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Saint-Joseph-du-Lac, Monday, March 5, 2001 Outside and inside workers for the municipality of Saint-Joseph-du-Lac, supported by their brothers and sisters from neighbouring municipalities, will demonstrate in front of city hall at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, March 5 to protest the deterioration of labour relations since the arrival of the new mayor, Mr. Alain Guindon.
Informing the public
Saint-Joseph-du-Lacs employees want to inform the public and alert it to the deterioration in the work climate and, consequently, of services provided. Problems include unilateral demotions and pay cuts for employees with more than 20 years of service, vacations refused, suspensions, reprimands, changes in schedules, increased work loads, futile and costly challenges by the municipality, and generous bonuses for new managers hired by the mayor.
Futile spending

For example, its not normal for a municipality of 5,076 inhabitants to spend more than $5,000 to contest three hours of overtime for an employee a decision that it lost anyway in labour court. The same amount was spent to challenge a vacation request.
We are talking about more than $10,000 for two grievances that could easily have been settled directly by the parties, without the intervention of a third party, deplored Mr. Michel Cyr, president of Local 3709 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE-QFL).

Why hire a consultant?

In the five years of our unions history, we had only four grievances (settled out of court). Yet in 2000 alone, 16 grievances were filed, and the municipality will probably respond with substantial expenditures.
We are justified in questioning the decision of the new mayor, Mr. Guindon, hired Mr. Raymond Mercille as a consultant, at a cost of $1,250 a month, plus arbitration and representation expenses. Mr. Mercille acts in a similar capacity for 22 municipalities in the Laurentides-Lanaudir0065 area, and the situation has deteriorated in most of these municipalities, concluded the union president.
Employees will intervene at the municipal council meeting, starting at 8:00 p.m. on March 5, to present their point of view.

For further information:
Michel Cyr, tel.: (450) 473-9310
Louis Cauchy, tel.: (514) 235-3996