Quebec – At a meeting held late yesterday afternoon, 95% of the office, technical and professional staff of Quebec City’s transit corporation, the Réseau de transport de la Capitale (RTC) ratified by secret ballot the agreement in principle reached May 15 between their union (CUPE 2231) and the corporation’s management.
“We experienced the whole gamut of emotions during these lengthy negotiations. Our members put their faith in us, and the last three months were decisive at the negotiating table, enabling us to reach a tentative agreement,” said Nathalie Lévesque, president of CUPE 2231.
Emotions ran equally high when the agreement was ratified. With the unanimous support of the assembly, one member moved that the new agreement be dedicated to the memory of Jacques Larose, former president of CUPE 2231. Jacques Larose died of cancer shortly before the conclusion of the agreement in principle. As President, he had been involved in this round of negotiations.
The term of the new collective agreement is seven years, from December 26, 2009 to December 30, 2016. Under the new agreement, employees will receive the following increases: 1.5% for 2010, 1.5% for 2011, 1.75% for 2012, and 2% for each of the last four years of the contract. In addition, cost-cutting measures will be redistributed as increases of 0.75% for each of the last three years of the contract and lump sums equal to 0.5% for 2010, 0.5% for 2011 and 0.25% for 2012.
The parties also made certain changes to the collective employment contract, mainly concerning working hours. In regards to the pension fund, employees and employers agreed to increase their pension contributions by 2%.
The union, Local 2231 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), represents 140 employees of the RTC: 100 office and technical employees and 40 professional employees. Their last collective agreement expired on December 25, 2009.
The RTC provides more than 46 million trips annually on a network of nearly 900 km.
With more than 111,000 members in Quebec, CUPE represents some 7,100 members in urban transport in the province. CUPE is also present in the following sectors: health and social services, communications, education, universities, energy, municipalities, Quebec government corporations and public agencies, air transport, and the mixed sector.