The engineers’ strike in Quebec risks delaying major construction sites in the Outaouais

The walkout by these professionals, the majority of whom work for the Ministry of Transport, is disappointing several Outaouais mayors.

This is notably the case of the mayor of Thurso and prefect of the MRC of Papineau, Benoît Lauzon, who admits to being a little discouraged.

Benoît Lauzon in an interview with Radio-Canada.

The mayor of Thurso, Benoît Lauzon.

Photo: Radio-Canada / David Richard

Of course it’s disappointing, people have been waiting for these investments for a long time. On the other hand, we respect the rights of workers and we will ensure that the government will get involved as quickly as possible so that work can resume to provide a service and especially a safe highway to the citizens of Papineau.he commented on Wednesday.

The mayor of L’Ange-Gardien, Marc Louis-Seize, also said he was disappointed with the situation. He thinks it’s a step back. The latter says he is eager to see the construction of Highway 50 progress, but he leaves the government to manage the situation.

Other voices seem less concerned in the region. They say that since private sector workers have been hired for the Highway 50 widening project, strike or not, the work should not be unduly disrupted.

Close to signing a dealdenounces the union

Negotiations between the Government of Quebec and the Professional Association of Engineers of Quebec (APIGQ) have been broken since the night of Tuesday to Wednesday.

However, Marc-André Martin, the president of the union, affirms that the discussions proceeded smoothly.

Everything was well put together and we were a hair’s breadth away from getting alonghe summarizes.

The trade unionist says that optimism gave way to frustration, however, at the end of the day on Tuesday, when he learned that the union’s counter-offer had been rejected.

The President of the Treasury Board has decided to abort the agreement over a question of coffee breaks and step advancement for the youngestdenounces Mr. Martin.

Engineers seek greater professional autonomy and better compensation. Engineers say they are underpaid compared to the private sector. These are long-standing claims, recalls Marc-André Martin.

“We have been asking for years to adjust the remuneration of engineers to their fair value.[…] It is time to give a big push,” he said.

There is no government that has taken the leadership of[ajuster nos salaires] since the Charbonneau commission. It is high time the government of the day put both hands on the wheel and did it. »

A quote from Marc-André Martin, President of APIGQ

The engineers who are members of theAPIGQ started their job action in July 2021, refusing to work evenings, nights and weekends. They walked off the job on April 23, 2022, only to suspend their pressure tactics a month later, in order, they say, to show their good faith at the negotiating table.

This work stoppage could affect the supervision of construction sites, the authorization to launch a site and the negotiation of contracts with consulting engineering firms.

In Outaouais, about forty engineers are involved in the strike.

The majority of them work at the Ministry of Transport of Quebec (MTQ), but this also concerns four engineers from the Ministry of the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change (MELCC) and an engineer from the Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ).

With information from Rebecca Kwan

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