©photo by Mario Bélanger, licensed under Creative Commons
On February 20, UQAR-CUPE 1575, the union representing support staff at the Université du Québec à Rimouski  signed a new five-year agreement.

“All it took was six meetings to negotiate this collective agreement, which is unheard of! A proactive approach was taken from the get-go, which enabled both sides to achieve their objectives,” explained CUPE representative Nathalie Courchesne.

On monetary issues, members will see their wage rates indexed by 5% retroactive to April 1, 2023, 1.75% of which has already been paid out, and will receive wage hikes for the subsequent years totalling 9%. This is aside from the increase called for in the wage parameters negotiated with the Government of Quebec.

Other employee gains include more flexible work schedules, a summer schedule that is one week longer and quicker access to vacation leave levels. The union also set down parameters on teleworking, and special status employees came away with a major gain, as they will now be eligible for group insurance subject to certain conditions.

“Overall, we ended up with a better contract due to the positive tone of discussions at the bargaining table, which made it considerably easier for us to achieve our objectives,” said union president Régis Beaulieu.