Sylvie Nelson, president of the SQEES-FTQ (the center), and Daniel Boyer, president of the FTQ (right), during a demonstration in front of the Chartwell Domaine de Bordeaux, Quebec, last November.
June 2, 2020 20h39
Strike mandate in hand, officers in conciliation with its largest employer
The Canadian Press
MONTREAL — The largest trade union of orderlies in the private sector has met with conciliation, on Tuesday, the largest private employer in the sector, the Group Chartwell, whereas the union already has a strike mandate in 12 of these private residences for the elderly.
The Syndicat québécois des employés de service (SQEES), which is affiliated with the FTQ, had already held strike votes in 12 residences Chartwell. It should take in the other three, when the pandemic of coronavirus was reported, said the SQEES.
The strike was not triggered in these private homes, which employed approximately 1,000 employees, primarily the orderlies, but also of the servants in the kitchen and the housekeeping, especially.
The meeting took place in the presence of two conciliators.
It is these employees who earn $ 13 to $ 14 an hour, before the payment of the premiums for temporary offered by Quebec during the pandemic of the COVID-19.
For some time already, the SQEES claims first a salary of $ 15 per hour in the first year for low-paid workers — not just the orderlies. And then he asks for $ 1 per hour increase per year, for three years.
It is this claim that he has range, Tuesday in conciliation, the Group Chartwell, which describes itself as “the largest operator of the lodging industry for retirees in Canada”.
In an interview after the meeting, the president of the SQEES-FTQ, Sylvie Nelson, said it was open to discussion, but “it takes $ 15 per hour for our lowest paid employees”, she started. She recalls that the minimum wage is made to 13,10 $ since the 1st of may.
“We are ready to begin trading. We want a blitz of negotiation in the weeks of 8 and 15 June. We’d like to resolve this before the summer,” quipped Nelson.
It ensures that there is no question of the exercise the strike mandate in the current context. “We will not ask our people to come out outside in full pandemic.”
On the side of Chartwell, the vice-president for operational services in Quebec, Marie-France Lemay, has confirmed that “discussions have resumed with the union after a forced break due to the pandemic of the COVID-19”.
She added that negotiations were continuing with the conciliators “) to explore avenues leading to an agreement and we are confident of coming to agreements,” added Ms. Lemay, by e-mail.
Strangely, she argued that”at the present time, no strike mandate has not yet been formally brought to the attention of Chartwell on the part of the union”.
The SQEES has on several occasions requested the government Legault to adopt a decree of the collective agreement for all private residences for seniors. Such an order provides for minimum working conditions for all employees within a sector, whether they are unionized or non-unionized.
There are 15 orders in Quebec, in the security agencies, for example, or in the areas of maintenance of public buildings. They are then managed by joint committees.