Since the employer is dragging its feet at the bargaining table, the Syndicat des cols bleus de la Ville de Sherbrooke has decided to begin a public campaign to remind the public that, “more than ever, we are at your service.”

“Our slogan Nos cols bleus : plus que jamais! is also the city’s slogan and it fits perfectly with our pride in being municipal workers. Unfortunately, we find ourselves in a precarious situation because of the many employees with temporary status and we want to rectify this at the bargaining table,” said Monique Lortitch, President of CUPE 2279.

The slogan will be displayed on workers’ toques, and on stickers and signs that will be placed in strategic locations. For example, they could be seen outside of City Hall, next to the two roadways and on Mount Bellevue, a place where many outside workers are servicing the population during the March break.

“This campaign is part of the negotiations with the City. Less than half of the outside workers in Sherbrooke have permanent status. We need to improve recruitment capacity to protect taxpayers, because without in-house services, the City is at the mercy of the private sector, which is more expansive”, said Réal Leboeuf, CUPE representative.

When she was running for mayor, Évelyne Beaudin repeated her desire to modernize labour relations. The union says that a simple enough first step would be to make the workforce permanent, to ensure that services are offered to Sherbrooke residents. This will be a first step towards improving the working climate which is at its lowest.