MONTREAL -- After three years without a contract, City of Montreal engineers, who work on everything from road construction to waste water management, have had enough.

On Wednesday, they gathered at City Hall, demanding better working conditions, increased salaries and more opportunities to advance.

“We're looking for (Montreal Mayor Valerie) Plante to provide the city with tools to be able to recruit and maintain engineer expertise within the city,” said union vice-president Gisella Gesuale.

The engineers symbolically shredded a copy of the six-year-old Charbonneau Commission Report. The commission investigated corruption in Quebec's construction industry and made numerous recommendations on how to strengthen internal engineering expertise.

Gesuale said those recommendations have been ignored in Montreal.

“Right now, I believe at least three quarters of contracts are done externally and we don't have resources to properly verify them and control them to avoid collusion and corruption.”

Plante said she's open to negotiate but “we have to be respectful of the financial capacity of Montreal.”

“They ask for a 30 per cent raise in salary and we don't have that, especially in COVID.”