Saint-Constant LogoLast week, the Town of Saint-Constant announced to union employees who had been laid off, those still on the job and CUPE 2566 that it was considering contracting out horticulture and asphalting work.

“This is totally befuddling. To show our openness and our spirit of cooperation, CUPE filed two submissions with the Town’s administration – one for horticulture services and another for paving work. In both cases, it costs less for union members to do the work.  Since that time, the Town has not gotten back to us,” said CUPE union representative Carole Bouchard.

What is even harder to understand is that all municipalities in Quebec are facing labour shortages. If Saint-Constant loses its qualified labour, this will no doubt impact various other services to the public.

“Again, this makes no sense. The Town has invested in equipment for its outside workers. It’s always been very proud of its horticulture service and has even extolled the merits of its staff. So why deprive the town of this expertise acquired over so many years?” she added.

The situation is all the more surprising since in 2019 the employer was very proud to have brought back snow removal in house, not to mention that this decision produced savings of about $600,000. The answer may lie in a recent report by an external firm, which confirmed many management-related shortcomings.

“Indeed, there has been much turnover among managers, but the question remains. Why should employees and taxpayers have to pay for poor management?” said Bouchard.