Photo: Jacques Boissinot Archives The Canadian Press The hypothesis of the agreement will be disclosed to union delegates “as quickly as possible,” the union wrote on Facebook on Saturday evening. Pictured, striking health care workers picket in front of the McGill University Health Center on Monday, December 11, 2023, in Montreal.
The Federation of Health and Social Services, affiliated with the CSN (FSSS-CSN), has reached a “hypothetical agreement in principle” sectoral with Quebec, the union announced Saturday evening on its Facebook page. Later in the evening, education unions also revealed that they had reached an agreement with the government.
These events occur one day after the Federation of Education Unions (FSE), affiliated with the CSQ, as well as the Quebec Provincial Association of Teachers (QAPE) endorsed a proposal sectoral settlement with the Legault government as part of negotiations for the renewal of collective agreements.
“The FSSS-CSN negotiating committee reached a tentative agreement in principle with the Employer Negotiating Committee for the Health and Social Services Sector (CPNSSS) on sectoral matters affecting the working conditions of workers and workers in the health and social services network,” the union said on its Facebook page.
- Five questions to understand the proposed regulation endorsed by the FSE and the QPAT
The government of Quebec confirmed the agreement with the FSSS-CSN in a press release released Saturday evening.
The FSSS-CSN specified that the hypothesis of agreement will be disclosed to the union delegates “as quickly as possible”, at the time when a hypothesis of agreement in principle will be presented to the central negotiating table, called intersectoral.< /p>
The common front, which includes the CSN, the CSQ, the FTQ and the APTS, which represent more than 420,000 Quebec state workers in the public sectors, in education, in health and in social services as well as in higher education, negotiates salaries at the central table.
“Despite the hypothesis of a sectoral agreement between the FSSS-CSN and the CPNSSS, the problem remains unresolved with regard to central table issues,” affirmed the FSSS-CSN in its publication on social networks, emphasizing that “salary issues must be resolved in order to avoid an unlimited general strike by the Common Front at the start of 2024”.
The Interprofessional Health Federation of Quebec (FIQ), which notably represents thousands of nurses, affirmed in a publication posted on its Facebook page that it had read the sectoral regulations of the FSSS-CSN.
“On the FIQ side, negotiations have continued with the government, in the presence of the conciliator, since his appointment last Tuesday,” the union specified in the same publication.
Sectoral agreements in education
Around 9 p.m. Saturday, the Federation of Education Professionals of Quebec affiliated with the CSQ (FPPE-CSQ) announced a proposed sectoral regulation for the 58 French-speaking school service centers that she represents.
“This proposal targets sectoral working conditions for professional staff and will be presented to the Federal Council of the Federation on December 27,” the union said in a press release. The council must ratify this proposed regulation so that it can be presented to the members.
“The Federation continues to negotiate the collective agreements of its members of the English, Cree and Kativik school boards,” specified the FPPE-CSQ.
The Federation of Professional College Personnel, also affiliated with the CSQ (FPPC-CSQ), also affirmed, Saturday evening, that it had concluded a sectoral agreement in principle.
“Meeting in federal council, the delegates of the 38 affiliated unions approved a sectoral agreement in principle,” announced the president of the FPPC-CSQ, Éric Cyr, in a video published on the union’s Facebook page.
“Insurance, salaries, retirement, regional disparities, parental rights, in particular, still need to be resolved cross-sectorally,” he added.
Mr. Cyr specified that FPPC members will be informed of the details of this sectoral agreement when an intersectoral agreement is concluded with the government.
Blitz in sight with the FAE
Pressure is now increasing on the Autonomous Federation of Education (FAE), which is not part of the common front and whose 66,000 members have been on an indefinite general strike since November 23, and this, without strike funds.
“We have not yet entered a “blitz”, “but it is coming”, assured its president, Mélanie Hubert, in a video posted on Facebook late Friday morning.
“For the moment, we do not know the content of the agreement concluded with the FSE, but we will evaluate the impact that this agreement will have on our own negotiations. “It doesn’t change anything about our objectives […] It doesn’t take anything away from our demands,” says Ms. Hubert in the video.
The FAE therefore says it is ready to engage in intensive negotiations, “but not under the conditions imposed”.
“We went on 22 days of (unlimited general strike), and it is certainly not to let us dictate our conduct,” argued Ms. Hubert.
Later Friday, in a press release, Ms. Hubert affirmed that the unlimited general strike of FAE teachers “will continue after the holidays” since “the subjects imposed (by the government) did not make it possible to reach a satisfactory agreement for the moment.”
“The Federation and its work teams remain available to negotiate throughout the holiday break period, if necessary,” it is emphasized.
In her video on Facebook, the president of the FAE also stated that it seems that the negotiations will “restart quite intensively in the coming hours”.