Montreal – May 18, 2023 — At the end of a reasoned negotiation process that required 21 meetings, UFCW Local 500, is proud to announce the signing of the collective agreement for the 1,554 unionized workers at Desjardins Card Services. Of those, 1076 voted 93% in favour of the agreement reached between the negotiating committee and their employer. In order to achieve such a high percentage of participation, the union has put in place a variety of mechanisms to reach workers in a more personalized manner.
Initially, a vast operation was set up to confirm or obtain members' emails. Although all union members are attached to two physical locations in Montreal and Trois-Rivières, the vast majority are teleworking, and this, since the pandemic hit us. In order to reach members in a personalized manner, we used strategic moments to give them friendly reminders and inform them about the progress of the negotiations. The consultation period ran from April 18 to 24 inclusive, at the end of which two major issues stood out: wage increases and the time management fund.
This was followed by the voting period which ended on May 1st. The union team was available on a continuous basis virtually and at the union office during the few days preceding the end of the vote. Throughout this period, members were able to consult three documents: the collective agreement with the amendments, a summary of the highlights as well as explanatory video clips.
On the salary front, we have re-evaluated positions, allowing the vast majority of union members to be repositioned within the salary range of their job level. In addition, salary increases of up to 8.3% were granted, depending on the salary scale and the performance rating. Please note that the repositioning and salary increases are retroactive.
By popular demand, the new labour contract provides for the implementation of a time management fund that allows for the accumulation of vacation pay in real time rather than once a year. This will make it easier for workers to manage different types of leave and vacation time or money, as they will be able to do so each pay period.
Among the highlights of this new collective agreement is that the telework option that has existed for many years is now part of the collective agreement through a letter of understanding that sets out the terms and conditions of telework for union members. Due to a number of factors, the union and the employer are committed to working together to maintain a healthy and productive work environment, balancing the benefits of telework with the challenges it can present.
"We are proud of this agreement that meets the needs of our members while ensuring a strong and constructive working relationship with the employer," says Antonio Filato, UFCW 500 president.
More than 35,000 UFCW Local 500 members work in more than 650 locations across Quebec. To learn more about the remarkable work of UFCW Local 500, visit its website.
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