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Trois-Rivières, Friday, June 13, 2014  – The support staff of the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR) will have a new collective agreement. At yesterday’s general meeting, 86.5% of employees approved the agreement in principle reached last week between their union (CUPE 1800) and the university.

The new contract will cover five years, from June 1, 2013 to May 31, 2018. The focal point of the new agreement is a new salary structure. It will apply from April 1, 2014, with 94% of functions, or roughly 347 employees, seeing a pay rise of between 0.12% and 20%. The three employee groups – trades, technical and office – are now integrated into the new salary structure and will share the same evaluation plan. Government wage parameters (PSG) will also apply once they are known.

There are other gains, particularly in the areas of social leaves, summer hours and bonuses. Also included are the regularisations or improvement of some unstable jobs, and better provisions for holidays and group insurance for employees with special status.

The president of CUPE 1800, Denise Béland, noted that negotiations were held from March to June 2014.  She described the atmosphere of the negotiations as “calm, but nonetheless difficult in the context of the institution’s budget, cuts, equity with other unionized groups that had been or were also in negotiation, the new government, and the June 4 budget, not yet announced at the time of our agreement.”

Denise Béland, who was in her fifth negotiation with UQTR, concluded, “Despite the challenging context, the bargaining committee strongly believes that the union positioned itself well and succeeded in improving certain aspects of working conditions for the members of CUPE 1800.”

With some 350 members, CUPE 1800 represents the university’s clerical, trades and services groups, as well as its technical group.

With more than 111,000 members in Quebec, CUPE represents some 10,400 members in universities, mostly support staff. CUPE is also present in the following sectors: health and social services, communications, education, energy, municipalities, Quebec government corporations and public agencies, urban and air transport, and the mixed sector.