The Town of Saguenay’s lack of movement at the bargaining table has prompted the union representing white-collar workers to call for a 24-hour strike on February 17, 2022, the deadline for the first payment of municipal taxes.
“Sadly, this is where we’re at. The lack of consideration the Town has shown to its white-collar workers generally and at the bargaining table is regrettable. Unfortunately, the new mayor is unable to see that a win-win agreement is within reach. We provide essential services to the public, and she simply doesn’t recognize the work done by these people,” said Stéphanie Cloutier, president of CUPE 2466.
The Town is demanding significant rollbacks in the working conditions of white-collar employees. Some of these demands focus on clauses that have been in the collective agreement for more than 20 years. The administration is showing disrespect to all of the workers, and this has made an already alarming situation in the Saguenay even worse, as the Town has a serious problem of retaining staff and is clearly less able to attract new workers.
“For more than a week now, we have extended personal invitations to mayor Julie Dufour to join us at the bargaining table to avoid having the conflict take a turn for the worst and to reach a settlement. Our requests have been met with dead silence. The union made an honest offer last week, and the employer is steadfastly clinging to a position that will never bring the parties together. There’s no rhyme or reason. The mayor has to put a stop to this disappearing act of hers and negotiate in good faith. We’re holding the Town responsible for the current setback at the bargaining table and the the adverse consequences that this conflict and the strike now in the preparation phase will have on citizens,” added CUPE union representative Claire Simard.
Almost all members of CUPE 2466 are citizens of the Saguenay, and they are sorry to see that the Town is allowing this labour conflict get worse.