Tue. Feb 27th, 2024

Common Public Sector Front : members in assemblies starting Monday | Strikes in the public sector in Quebec

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Union members of the Inter-Union Common Front gathered in front of the National Assembly of Quebec on November 23. (Archive photo)

The Canadian Press

Starting Monday and for five weeks, the approximately 420,000 workers represented by Common Front unions in the public sector will be asked to vote on the x27;agreement in principle which was reached regarding the renewal of their collective agreements.

Assemblies could be held until February 19, depending on the union, whether it is attached to the CSQ, the APTS, the FTQ or the CSN. Workers will then have the opportunity to obtain all the details and ask questions to their representatives, before making a decision.

A few days ago, the president of the FTQ, Magali Picard, said she was very comfortable, very proud of what was negotiated by the Common Front.

The president of the CSQ, Éric Gingras, was optimistic. I trust the members, who will do the best reading. We think we'll present something interesting.

In an interview, the president of the Fédération des syndicats de l'teaching (FSE), Josée Scalabrini, admits that the members are rather eager to have these agreements presented to them. She also expects that there will be several assemblies over the next three weeks.

Strikes in the public sector in Quebec

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The FSE, affiliated with the CSQ, therefore part of the Common Front, only had to walk off the job for eight days, in November and December, before coming to a settlement proposal, while the Federation autonomous education (FAE), independent, had to stop work for more than a month to achieve the same result.

Despite all, Ms. Scalabrini refuses to blame the FAE for its strategy.

I will never, ever allow myself to evaluate the strategy of another organization. But I think the strategy we used, based on what our members tell us and what I hear to date, was the right strategy: to work with all employees of the civil service, which got us where it got us, with coordinated strike sequences.

The agreement in principle concluded by the Common Front on December 28 provides for increases of at least 17.4% over five years.

More precisely, we are talking about a 6% increase from April 1, 2023, 2.8% on April 1, 2024, 2.6% on April 1, 2025, 2.5% on April 1, 2026, then 3, 5% on April 1, 2027, in addition to an inflation protection clause for the last three years of the collective agreement.

It also provides for improvements to vacations and group insurance.

At the sectoral level, several unions in the health field have already revealed the content of their agreement, even before the rank-and-file members become aware of it at the assemblies.

For example: in health, the unions obtained bonuses bonuses and overtime, in addition to being able to better participate in schedule management.

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