Negotiations with the Syndicat du transport de Montréal (CSN) The STM wants a conciliator to intervene
Montreal, May 8, 2007 - The Société de transport de Montréal (STM) has asked the ministère du Travail to appoint a conciliator to keep negotiations moving forward with the Syndicat du transport de Montréal (CSN) representing some 2 000 maintenance workers. Although STM management feels that the union’s decision to strike next May 22 is premature, it also wants to do everything in its power to avoid such a situation and hopes that a conciliator will step in as quickly as possible.
The STM fails to understand the state of emergency declared by the union over the weekend, because some sixty union demands amounting to over 60 million dollars were still actively on the table when the strike vote was held. Moreover, the STM does not understand why the union has chosen to publicly debate pension fund issues, when union leaders themselves have asked the fund’s actuaries to assess new hypotheses, knowing very well that results will not be available before the end of May.
As for remuneration, the STM’s position is clear: the 2007 budget leaves no room for salary increases. The union is not only seeking to protect its purchasing power (CPI), its also wants a 2% raise, which represents an overall salary increase of 3.6% annually. Added to that would be a catch-up wage increase applicable to all employees. The STM obviously cannot pay for such increases in light of its financial situation.
Some 32 negotiation sessions have taken place with the union so far and three others are scheduled between now and May 22. The presence of a conciliator should help talks progress and, hopefully, avoid any strike action.