Towards a very first collective agreement: Filing of union demands by Quebec
resources for children and adults affiliated with the CSD

QUEBEC, May 18 /CNW Telbec/ - The 7,000 men and women in charge of Quebec resources for children and adults affiliated with the CSD filed their demands this morning with the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux in view of the upcoming negotiation of their very first collective agreement.

These demands reflect the real concerns of the CSD members since they result from an important round of consultation with almost a thousand resources for children and adults in Quebec. This historic filing is in line with Bill 49 adopted in June 2009 that, for the first time in the history of Quebec, grants resources for children and adults the right to negotiate their working conditions collectively.

"The most important thing for us was to establish a real balance of powers, to be able to talk to our counterparts and obtain better working conditions", says Alcide Genesse, Spokesperson of the National Alliance of RESSAQ CSD (resources for adults) and President of the RESSAQ CSD. "This was a big breakthrough; we finally managed to get the exercise of fundamental rights for which we had fought for several years."

The resources for children had to deal with a real change of approach, of culture with the development of the platform of demands that, after having been the object of several meetings, was adopted at the end of April. "It's amazing how far they have come over the last few months, they want a status, recognition and access to rights they were deprived of and they are very determined to get them. We must understand to what extent some of them were victims of arbitrariness, discrimination, and also how their work has been unrecognized for so long, minimized, simply because they were women", mentions Pierre-Louis Fortin-Legris, Spokesperson and Negotiator of the National Alliance of ADREQ CSD (resources for children).

Quebec's 12,000 resources for children and adults are amongst the few workers who do not benefit from any work-related rights. For example, they are not protected by the Loi sur les normes du travail, they cannot participate in the Régie des rentes du Québec, they have no right to statutory paid holidays, or any type of prevention or compensation for work-related accidents, and they have no access to any social safety net.

Despite the magnitude of their responsibilities that they shoulder 24/7, there is currently no formal method to evaluate their work or to establish an equitable salary. In the majority of cases, the monies they receive only cover their operating costs and they are left with almost nothing after the bills are paid.

One of the objectives of the negotiation is to reinforce the network of resources for children and adults in Quebec, whose primary concern are the children and adults in their care, by giving these workers rights and compensation which would assure them a better quality of life. The other objective is to establish mechanisms for both arbitration, to guarantee the free exercise of their rights, and for consultation to ensure their participation in decisions about their future, for example, when it comes to the challenges related to the aging of the men and women in charge of resources for children and adults, and the training of their replacements.

This historic day is the result of a long battle that began in 2001 with the formation of the Regroupement des ressources résidentielles adultes du Québec (RESSAQ), which intensified in 2003 when the RESSAQ decided to affiliate with the Centrale des syndicats démocratiques (CSD) to gain legal recognition of the status of their members.

Six years later, following the adoption of Bill 49 in June 2009, the Associations démocratiques des ressources à l'enfance du Québec (ADREQ) joined the ranks of the CSD in order to obtain the same rights as other Québec workers as well as recognition of their important contribution to Quebec society.

The CSD and the National Alliances of ADREQ CSD and RESSAQ CSD

The Centrale des syndicats démocratiques (CSD) represents 70,000 members, including 7,000 men and women in charge of resources for children and adults in Quebec, who are part of the National Alliance of the Associations démocratiques des ressources à l'enfance du Québec CSD (ADREQ CSD) and the National Alliance of the Regroupements des ressources résidentielles adultes du Québec CSD (RESSAQ CSD).

SOURCE Centrale des syndicats démocratiques (CSD)

For further information: For further information: Valérie Poiré, Communications Department, Centrale des syndicats démocratiques (CSD), (514) 899-1070, ext. 225, Cell.: (514) 248-6277, poirev@csd.qc.ca; Source: National Alliances of ADREQ CSD and RESSAQ CSD

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Centrale des syndicats démocratiques (CSD)

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