Bill 189: “Bad news for both employers and workers”
May 30, 2018 (Montreal) – The six parity committees from the automotive services industry (CPA) denounce the tabling of Bill 189—An Act mainly to confer the responsibility for overseeing collective agreement decrees on the Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST)—an act that will only serve to dismantle parity committees and add to governmental red tape.
“It’s a shame: the Minister already has a modernization plan for parity committees, Bill 53, which received broad consensus in favour of increased transparency and accountability. It is hard to understand abandoning such wide-spread consensus for a bill that will never be adopted,” explained Mr. Yvan Domingue, Management Co-Chairman for the provincial body that represents all the CPAs.
Their close contact with workers and employers means that the automotive services industry parity committees can take effective action against illegal work, maintain healthy competition among companies and ensure that this does not happen at the expense of employees’ working conditions.
In addition, their CPA workforce qualification and training system provides workers with development opportunities and skill recognition while giving employers access to a trained and qualified workforce. This in-depth knowledge of the field arms the CPAs with an effective approach for ensuring that the Decrees and working conditions for employees are respected. Unfortunately, this will not be the case with the CNESST. Their process for treating complaints and cumbersome bureaucratic procedures are far removed from daily reality. By comparison, the CPAs have a mission which enables them to resolve complaints quickly and without cumbersome legal involvement—such as recovering amounts owed to workers—while ensuring that employers understand the Decree.
Parity committee governance and transparency
Bill 53, tabled by the government 18 months ago, would have addressed governance issues and could have been adopted quickly by the government. Since the tabling of Bill 53, the CPAs have continued with improvement measures for better governance and greater transparency on the part of the parity committees.
“We are surprised that the Minister is stating a lack of transparency on the part of parity committees as a reason for the new bill; she systematically receives a very detailed annual report from each parity committee that includes full financial statements, details on each budget item, the number of inspections, file resolutions, the number of cases brought before the courts, etc. Bill 53 already addressed this issue,” explained Ms. Proulx, Executive Director of the Parity committee of the automotive services industry in Montreal (CPA Montréal).
Quebec’s automotive services industry will face major challenges in the coming years. Some key issues are technological challenges related to the arrival of electric vehicles, self-driving vehicles and the need to develop the necessary skills in both the current and future workforce. In addition, an estimated 20% of the industry’s qualified workers will retire in the next ten years. The parity committees whole-heartedly denounce the vain and useless structural changes tabled by the government, changes that will do nothing to help the industry strengthen its position.
About the CPAs
The Parity committees of the automotive services industry (CPAs) for the Eastern Townships, Lanaudière-Laurentides, Mauricie, Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, Quebec City and Montreal regions are non-profit organizations made up of employer and employee associations. Their common mission is to support the industry by negotiating and managing the Decree, overseeing its application and running the Qualification and training plan for industry workers.