MONTREAL - It’s done. With undisguised satisfaction, Michel Parent, president of CUPE 301, which represents the Montreal blue-collar, signed the new collective agreement for about 5,000 workers. “We are pleased with the result because we have achieved most of our demands. There is now a major shift towards Montreal’s internal expertise. This will benefit everyone: our members, the citizens and the City. With good public services, everyone wins.”
The new contract, which will expire in December 2012, provides wage increases of about 2 per cent per year, except for the first year. In addition, the union has obtained 446 new permanent positions, recognition of blue-collar expertise, five additional floating holidays and equity with other municipal employees in terms of vacation.
“Following the imposition of the last agreement, the blue-collar workers were treated unjustly. The situation has been corrected, and the blue-collars once again are being treated with respect. With hard work, we have managed to protect jobs, improve productivity and reduce outsourcing to achieve cost savings,” said CUPE representative Marc Ranger.
“We are very pleased with what we have accomplished and with the contract that we have just signed, but that’s not the end of it. The City has expressed confidence in us; now it’s up to us to meet the challenge. It’s time to roll up our sleeves and provide Montrealers with the best public services,” concluded Parent.
Montreal’s blue-collar workers had been without a contract since August 31, 2007. On September 25, they voted by nearly 97 per cent to accept the conciliator’s report.
CUPE represents about 70 per cent of all municipal employees in Quebec. In addition to the municipal sector, CUPE is present in ten other sectors in Quebec, including health and social services, education, urban and air transport, energy, Quebec government corporations and public agencies, and communications. With a total of nearly 105,000 members in Quebec, it is the largest affiliate of the FTQ.
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