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MRC Pontiac employees vote in favour of pressure tactics

MRC Pontiac employees vote in favour of pressure tactics

9 September 2022 à 12:00 am

Negotiations for the renewal of the collective agreement for employees of the MRC Pontiac do not seem to be going to the satisfaction of the union, as employees voted unanimously yesterday for pressure tactics. This was declared by Michel Girard, the regional president for the Laurentides-Lanaudière-Outaouais Region of the Syndicat de la fonction publique et parapublique du Québec (SFPQ). Planned salary increases, working hours and telecommuting are the main points of disagreement.

“We thought we could reach an agreement, like everywhere we manage, to get along, but right now, that’s why I came to the Pontiac,” Girard said (translated). “I had a meeting with the employees and I’ll tell you, what’s on the table is a step back. In my opinion, it’s a historic step back. You know, we’re talking about a 5-year collective agreement, but we’re offered 10% over 5 years. While the CPI, this year, we know very well, it is 4.1. We want to catch up on the holidays, we want … Telework has been removed as of this morning, as we speak. Then, something else, deep down, if you wanted to work at the MRC Pontiac, you know work-family balance, scheduling, we don’t take it into account now. It’s really, I’ll tell you, I’ve never seen a setback like this in the negotiations.”

Girard said that he does not understand the actions of the general management of the MRC Pontiac concerning telework. He criticized them for not accepting models that have been adopted in other rural areas of the Outaouais.

“You know, I’ll give you an example in terms of teleworking, we don’t just have the MRC Pontiac that we’re negotiating with,” he said (translated). “We have the MRC Papineau, we have the MRC Matawinie and we have several other MRCs in Quebec. [And how is it going there?] It’s going very well, since the start of the pandemic we have had policies, telework guidelines at the MRC Papineau. Moreover, we had presented the policy to the MRC Pontiac and they did not even consider it. They looked and came back with something a little peculiar … Employees are all satisfied with this directive at the MRC Papineau. It means that we really do not understand where the MRC is going at this level.”

The full (French-language) interview with Girard is available here.