The decision to privatize part of the security at the City of Montreal has been suspended, allowing time for an intensive bargaining blitz over the summer. The city council was set to vote today on awarding a major contract of nearly $4.8 million to Groupe de sécurité Garda SENC for the next two years. A number of blue-collar employees had already received their layoff notice.

“The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) has been lobbying the municipal government to reconsider this decision. We will focus all of our energy over the next two months on finding solutions that will enable us to keep this important activity in-house. The clock was ticking, as the municipal council was granting the contract today. This is a step in the right direction, but much remains to be done,” said Marc Ranger, Director of CUPE Quebec.

CUPE noted that some 47 auxiliary workers had received layoff notices effective July 21. For the time being, they will still be employed. “They are in a difficult situation, and we must quickly find a lasting solution. Failing that, and pending legal action, we will do what it takes to protect our affected members,” concluded Ranger.

Restructuring the pension plan for City of Montreal blue-collar employees: discussions resume

At the same time, the parties met to resume discussions on restructuring the pension plan for City of Montreal blue-collar employees. The matter is in the compulsory arbitration stage under Act 15. Discussions will continue in parallel. This Act is being challenged by CUPE in Superior Court. One of its dispositions, the suspension of the negotiated indexation of the pension of retirees (1 per cent), is deeply unfair, inequitable and illegal. The case will go to the Supreme Court and CUPE is more confident than ever about having this Act declared unconstitutional.

Pending a final decision, and considering all the work done by the Union, we are confident that we will reach an agreement for future service.

With more than 110,000 members in Quebec, CUPE represents about 70 per cent of the province’s municipal employees, or 31,600 members. CUPE is also present in the following sectors: health and social services, communications, education, universities, energy, government corporations and public agencies, air and urban transport, the mixed sector and the maritime sector.