At a special meeting held on Monday, June 28, members of the Syndicat des pompiers et pompières du Québec (SPQ) unanimously approved the move to join CUPE. More than 150 members from more than 60 locals took part in this virtual meeting.
“I am very proud of the fact that CUPE has thrown its support behind the SPQ as it pursues its development. This represents a major step forward in achieving greater collaboration and solidarity among firefighters all over Quebec. Our employers have been coordinating their efforts for some time now to put themselves in a stronger position when bargaining, so it was time for us to organize ourselves accordingly,” explained SPQ president Daniel Pépin.
Now that this first step has been taken, the CUPE-SPQ alliance has turned its attention to the fall of 2021. “We want to hold a first Quebec summit to bring together all firefighters’ associations to discuss issues of unionization, collective bargaining and health and safety,” added Mathieu Dumont, a CUPE organizer.
This alliance is the culmination of the natural synergy that has developed between both organizations. Some 68 per cent of SPQ members work in cities and towns where CUPE represents the municipal employees. Moreover, both organizations have waged many joint battles over the past decade.
The SPQ, which is the largest firefighters’ union in Quebec, has 3800 members in more than 120 cities, towns and municipalities.