New strike mandate for legal aid lawyers
Legal aid lawyers in Montreal and Laval voted almost unanimously to renew a mandate of strike. They will be on strike until the end of the holiday season, and the next term may be called at any time.
The Union of Legal Aid Lawyers of Montreal and Laval, affiliated with the CSN, denounces the Quebec government's refusal of pay parity between legal aid lawyers and their Crown colleagues.
“By refusing pay parity to female lawyers and legal aid lawyers, the government is directly calling into question the principle of fairness between the prosecution and the defense within the public fold,” said Me Justine Lambert-Boulianne, president of the union, in an interview with Radio-Canada.
This situation is all the more worrying since service disruptions were recorded between December 23 and 27. According to Ms. Lambert-Boulianne, this stems from the inaction of the management of the Montreal and Laval Community Legal Center (CCJM), which did not bother to cover telephone calls and video appearances during the union strike period. Some union members have reportedly even been threatened with disciplinary action if they are unavailable during holiday hours.
The collective agreement for legal aid lawyers expired on December 31, 2019 and has not been renewed since.