After more than one year of negotiations, the 25 or so employees with the Rivière-du-Loup Regional County Municipality (RCM) now have a new seven-year contract, calling for significant improvements to members’ working conditions.

The parties beforehand undertook a complete job evaluation and made major revisions to the wage structure, which produced monetary gains of 6.5% on average for staff starting in 2022.

Moreover, annual wage increases will be tied to the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which will probably mean an additional 7 or 8% for 2023.

Both sides showed mutual respect during negotiations. Labour attraction and retention were central to the concerns of both the RCM and the union.

“The signing of this new collective agreement shows that respectful labour relations do yield satisfactory results for both parties. From our standpoint, given the current runaway inflation, we managed to protect the purchasing power of our members, which we consider a major gain,” declared Vincent Bélanger, president of CUPE 2795.

Located in the heart of the Lower St. Lawrence Region, the Rivière-du-Loup RCM consists of eleven rural municipalities, one town (Saint-Antonin) and one central city (Rivière-du-Loup). RCM employees include white collars, technicians, professionals and fire preventionists.