The 74 inside and outside workers in Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac, Quebec are disappointed and angry. They question the willingness of mayor François Robillard to reach a quick agreement to renew their collective agreement, which is the opposite of what he said in a message on January 16. The workers’ trust in him has been severely shaken.

“It is really unfortunate to see a town council and general management not willing to reach a quick settlement on a new contract with unionized staff. They’ve been dragging their feet for five years, and the patience of members of CUPE 1962 and CUPE 2804, which represent outside and inside workers respectively, has reached its limit. They have no other alternative but to file a strike notice to express their discontent with a narrow-minded administration, which has raised the hackles of devoted workers who are always willing to provide quality services to the public. The inside workers filed their strike notice for  June 4 and 5. The citizens will have to endure the strikes due to the lack of vision displayed by the managers of Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac,” said CUPE representative Stéphane Pare.

On May 10, 2024, the representatives of both bargaining units were in mediation in hopes of resolving their collective agreement. They were stopped dead in their tracks by the complete close-mindedness of their counterparts. Several issues are still outstanding, particularly the update of the minimum compliment, assignments, the request for the status quo regarding the waiting period in disability cases, improvements to the working conditions of crossing guards and loan clerks, and wages.

“The last day of mediation is scheduled for June 6. The employer is aware of the acceptable minimum of offers by the unions. It is therefore up to the employer to show diligence and good faith during these negotiations that have dragged on for far too long already,” said Stéphane Paré.

The unions wish to point out that their refusal to work overtime still holds and that other pressure tactics are forthcoming. They believe it is unfortunate that the elected officials, whose mandates are up in November 2025, are forcing employees to resort to these measures to have their voices heard, knowing full well that the public will be the ones affected by this, not the town council representatives.