TAT declares pressure tactics illegal - Maintenance employees union does not respond to global offer and STM files application for arbitration

Press release

The STM welcomes the decision of the Tribunal administratif du travail (TAT), following its application filed on February 13, 2019, which declared illegal the pressure tactics used by the maintenance employees union and its members and ordered that they cease immediately.

The TAT accepted the STM's arguments and recognized that this series of pressure tactics, used in a context of negotiation and mediation, was having an impact on a service to which the population is entitled.

Maintenance employees union does not respond to global offer

It should be noted that, after lengthy negotiations, including piecemeal approvals by the union which significantly slowed down the process, more than 170 negotiating sessions between the two parties, and the participation of a mediator appointed by the Government of Quebec, the STM submitted an initial global offer in December 2018, which was followed by a counteroffer by the union on January 9. In response, this week the STM tabled a final, global offer that included an enhanced monetary element, an interesting opening in the employee pension plan, a reduction in overtime, and an increase in the number of new positions. More positions would allow more flexible evening and weekend schedules, which would ensure 24-hour maintenance and deliver an improved customer experience.

Without presenting the offer to its members, the maintenance employees union said this afternoon that it could not respond to the final, global offer tabled by the STM or guarantee that a counteroffer would fall within the financial framework proposed by the STM.

STM requests arbitration

Given this context and the lengthy process that began in 2016, the STM advised the maintenance employees union that it wished to file an application for dispute arbitration. If the union refuses, the last recourse provided under the Act respecting the process of negotiation of collective agreements and the settlement of disputes in the municipal sector (c. 24) would be the intervention of a special mandatary, who would attempt to reach an agreement between the two parties.

The STM requested that the union begin negotiations in December 2016, i.e., one year before the collective agreement’s renewal date, to provide enough time for things to be done properly. In September 2018, when it was impossible for the parties to reach an agreement on their own through negotiation, the assistance of a mediator was requested.

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Alain Legault, Director
Corporate Communications and Public Relations
Société de transport de Montreal