Société de transport de Trois-Rivières workers came out to City Council in large numbers on Tuesday to get answers to their questions.

Union president Donald Simard and union representative Mario Fontaine questioned Luc Tremblay, the president of the STTR Board of Directors, on the wage catch-up granted to management employees with the City, which could reach 39%.

The wage issue is at the heart of the dispute during these negotiations. Members of the STTR are seeking salaries comparable to those paid to unionized members of the Société de transport de Sherbrooke, a city and transit company comparable to Trois-Rivières.

“These increases were due, because if we look at comparables, the directors and senior managers were being paid far less than in comparable cities and comparable transit companies, and when compared with City employees here. (…) What we can say is that all STTR employees, who include managers and unionized employees, are in the same boat. We’re trying to get equitable wages for equitable work in equitable fields. That applies to the entire STTR, not just the managers,” replied Luc Tremblay.

Union president Donald Simard said that, “following that statement, the ball is in the employer’s court. We’ll see whether the STTR will walk the talk. We’re expecting openness on this issue.”

The collective agreement of some 120 STTR employees has been expired since December 31, 2016. The union was given a strike mandate voted on back on September 16, 2017, at which time members gave their approval to the use of pressure tactics up to and including a general strike.

CUPE 4115 represents STTR bus drivers, mechanics and office staff. In addition to city and adapted transit, STTR drivers also handle school bus transportation.