Quebec public sector unions want wage increases to beat inflation

The Common Front says the two percent above-inflation first-year salary increase could be replaced by an extra $100 a week.

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A united front of Quebec’s public sector unions is calling for their new three-year contracts to contain annual wage increases of two, three and four percent above the rate of inflation.

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The common front, made up of CSQ, CSN, FTQ and APTS, submitted their contract proposals to the Quebec Treasury Board on Friday morning, as the government’s collective agreements with public and parapublic employees are set to expire on March 31, 2023.

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The front’s call for a first-year salary increase of two percent above the rate of inflation could be replaced by an additional $100 a week, depending on which option is more advantageous to the employee.

The front points out that the health and education sectors face employee recruitment and retention problems and that there is a need to make those sectors more attractive by improving working conditions.

“Our working conditions and wages are no longer sustainable,” CSN Vice President François Énault said during a rally organized to support the filing of the contract demands.

FTQ Chairman Daniel Boyer said the next round of negotiations would be a test of the sincerity of all the “thank yous” that the Legault government expressed to public sector workers during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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