What is the Town of Prévost waiting for to assign standby firefighters to their fire station? This is the question that the union representing Prévost firefighters and many residents of Prévost have been asking themselves.
The union has noted that all towns in the surrounding areas have assigned standby firefighters to their fire station. “What the town’s been doing makes no sense. This is all about quick response. We can’t skimp when it comes to public safety,” said Guillaume Aspirault-Massé, President of CUPE 7161.
Having firefighters present during the day on weekdays at the Prévost fire station is part of the legitimate demands the union has put forward during negotiations to renew the employees’ contract, which expired on December 31, 2021.
“We withdrew all of our demands to get an agreement done, while retaining the status quo of the current collective agreement and accepting the employer’s financial offer. Meanwhile the town is moving one step forward and taking two steps back by asking for concessions and making unreasonable offers. They’re wasting our time,” said CUPE representative Maxime Valade.
At the bargaining table last week, the employer said its offer was comprehensive and final, knowing full well that it would be massively rejected by members. This put an end to the mediation process already under way, which the town had requested itself. The law requires that the union holds a vote at a union meeting.
It must also be pointed out that the firefighters unanimously voted in favour of a mandate calling for pressure tactics at a general meeting last January 10, which is currently under way.