In spite of the difficult times we are going through, union-related work continues on at CUPE. At Cogeco, two groups of employees – office staff and technical personnel – agreed to renew their respective collective agreements.

The employer and the union reached a tentative agreement on the two collective agreements early in the year. The members then had eight days to cast their ratification votes electronically.

Both of the collective agreements covering January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2021 were approved by a resounding majority of the office staff (80%) and the technical employees (94%).

Some of the gains included wage increases of 2.25% annually and the posting of regular positions for both job categories. In addition, employees will have improved access to Cogeco’s Internet service, and those wishing to sign up for an unlimited Internet package will be charged a reduced rate.

The union agreed that the employer would not have to pay any penalty if the contracting out rate is exceeded up until December 30. 2021. Moreover, both parties made a commitment to update the collective agreements to be in line with recent amendments to the Canada Labour Code.

CUPE union representative Alain Richard, who is on the eve of his final negotiations before his retirement, is proud to have reached these agreements during these atypical and unprecedented times.

“We had to innovate during this pandemic. We managed to successfully complete negotiations quickly in an environment where some concerns still persisted. The union and employer bargaining committees displayed creativity,” said Richard.

The collective agreements of both the office staff and technical personnel expired on December 31, 2019.