With more than half of Sherbrooke’s blue collar workers employed on temporary status, the city’s union has called on the municipal council to create more permanent positions.
Syndicat Canadien de la fonction publique (SCFP) Union Advisor Réal Leboeuf told The Record that there are 245 permanent blue collar workers in Sherbrooke, but there are a total of 550 blue collar workers employed by the city, many of whom are living in precarious situations.
The problem is that temporary workers aren’t necessarily guaranteed hours, Leboeuf explained, and when they’re given hours, it could be taken away without hesitation. It can also take over 10 years to gain permanent status as a blue collar worker, he continued.
Leboeuf said that the union isn’t asking to make every blue collar worker permanent. Temporary positions are also important, according to the union advisor, as those workers fill in for employees out sick, on maternity or paternity leave, and on vacation.
But, he added, the city needs to recognize that it has been taking advantage of dedicated temporary workers throughout the pandemic. Over the past two years, Sherbrooke’s temporary workers have worked over 300,000 hours, Leboeuf noted, making them vital to the city.