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Montréal, Thursday, August 28, 2014 – Negotiations between UQAM and the union representing its support staff concerning renewal of their collective agreement have come to a halt. Talks taking place on Thursday, August 28, were unproductive. Barring a last-minute deal, employees will be going out on a 24-hour strike next Wednesday, the second day of university fall classes.

SEUQAM (UQAM employees’ union, CUPE 1294) representative Martin Larose expressed disappointment at management’s lack of flexibility and criticized the university’s failure to bring a new proposal to the bargaining table. UQAM is also demanding straight out that we withdraw a complaint previously filed under the Pay Equity Act,” he stated. “The main stumbling blocks of talks have been pay-related, including internal equity. Knowing that women make up more that 60% of the UQAM support staff, I find that the university should be setting an example when it comes to pay equity.”

A total of 15 negotiation sessions have been held since the union filed its demands on March 12, 2013. SEUQAM reported back to members on the status of talks at meetings held on July 8 and 10 of this year. Some 93.4% of SEUQAM employees subsequently voted by secret ballot in support of the use of pressure tactics up to and including a five-day strike.

The union of UQAM support workers (SEUQAM, CUPE 1294) represents approximately 2,000 employees of that university institution. Its members fall into four different groups: trades and services, clerical, technical and professional. They have been without a labour contract since May 31, 2012.

With more than 111,000 members, CUPE-Quebec represents approximately 10,400 university employees, primarily support workers. CUPE is also active in a broad range of sectors, including health and social services, communications, education, energy, municipalities, Quebec government corporations and public agencies, air transportation, public transit and the mixed sector.

Martin Larose, CUPE Representative, cell. 514-884-6635
Robert Bellerose, CUPE Information Service, cell. 514-247-9266 – rbellerose@scfp.qc.ca