CUPE deplores the decision to go the legal route with a case involving the mayor of Saint-Liguori in Lanaudière. Unfortunately, this means that the corresponding grievance will be sent to arbitration at taxpayers’ expense.

This case began on October 6, 2022, when the mayor behaved inappropriately at city hall toward a municipal employee who is a member of CUPE 5172.

Then, on October 31, the union executive met with the mayor and a town counsellor to come to an agreement to avoid escalating the case, which is more akin to harassment, through the legal system. Unfortunately, the parties could not agree.

A letter was sent to the then director general on November 1, advising him that CNESST involvement would be sought to verify whether the municipality’s harassment policy would apply in this case.

CUPE then opted for a meeting with representatives from the municipality on February 23, which was attended by CUPE representative Mario Lamontagne. During the meeting, Lamontagne proposed that alternative action be explored, including a letter of apology and a mediation process—offered free of charge by the Ministry of Labour.

“We wanted to settle this deplorable incident once and for all to get things back on track. The meeting seemed to go well, but we recently learned that municipality representatives and the mayor decided to instead take the matter before an arbitrator, the cost of which will be charged to Saint Liquori taxpayers,” says Mario Lamontagne.

“All we wanted was to have a mediation session with the Ministry of Labour for the purpose of sending a letter of apology to the employee concerned. It is unfortunate that this matter is being needlessly channeled through the legal system,” says Miguel Renaud, President of CUPE 5172.