City of Montreal Income Security Service
Montreal, Thursday, January 24, 2002 – The Syndicat des fonctionnaires municipaux de Montra006c (SFMM, CUPE-FTQ) has learned, through the media, of the Government of Quebec’s desire to remove management of income security services from the City of Montra006c. This scheme, announced in the media on Tuesday, is all the more outrageous in that, during a meeting between the SFMM, CUPE and the FTQ last spring, the Minister of Social Solidarity had agreed to form a tripartite committee (Qub0065c, Montra006c, Union) to establish the terms of the service contract with the City of Montra006c. Transferring social assistance services to the provincial government would mean the end of a thirty-year agreement and affect up to 1,000 municipal employees. Since 1972, this agreement has been renewed as a long-term contract. The last agreement, signed in 1998, will expire on March 31 of this year.
“The best way to control poverty in Montra006c is to keep services close to the people and ensure that all the City’s other services work toward this common objective,” commented Daniel Papillon Demers, President of the SFMM, who explained that “The Syndicat des fonctionnaires and the City of Montra006c have the same objectives.” The President of the SFMM considers the centralizing position held by certain senior Government of Qub0065c public officials to be, at the very least, astonishing, when the Minister, Mr. Rochon, himself, has always been a proponent of decentralization. He also pointed out that, not only had the Minister made a commitment to forming a tripartite committee but the Department was well aware of the discussions taking place between the City of Montra006c and the Syndicat des fonctionnaires.
Municipal public employees directly assigned to social assistance in the City of Montra006c are also concerned about the idea of transferring income security services to the Government of Qub0065c. In a consultation carried out last year, 85% indicated they wished to maintain their employment connection with the City of Montra006c.
The SFMM will be holding a sector meeting shortly to clarify the Union’s official position. For Daniel Papillon Demers, the choice is simple, “there is no question of allowing years of effort to be destroyed; our members have worked with beneficiaries since the creation of social assistance and we have no intention of giving up our place and knowledge in this domain,” he added.
The SFFM (CUPE-FTQ) represents some 8,000 municipal public employees of the new City of Montra006c.
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SOURCE: SYNDICAT DES FONCTIONNAIRES MUNICPAUX DE MONTRAL (CUPE 429)