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Wednesday afternoon was an important time for CUPE members in the school support sector: The members of the bargaining committee of the Provincial Council for School Support, their spokesperson and their management counterpart signed the new collective agreement.

This new labour agreement affects support staff in 15 school boards, representing about 8,500 CUPE members.

The new five-year agreement will expire March 31, 2015. The outcome of last year’s Common Front negotiations, it provides for pay increases of 6 per cent to10.5 per cent, depending on the rise in the GDP and inflation, in line with those in Quebec’s public and parapublic sector.

It also provides for improvements in the pension plan, group insurance and parental rights.

Locally, this round of talks ushered in a new approach to evaluating and compiling the accumulated service of temporary employees, qualifying them for certain benefits sooner. In addition, improvements to some provisions promote the replacement of employees internally.