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On December 9, workers at the TIRU incineration plant in Quebec, represented by CUPE, endorsed an agreement in principle for the renewal of their collective agreement, which expired on December 31, 2009. The new five-year contract will run from 2010 to 2014, inclusive.

Under the new agreement, annual wage increases and bonuses will match the consumer price index plus one per cent (CPI + 1%). In addition, the weekend hourly premium rate was increased from $1.90 to $3.00 on Saturdays and from $3.70 to $5.00 on Sundays. The parties also reached an agreement on a targeted retirement program, with increased benefits at the employer’s expense.

A number of issues were raised with the employer, for example, elimination of positions, schedule changes, overtime, special leave, inconvenience bonuses, etc. After negotiation, all the provisions of the collective agreement were renewed and, in some cases, improved.

The negotiations lasted about a year. Despite the intervention of a conciliator from the Ministry of Labour, two agreements in principle had been rejected by union members in October.

With nearly 105,000 members in Quebec, CUPE is present in several other sectors, including health and social services, education, universities, municipalities, energy, urban and air transport, communications, and Quebec government corporations and public agencies. It is also the largest affiliate of the FTQ.