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The union representing more than 550 professionals and office staff at CBC/Radio-Canada ratified a new five-year labour contract today. Members in several regions across Quebec and in Moncton, New Brunswick voted 95 per cent in favour of the tentative agreement, which was reached on November 26, 2010. The agreement covers the period from September 26, 2010 to September 20, 2015 and includes an annual salary increase of 1.5 per cent for the first two years. Wages for the following three years will be negotiated at a later date.

The union negotiated some innovative phased-in retirement options. While employees already had access to early retirement by converting their severance into paid time off, from now on they can also use that severance to reduce their work hours. In other words, they can lighten their workload by 50 per cent for anywhere from two to six months.

We’re delighted to be able to guarantee stable and appealing working conditions for our members in the coming years. Negotiations were conducted in a positive atmosphere over nine very productive sessions; both parties kept an open-mind,” stated Jacqueline Turgeon, President of CUPE Local 675.

The new collective agreement introduces a mechanism that monitors hours worked by employees with a precarious employment status. This will help the union push for more permanent positions by proving the constant need for workers. In addition, a new provision will give employees the option to take an additional week of vacation, at their own expense.

CUPE Local 675 represents roughly 550 salaried employees, including 530 across the province of Quebec (Montreal, Quebec City, Saguenay, Sherbrooke, Trois-Rivières, Rimouski, Sept-Îles and Matane) and 19 in Moncton, New Brunswick. They work as receptionists, administrative officers, computer technicians, advertising representatives, communications assistants, etc.

CUPE represents over 7,250 members in the Quebec communications sector, and is also active in a number of other sectors, namely health and social services, education, urban and air transportation, provincial corporations and public organizations, energy, and municipalities. With more than 105,000 members, CUPE-Quebec is the largest FTQ affiliate.