Montreal, March 22, 2023 – The Fabrique de la paroisse Notre-Dame de Montréal announces that the Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery will open for family members of the deceased as of Friday, March 31.

The change in spring weather should accelerate the melting of the snow and allow access to several areas of the cemetery to accommodate family members of the deceased through some open roads, although many other roads will be impassable and some sections will be inaccessible for a few additional days.

The Cemetery’s opening hours will be made public on March 30. Following the opening, all family members of the deceased will be greeted at the Cemetery’s main entrance on Chemin de la Côte-des-Neiges and provided with information about speed limits, safety instructions and inaccessible sections to minimize the risk of accidents.

Mausoleum burials and cremation services for bereaved families will continue to have priority. Field burials will only be resumed for the benefit of bereaved families if a specific agreement is reached with the Operations union or the Operations employees’ strike ends.

Since the beginning of negotiations with the unions representing operational and clerical employees, the Cemetery has sought to reach reasonable agreements based on the reality that the Fabrique Notre-Dame is a non-profit organization, and 100% of the employees’ salaries are paid by the families of the deceased and the bereaved.

Before the strike, regular operations and maintenance employees received approximately $70,000 per year in salary, up to 11 weeks of vacation and paid leave and up to $14,000 per year paid into their defined benefit pension plan.

This remuneration represents $45 per hour and is higher than the wages and benefits paid to many health, education and public safety sector employees.

In January 2023, the Cemetery tabled an offer to increase wages and overall compensation by more than 15% by January 1, 2026, including a $3,500 signing bonus for regular employees. This offer would represent $52 per hour in wages and benefits for regular operations and maintenance employees.

The Cemetery remains available to continue negotiations with representatives of each union to reach an agreement as soon as possible.

About Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery

The Fabrique de la paroisse Notre-Dame de Montréal is an NPO that manages the Notre-Damedes- Neiges Cemetery and the Notre-Dame Basilica of Montréal. Since its founding in 1854, Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery has welcomed close to one million deceased persons in a unique site that is recognized as the largest cemetery in Canada, measuring 343 acres. A national historic site, Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery is a place of peace and remembrance, and is considered a jewel of Montreal’s architectural, historical, arboreal, and environmental heritage.

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