The union representing the administrative, technical and professional personnel of the STM (CUPE 2850) has signed an agreement with the Société de transport de Montréal to oversee the arrival of employees assigned to cleaning, who have been called in to help limit the spread of COVID-19 in public transit.
These workers will be assigned to health maintenance tasks in buses and on the subway. They will be wiping down public telephones, turnstiles, terminals, elevator buttons and handrails in stairways, among others.
As per the agreement, the employer shall provide personal protective equipment essential to employee safety.
“Thanks to our collective agreement, we are indeed privileged to maintain our working conditions and salaries during this crisis. When management called on us and we were given reassurance about the security issue, we immediately said, ‘Count us in!’” Our members are proud and want to contribute to this collective effort,” stated union President Martin Gagnon.
Workers will be transferred in two successive phases. The first will consist of a maximum of 150 employees from project office services, Caisses, work inspection, training, customer service, etc., and a second phase of 250 people made up mainly of volunteers.
However, out of respect for the collective agreements currently in force at the STM, no member of CUPE 2850 can be deployed until such time as all employees with the Service de l’entretien sanitaire (CSN) certification unit have been called in based on their availability.
“CUPE salutes an initiative of this type, which clearly reflects the values of solidarity espoused by our organization. At present, virtually all CUPE members in Quebec are right in the middle of this fight against the pandemic due to the essential role they play,” said union representative Richard Quesnel.