After forty bargaining sessions, twenty of which involved a mediator, CUPE 2466, representing Saguenay inside workers was forced to leave the bargaining table, describing the town’s latest offers as shameful and adding that there is a troubling flippancy being shown by officials of the largest town in the region.
“The new mayor can’t see that a win-win agreement is within reach. What a waste of our time! At no time since the amalgamation took place have such proposals been made to these employees at the bargaining table. Not only is she showing a lack of respect for the employees, but she is contributing to an already existing predicament in the Saguenay, which has a serious problem retaining workers and is losing its appeal as an employer,” denounced Stéphanie Cloutier, president of CUPE 2466.
The Town is demanding major concessions in the working conditions of its inside workers. Some of these demands zero in on clauses that have been in the collective agreement for more than 20 years. As a result, the union has announced that it is halting the joint labour relations work until the negotiations for the new contract have been completed.
“We mustn’t forget we are negotiating at a time when the Town hiked the salaries of its elected officials by 40 per cent only two years ago. We hold the Town responsible for the current setback at the bargaining table and the adverse consequences this will have on services to the town’s residents,” added CUPE union representative Claire Simard.
Almost all of the members of CUPE 2466 are residents of the Saguenay and are sorry to see the town get mired in a serious labour conflict. The union has had a strike mandate in hand since June 2021.