Saint-Hyacinthe – The 130 or so blue-collar workers of the City of Saint-Hyacinthe are considering an overtime strike as of Friday night at 11:30 p.m. Using this as a pressure tactic, they are hoping to quickly reach an agreement in principle with the City. “After 26 constructive negotiation sessions, we just need a little extra effort on the part of the City to reach a collective agreement,” said Louis Fafard, President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), Local 4636.
The blue-collar workers’ last contract expired on December 31, 2011. “The last major point in dispute is the retirement plan. But we have adopted a flexible and open approach to meet the City’s concerns. We tabled an offer along that line at the end of June. The City has promised an answer before July 29. We therefore want an answer as soon as possible to reach an agreement at the earliest opportunity,” added Louis Fafard.
Yesterday, the City and the union agreed on the essential services to be maintained should there be an overtime strike. This agreement must be validated by the Labour Relations Board. All services necessary to ensure citizens’ health and safety will be maintained. For instance, water services and the water system will be covered.
On July 2, during the union’s general assembly, the blue-collar workers voted unanimously to give themselves a strike mandate.
With over 110,000 members in Quebec, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) represents roughly 70% of all Quebec municipal workers, that is, over 30,000 members. CUPE is active in the following sectors: social affairs, communications, education, energy, Crown corporations and public organizations, air and urban transportation, the mixed sector as well as universities.
Information: Sébastien Goulet, CUPE information, cell: 438-882-3756