Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) and leaders of its student-workers union, Syndicat des étudiant-e-s employé-e-s (SÉTUE) have drawn up a new contract. SÉTUE workers at the school have been working without a contract since May 31, 2008, when the former contract expired.
The settlement came after almost 15 months of negotiations, and both union and administration leadership are pleased with the outcome.
Eric Dremers, president of SÉTUE, said that the negotiations were tense at times, but ultimately satisfactory.
“We are very happy with the work that the negotiating committee did. It was a very difficult negotiation. [UQAM] was, at the beginning, completely closed to any suggestions [from us]”, Dremers said in an email to The Daily.
Starting June 9, 2009, unionized student workers will begin earning wage parity with their counterparts at Université de Montréal, representing an average increase of 20 per cent. The union also gained an extension in their time frame for filing grievances, from 30 to 45 days, and job descriptions are now included in the collective agreement.
The contract has yet to be ratified by SÉTUE, whose 3,000 members will convene on October 7 and 8 to decide whether or not to adopt the new contract. This new contract will expire December 31, 2013 if adopted. The administration said in a press release, in French, that it is “especially happy with the agreement, in that it meets the top priorities adopted by the university in the Strategic Planning Framework of 2009-2014, and would balance the budget.”