Concordia Janitors Avoid Strike

Union Representing Concordia’s Janitorial Staff Reaches Seven-Year Deal With Employers

Concordia’s janitorial staff learned they wouldn’t be going on strike following a majority vote to accept the most recent agreement reached between their union and employer on Nov. 21.

Approximately 1,500 people attended a general meeting hosted by the Union des employés et employées de service—the trade union that represents Concordia’s janitorial staff—and held at the Palais des Congrès de Montréal. Nearly 79 per cent of those in attendance who voted, did so in support of the new collective bargaining agreement between the UES and their employers.

“Generally, those on hand today were excited the proposal passed,” said Alain Brisson, vice president to the administration at UES

Among the changes in the Distinction employees’ contract is an increase in the hourly pay rate of 2.25 per cent in the first year, before steadily reaching 2.6 per cent in the final year of the seven-year deal.

Raymond Larcher, president to the administration at UES, admitted that the length of the contract could be daunting for some of the union members. However, he noted the negotiations significantly augment the pay increases for the sixth and seventh years of the new collective bargaining agreement.

“You never know what the cost of living is going to be at that point because it’s so far away,” he said. “[But] if it stays the same for several years, we’ll have made the right decision.”

Other amendments made with the new deal slightly affected the employees’ job security and vacation regulations, to name a few.

“They’re a lot of simple things,” said Larcher, in regards to the amendments made to the employees’ benefits. “But out of this situation, [the result] means the employees have more rights to say ‘you have to respect my [personal] life.’”

A representative from Distinction Inc. could not be reached for comment.

This article originally appeared in Volume 31, Issue 15, published November 23, 2010.