According to CUPE 1244, which represents approximately 1800 members, the situation is beginning to bear striking resemblance to the tense circumstances leading up to the March 2019 strike involving the university’s building systems technicians and stationary engineers, which received heavy media coverage.
For support employees, negotiations have been dragging on for three years now, mainly due to the employer showing little openness to union proposals and digging in on its positions, while systematically refusing any concessions to our demands.
“We have taken various approaches, for example, by attempting to accept concessions to the employer on some of their demands, in exchange for their accepting some of our demands, and so on. In short, nothing is working. The university is holding fast to its position and demanding that the union accept its demands, while rejecting ours,” said CUPE union representative Alexis Côté.
On monetary issues, the employer’s offers have been deemed insulting, as they are far less than what the Université de Montréal has agreed to with other groups in the same university.
During this time, tension has been ramping up between both parties. In response to the university’s unacceptable attitude, the union put together a visual campaign entitled “Face à un mur” (Up against a wall), in which it denounces the university’s failure to move and its intransigence during negotiations.