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La Sarre, QC - The twelve unionized workers at Le Trait d’Union La Sarre in Quebec’s Abitibi region have reached an agreement with the directors of their organization and signed a three-year collective agreement. The organization’s mission is to support the social integration of people previously or currently marginalized due to mental health problems. It offers its clientele services such as daytime activities and short-term housing.

Both parties first reached a tentative agreement in July 2011, which was later approved by the unionized members at a special assembly. The new three-year agreement includes a 5 per cent salary catch-up, better normative clauses, more vacation time, a new night premium, and a 2.5 per cent salary increase over the course of the three-year labour contract.

“We’re proud of our achievements. Negotiations went well and the employer’s representatives were respectful,” said Caroline Joseph, president of CUPE Local 4517.

CUPE represents some 20,000 members in Quebec’s health and social services, and is also active in ten other sectors, including education, municipalities, public transportation, airlines, Quebec crown corporations and public agencies, energy, as well as communications. CUPE has more than 110,000 members across Quebec, making it the largest FTQ affiliate.