Photo: Jacques Boissinot The Canadian Press “There are often unions who told me that it was a constraint, and I understood that. I understand that it is a constraint and I am certainly open to listening and discussing with the opposition parties during the detailed study,” declared the Minister of Labor, Jean Boulet, Thursday in an interview.
The Minister of Labor, Jean Boulet, said he was “open” to a revision of the Labor Code so that unions were no longer “obligated to defend everyone”, as proposed by solidarity MP Alexandre Leduc on Thursday.
“I think we need to ease up on the obligation of representation,” said MP Leduc on Thursday. “If we say: “in cases of sexual violence, you are not obliged to represent your employee”, oh!, that will change the atmosphere in the workplace. »
Himself a former advisor to the Quebec Federation of Workers (FTQ), Mr. Leduc said he saw a “problem” in the fact “that unions feel, rightly or wrongly, obliged to defend everyone “. This duty of fair representation arises from article 47.2 of the Labor Code. “It’s very clear: let’s change this article,” proposed the supportive MP.
In an interview with Devoir, Minister Boulet indicated his openness to a possible modification of the Labor Code. “There are often unions who told me that it was a constraint, and I understood that. I understand that it is a constraint and I am certainly open to listening and discussing with the opposition parties during the detailed study,” he said.
- No more trace of an employee’s sexual offenses after two years, requests the FTQ
- Bill 42 does not sufficiently support victims of harassment, according to unions
Amnesty clauses for cases of violence
Mr. Leduc made his comments following union requests, in two separate bills, regarding amnesty clauses contained in collective agreements. These clauses provide for the removal, after a given time, of disciplinary sanctions from employee files. The FTQ said in particular that it considered that a disciplinary measure imposed for acts of sexual violence should no longer appear in an employee's file after two years. At the Centrale des syndicats du Québec (CSQ), the suggested deadline is five years before the sanctions disappear.
In schools, the CSQ instead suggests that employers and unions negotiate agreements regarding amnesty clauses. The Autonomous Federation of Education (FAE) does not want disciplinary sanctions to follow school staff, and pleads for the maintenance of these clauses.
Despite union reluctance, the Minister of Education, Bernard Drainville, reiterated his intention to legislate so that teachers' disciplinary records follow them throughout their careers. He obtained the support of all the opposition parties.
“Institutions that hire professors must know their past and have access to this information. For us, the Liberals, it is clear,” attested the interim Liberal leader, Marc Tanguay.
Mr. Leduc, of Québec solidaire, said he believed that the representatives of the FAE “are in error.” “I think they are misreading the situation and what’s more, they are a little isolated within the union community,” he noted. “[Proposing] the status quo, it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. The situation must change. »
At the Parti Québécois, Pascal Paradis declared that “employers must be able to have access to the history of employees who have already committed acts, for example, in matters of harassment and sexual violence or of physical violence.” All “for the protection of children in our system,” he added.