Montreal, Wednesday, September 16, 2009 – At an extraordinary general meeting on Wednesday night, 84 % of City of Westmount white-collar workers, represented by the Syndicat des fonctionnaires municipaux de Montréal (CUPE-FTQ), voted in favour of calling a strike when deemed appropriate.
The white-collar workers have been without a contract since June 30, 2006. Negotiations begun in March 2007 and broke down on September 9, 2009 after more than twenty bargaining sessions. Although the parties are in agreement on all substantive provisions, the issues in contention are the employer’s refusal to pay bonuses to employees working outside normal hours, i.e. evenings, nights and weekends, as well as wage conditions.
“It is not possible for us to endorse a settlement that is unfair to our members when their work is just as important for the welfare of the citizens as that provided by their fellow blue-collar workers,” said union president Monique Côté. “Fifteen municipalities on the island, including Montreal, have agreed to pay their employees this type of bonus. Why should a city like Westmount be the exception, especially when it pays them to its blue-collar workers? We do not want to create a precedent, particularly not one of pay inequity,” concluded the President.
On September 9, at an extraordinary general meeting, the members voted by a margin of 96% in favour of a plan providing escalating actions to denounce the employer’s position. Determined to receive fair treatment, they did not hesitate to give their union leaders a mandate to strike.
The SFMM (CUPE-FTQ) represents more than 10,000 white-collar workers in the Montreal public and parapublic sectors. These members work for the City of Montreal, for the 15 reconstituted municipalities in the Montreal area, and for para-municipal corporations, such as the Société du Parc des Iles (SPI), the Société d’habitation et de développement de Montréal (SHDM), the Office municipal d’habitation de Montréal (OMHM), Corporation Anjou 80, Stationnement de Montréal and the Montreal branch of the private company Six Flags Theme Parks (La Ronde).
In addition to the municipal sector, CUPE is present in 10 other sectors in Quebec, including health and social services, education, universities, urban and air transport, hydroelectric power, Quebec government corporations and public agencies, and communications. With a total of nearly 105,000 members in Quebec, it is also the largest affiliate of the FTQ.
This press release and other information can be found on the following union websites: scfp.qc.ca and sfmm429.qc.ca
SOURCE: SYNDICAT DES FONCTIONNAIRES MUNICIPAUX DE MONTRÉAL (SFMM)
- Monique Côté, President, 514 842-9463, cell: 514 707-0106
- Michèle Blais, Information Officer, 514 842-9463, cell: 514 703-4856
- Robert Bellerose, CUPE Information, cell: 514 247-9266