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It was in October 1975, following the request of the Service Employees' Union and of the Quebec Building Service Contractors Association, that the Government of Quebec issued a decree which granted to the cleaning employees of public buildings, union members or not, the working conditions agreed to between the Union and the employers.

In 1976, in accordance with the Law, the Union and employers created the Parity Committee, they nominated a Board of directors and they hired a Director and personnel to which they entrusted the mission of monitoring the application of the Decree that had just been granted to them by the Minister of Labour.

In 1975, the Decree covered a more restricted territory than today. It was in 1981 that the areas of St. Hyacinthe and Granby were added, and in 1991, the territory of the Outaouais was added.

Parties to the decree

Service employees' union, local 800

Affiliated with the Q.F.L. (Quebec Federation of Labour), this union has more than 15,000 members in several areas of the province, working in various branches of industry such as building cleaning, the hotel trade, the restaurant trade, the school and university sector, home for the elderlies, golf clubs, transportation and the industrial sector.

This union is also affiliated with the International Service Employees Union which represents 1,200,000 members throughout North America including 80,000 in Canada.

Approximately every three years, Local 800 negotiates with the employers gathered in association, the renewal of the collective agreement of more than 5,000 employees in the sector of building cleaning. It is this collective agreement which, thereafter, is submitted to the Minister of Labour in order to modify the decree and to grant updated working conditions for the collectivity of the workers in the building cleaning industry.

It is for this reason that Local 800 sits on the Board of directors of the Parity Committee in order to defend the rights of all the employees, union members or not, who work in the cleaning of public buildings.

Quebec building service contractors association

Founded in 1967, the QBSCA is a non profit organisation that gathers building service companies, whether they are unionized or not. Members of the QBSCA employ over 60% of the labour of all the building cleaning sector of Quebec. Five members of this association represent the employers on the Parity Committee's Board of Directors. These members may come from small, medium-sized businesses or larger companies.

One of the main objectives of the QBSCA is to safeguard the economic interests of its members. That results mainly in the negotiation and the application of the collective agreement which applies to the majority of the members. This convention is promulgated thereafter as a decree and this is why the QBSCA is officially, by ministerial decree, the representative on the Board of Directors of the Parity Committee for all the employers ruled by the Decree.

The QBSCA was always very active, (presentations of reports, appearances before parliamentary committees) in order to preserve An Act Respecting Collective Agreement Decrees and the Decree respecting Building Service Employees in the Montreal region, which it identifies as essential to the prosperity of the industry in general and of its members in particular.