The last of three general meetings was held last Monday to ratify the tentative agreement reached last February 2 between the Journal de Québec and three of its bargaining units. The office union voted 93 per cent in favour, as did the press room (78 per cent) and editorial staff (journalists and support employees in the news room) (96 per cent).

“We are satisfied with this agreement. The parties took part in a rationalization exercise as partners, and by so doing, retained 100 per cent of the production of the Journal de Québec at the Imprimerie de Québec, which was not a sure thing when negotiations began,” explained Nina Laflamme, CUPE union representative.

The agreement ensures the sustainability of the Journal de Québec, while at the same time keeping most of the production and jobs in Quebec City across all of the bargaining units. The agreement also calls for the establishment of mechanisms to ensure that content is of increasingly good quality.

The parties established a working committee to study and develop new approaches to ensure a smoother transition of journalism and newspaper production in a digital universe.

“The two-year agreement calls for wage increases of 1.5 per cent per year, the enhancement of some monetary clauses and improvement of health and safety clauses,” added the union representative.

The bargaining committees are also satisfied that the agreement allows new employees access to the current pension plan. The employer’s previous position was to bring in a pension plan that was far less advantageous for new employees.