The already tense situation at the fire department in the Town of Prévost in the Laurentians has gotten worse. At a general meeting last night, Prévost firefighters unanimously rejected the town’s final offer from last June.
The twenty or so members have been without a collective agreement since December 31, 2021. The parties have been in mediation since February 2023, but no progress has been made.
This offer, which was described as comprehensive and final, put an end to the mediation process requested by the town itself, which had already begun.
Following the vote, the firefighters headed over to town council where they gave Paul Germain, the mayor of Prévost, a copy of the town’s final offer on which the word “Rejected!” had been scrawled.
In addition, posters have started springing up all over town to inform the public of the status of talks with the fire department.
“We have made quite a few attempts to reach an agreement. In particular, we withdrew all of our demands in June, kept everything the same in the collective agreement in force and agreed to the employer’s monetary offer. However, the town came back with other unreasonable demands, which brought about the impasse we’re in now,” said CUPE representative Maxime Valade.
“Moreover, the employer is demanding significant concessions on non-monetary clauses, which would have an unacceptable and adverse impact on the lives of our members. This involves part-time on-call firefighters who do not work at the station. They must remain available on the territory and head to the station only when an emergency call comes in. The town has no full-time firefighters to ensure better response times to the public when an incident arises, contrary to other municipalities that have chosen to offer better service to their territory,” added Valade.
It is also worth noting that on January 10, the firefighters unanimously adopted a mandate to apply pressure tactics, which are currently being taken.