(Montreal) Legal aid lawyers who had walked out in certain regions earlier this month finally ratified the agreement in principle which had been reached in mid-April with Quebec.
The agreement in principle that had been reached between various unions attached to the CSN, on the one hand, and the Commission des services juridiques and the Conseil du trésor, on the other hand, was ratified by a proportion of 94%, know Tuesday the Federation of professionals, affiliated to the central trade union.
The dispute was over pay parity with Crown prosecutors, which the unions say they have achieved.
These lawyers work in the regions of Montreal–Laval, Montérégie, Laurentides–Lanaudière and Gaspésie–Bas Saint-Laurent–Îles-de-la-Madeleine.
The federation says that these lawyers will see their annual salary increased by 14.9% retroactively to January 1. For previous years, they will receive a 2% increase in 2020, 2021 and 2022.
The president of the Montreal-Laval union, Justine Lambert-Boulianne, saw it as “a great victory for legal aid”.
“We were able to get better recognition for all the work done by legal aid lawyers, while maintaining parity with our counterparts at the Crown. It will have been a long fight, but the results are there,” she commented after the announcement of the results of the vote.
When the agreement in principle was announced in mid-April, the Minister of Justice, Simon Jolin-Barrette, welcomed this happy conclusion. “Legal aid lawyers play a key role in access to justice in Quebec. They come to the aid of thousands of people in difficulty every year and contribute to ensuring that Quebecers are supported, better informed and better equipped with regard to their rights,” he said.