The City of Côte Saint-Luc is disappointed in the blue collar union’s decision to hold a one-day strike on Monday, May 2, 2016.
The union’s purported reason for the strike is that the city has stalled negotiations. Despite the union’s allegations, the city has made every effort to advance negotiations. Since the negotiation process began in February 2014, an internal union election delayed negotiations and led to a change in union negotiators. In fact, the union has changed negotiators four times in two years. In addition to the union’s internal changes, it also stalled negotiations several times in order to protest the Quebec government’s pension plan law, also known as Bill 3 or Law 15.
“We respect our employees and have been negotiating in good faith for two years with the blue collar’s negotiating team,” Mayor Mitchell Brownstein said. “We want a collective agreement that is fair to our workers and taxpayers. We have historically had good relations with our unions, and we see no reason why that should not continue.  We have certainly given the union no reason to act in this way.”
“We have always negotiated in good faith and respected our undertakings,” said Interim City Manager Nadia Di Furia.
However, it appears that union negotiators have chosen confrontation over conciliation.
Last Wednesday, the City of Côte Saint-Luc and the union reached a deal with respect to a grievance. The next day, the union reneged on the parties’ agreement. Then, later that same day, the union called for a strike, much to the city’s disappointment. Their salary increase demands are double what other blue collars have received in other cities on the island of Montreal.
Côte Saint-Luc management, white collar workers, and professionals remain on the job on Monday, May 2 to deliver services to residents. Waste collection is provided by an outside contractor and is unaffected by the strike. Côte Saint-Luc is in contact with the union to ensure that essential services provided by blue-collar works will continue.
As a result of the one-day blue-collar strike, the following services or installation will be closed: the Samuel Moskovitch Arena and the Public Works Yard. In additional, baseball games have been cancelled at Pierre Elliott Trudeau Park and Kirwan Park.
The Côte Saint-Luc Library, Aquatic and Community Centre, Gymnasium, and City Hall remain open.