About 500 members of the SQI, which is part of CUPE, triggered a one-day, province-wide strike on February 22. Their collective agreement expired on March 31, 2020. Negotiations to renew the contract have made progress, but despite several meetings between the union and employer, discussions have still not resulted in an agreement.

Last June, a special general meeting was held where members voted 79% in favour of pressure tactics up to and including a general five-day strike.

“Our patience has run out. The employer has left us with no choice but to go out on strike because they continue to ignore our wage demands. Today’s work stoppage has been successful and judging from the energy displayed by our members, one can readily see how mobilized they are,” says Sylvain Beaulieu, President of the SQI, which represents office and technical employees.

Union representative Nina Laflamme adds that “discussions on non-monetary issues have still gone unresolved because the employer is forging ahead with their unrealistic demands to abolish seniority clauses when filling positions.”

The mission of the SQI is to support public sector organizations in the management of public infrastructure projects by providing project planning, completion, and follow-up services; and by developing, maintaining, and managing building stock that meets the needs of ministries and organizations through the construction, operation, and real estate management services it provides.