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Common Front members begin to vote | Strikes in the public sector in Quebec

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Common Front union members, who observed numerous strike days in 2023, put an end to their pressure tactics by reaching an agreement in principle with the Legault government on December 28. (Archive photo)

  • Jérôme Labbé (View profile)Jérôme Labbé

Union members of the Common Front (CSN, FTQ, CSQ, APTS) and the Autonomous Education Federation (FAE) will begin this week to vote on the agreements in principle concluded during the holidays with the Legault government, while negotiations continue with the FIQ, the SFPQ and the SPGQ.

The next few weeks will therefore be crucial for the future of labor relations between Quebec and the public sector.

At the Common Front, the series of votes will begin on Monday and end on February 19. Workers will then have the opportunity to obtain full details of the agreement in principle reached with the government, which provides for wage increases of 17.4% over five years.

The nine member unions of the FAE will decide from January 17 to 25. The result of the vote of 66,500 members will be announced on February 7.

According to certain details that leaked at the end of the week, the agreement notably involves $33.3 million to reduce class composition at the primary and secondary levels.

Strikes in the public sector in Quebec

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Meanwhile, talks continue between the Treasury Board and the FIQ, which ended its media truce on Monday.

Progress has been made carried out, according to the union party. But in an interview on the Montreal show Tout un matin, on the airwaves of ICI Premiere, the president of the Federation, Julie Bouchard, made it known that she was “not close to an agreement”.

We still have issues with patient-professional ratios, with the compulsory travel requested by the authorities. employer, with mandatory overtime, and that, for us, are essential elements [to an agreement].

A quote from Julie Bouchard, president of the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec

The discussions will therefore continue with the help of the conciliator in the case .

The FIQ – which represents 80,000 nurses, practical nurses, respiratory therapists and clinical perfusionists across Quebec – has a strike mandate, but does not intend to use it for the moment. She also did not issue an ultimatum or set a precise timetable.

Negotiations are also far from x27;be finished with the SFPQ and the SPGQ, civil servant unions, which indicated last week that little progress had been recorded since the resumption of discussions after the Holidays.

The end of 2023 was eventful in terms of labor relations between the Legault government and public sector union members, who observed numerous days of strike.

These have notably led to closures of schools and CEGEPs, as well as postponements of services in health establishments, such as surgeries.

The FAE's indefinite general strike alone deprived students of a little more than four weeks of classes in some 800 primary and secondary schools in Quebec.

Agreements in principle were reached during the holidays, however, which put an end to the walkouts. Both the Common Front and the FAE reached an agreement with the government on December 28. These agreements must now be approved by union members at general meetings.

With information from The Canadian Press

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