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The union of drivers at Robert Paquette Autobus et fils inc. (CUPE 5072) in Quebec has signed its first collective agreement with the employer. The three-year contract, running from January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2014, provides for total increases of 8.34 per cent. A premium for trainers and a fourth week of vacation after ten years of seniority were also negotiated.

At a general meeting on February 12, the newly unionized drivers voted 95 per cent in favour of the agreement. On February 16, the two parties held the official signing of the agreement.

“I commend the exemplary work of the bargaining committee and the executive committee. This first collective agreement improves the drivers’ working conditions.It will also foster good union-employer relations. We are optimistic about the future. We have also managed to maintain service since a fire destroyed the company’s facilities on the night of January 9,” said Mario Lamontagne, adviser to the union of employees at Robert Paquette Autobus et fils inc.

CUPE Local 5072 was founded in May 2011. Its 36 members are bus drivers providing urban transport for the Saint-Eustache region. Negotiations for their first contract began in August 2011.