have been brought back in-house and have had a positive impact. For example, portions of numbered highways were taken back by employees instead of being given to subcontractors, and more recently, the union managed to convince the municipal administration that the new ice-pool complex would be better managed in-house..
“We have an in-house expertise assessment committee, and we’ll discuss this contract with the employer to arrive at a cost equal to or less than what is charged by the private sector, with better quality assurance,” said Proulx.
CUPE 5275 has represented all of the 160 blue-collar workers employed by the Town of Rimouski since 2015.