Concordia support workers ratify new contract



    MONTREAL, Feb. 15 /CNW Telbec/ - During a general meeting this afternoon,
Concordia University's 450 support workers ratified a new collective agreement
by a score of 99.5 per cent, bringing to an end five-and-a-half years of tough
negotiations and escalating job actions.
    For Andre Legault, president of the Concordia University Support Staff
Union (CSN), today's result is a tribute to the members' solidarity and their
determination to win the respect of their employer. The struggle featured
numerous demonstrations and pressure tactics, including three days of rotating
strikes over the past year.
    "We fought for our dignity and for our right to be treated as well as
support staff at other Quebec universities," said Mr. Legault. "At times it
was very difficult, but our members can be proud of what they have
accomplished."
    The new collective agreement is effective until May 31, 2010. It features
annual raises of about 4 per cent per year and pay equity adjustments that
bring the total compounded wage raise to 34 per cent over the duration of the
contract.
    As well, evening premiums were improved, while night and weekend shift
premiums were introduced.
    The collective agreement also introduces generous early retirement
provisions. An employee who retires between the ages of 55 and 60, for
example, will have the right to a payment equal to one year's salary.
    CSN negotiator Athena Davis said the union's members fought to hold the
line on the university's demand for concessions on employment security.
"Concordia wanted to delete large chunks of their employment security
provisions, but we were actually able to improve them," Ms. Davis said. "The
administration wanted to impose working conditions, but in the end they had to
recognize the union and negotiate a settlement."
    The negotiations also led to the settlement of 36 grievances and the
creation of more than 20 new permanent positions.
    "We are very happy that our members will have a substantial salary
catch-up," said Andre Legault. "Our members are the lowest-paid employees at
Concordia University, and they deserved this settlement."




For further information:

For further information: Lyle Stewart, CSN Communications Service, (514)
796-2066


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