Municipal workers in Petite-Rivière-Saint-François in Charlevoix are concerned about the future of municipal services they provide to citizens. Although they have avoided getting involved in the current municipal election campaign, they feel a need to make their fears known to the public.

The heavy and ongoing political pressure brought to bear on working relations for the past two years and more has worsened the work atmosphere to the point that there has been excessive staff turnover and a significant loss of expertise. Through their union, CUPE 5338, they have indicated they are expecting even more resignations if nothing is done to resolve the problem over time.

“Municipal workers were reluctant to get their message out there at this time, but for their sake and for the sake of municipal and public services, they felt they had to. All they are asking for is normal working relations managed by the employer using a professional management structure without constant meddling and interference. Achieving normalcy in this matter would preserve the municipality’s in-house expertise and services that are as effective as they can be, which is a challenge given labour shortages,” explained Nina Laflamme, a CUPE union representative.

“In essence, things have to change, current employees must once again have a respectful working environment and Petite-Rivière-Saint-François must develop an appreciation for its work force. It’s in everyone’s interest to vote against the status quo,” added Laflamme.