The 74 inside and outside workers with the Town of Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac are inviting the public to accompany them to a town council meeting on June 12, 2024. This will provide an opportunity to get a message across to elected officials that members of the public want these employees to get a tentative agreement prior to the strike days scheduled for June 20, 21 and 24, which would certainly impact the festivities of Quebec’s national holiday at the municipal park on June 24. The strike on June 4 and 5 showed that many citizens are supportive of the unions’ reasonable and responsible demands.  

“Our demonstration will be quiet and respectful of our elected officials, but we do want to express our exasperation. We’ve been without a contract for five years!  That means five years with no wage increases for our members, who have seen surrounding towns and municipalities come to an agreement with their important partners, in other words, their employees. It has to be settled,” said Marc-Antoine Lucas, president of CUPE 1962, which represents the outside workers.  

Some citizens came out and offered us their support during the two-day strike by the inside workers, which we found heartwarming. Our members have seen their purchasing power all but swallowed up by the inflation of recent years. Neighboring towns have signed agreements calling for wage increases averaging between 3.5 and 4.8% per year, while our demands are for between 3.07% and 3.36% annually. That shows that what we’re asking for is quite reasonable, said Johanne Parent, president of CUPE 2804, which represents inside workers. 

To thank them for their support, we will be offering hot dogs and refreshments starting at 5:30 pm in front of the town hall. At around 8 pm, the members and citizens will make their way over to town council.  

Remaining issues to be resolved at the bargaining table are: 

  • Wage increases totalling between 21.5% and 23.5% for 2020 to 2026 
  • A waiting period 
  • Continuation of the paid break week for school crossing guards 
  • Continuation of work schedules requiring that library clerks work one weekend out of two for the duration of the collective agreement.