On Tuesday, March 6, close to one hundred Montreal school crossing guards demonstrated in front of the headquarters of their employer, the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM). These employees have been without a contract since December 31, 2015, some 26 months ago.
They are seeking prompt conclusion of a new collective agreement that will improve their working conditions, failing which they will step up their pressure tactics.
Those in this group who have permanent and full-time status are currently earning $13,000 a year. They are seeking a wage increase that will bring them close to the average of other school crossing guards in Quebec.
“Morning, noon and night, rain or shine, we ensure the safety of primary school students. We protect them from impatient drivers. It’s a risky but very important job. Our work day runs from around 6:45 a.m. to 4 in the afternoon, which prevents us from holding down another job. The time has come for the Plante administration and SPVM management to give our role the recognition it deserves,” explained Diane Girard, the President of the Syndicat des brigadiers scolaires de la Ville de Montréal, CUPE 930.
“The political transition in Montreal and the crisis besetting the management of the SPVM have delayed the bargaining process. But we’ve now reached the point where we’re tired of being forgotten and shunned. We’re seeking an income that will ensure us a decent living in Montreal. In the next few days, there’ll be either a tentative agreement or an intensification of pressure tactics by us,” warned Ms. Girard.