LachuteThe 40 outside workers (regular, temporary and student personnel) with the Municipality of Lachute, Quebec in the Outaouais region have a new collective agreement. The last contract expired on December 31, 2019.

The five-year deal calls for wage hikes of 2.25 per cent for 2020, 2.5 per cent for 2021, 2.5 per cent for 2022, 2.5 per cent for 2023 and 2.25 per cent in 2024. Students will be paid minimum wage plus an additional $1.50 an hour.

Other gains include increment increases that will apply after 1040 hours of work instead of 2080. In addition, a second probationary period that applied to anyone applying for a regular position has been eliminated.

The employer and the union also agreed to provide in-house training to staff wishing to spend their careers with the Town of Lachute. This will avoid possible recourse to outsourcing.

The parties negotiated in a healthy and cordial atmosphere. They had already reached a tentative agreement on November 24, 2020, but they wanted to review all of the text in the collective agreement prior to ratifying it, which was done on April 28, 2021.

At a general meeting held last May 26, 97 per cent of the members present agreed to the tentative agreement.

“Negotiations were respectful. The pandemic delayed the process, but we were nonetheless able to get a good contract for the next few years,” declared CUPE union representative Stéphane Paré.