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Almost all Quebecers would support an indexation of public sector salaries

Jacques Boissinot The Canadian Press From left to right, union leaders Éric Gingras (CSQ ), Robert Comeau (APTS), Magali Picard (FTQ) and François Énault (CSN) during a demonstration organized by the inter-union common front on March 30, in Quebec

A recent survey indicates that 86% of those questioned believe that public sector salaries “should at least be indexed to the rise in the cost of living.”

The online survey commissioned by the inter-union common front was carried out by the firm SOM among 1,089 adult Quebecers at the end of July. More precisely, it reports 43% of people who “rather agree” with the statement “public sector salaries should at least be indexed to the increase in the cost of living” and 43% who are even “completely agree” with this statement.

The common front, which is made up of the APTS, the FTQ, the CSN and the CSQ, demands the equivalent of the consumer price index (CPI) plus 2% for 2023 (or $100 per week, according to the formula that would be most advantageous for workers), then the CPI plus 3% for the second year and the CPI plus 4% for the year 2025, i.e. a three-year employment contract.

The Quebec government, for its part, offers a 9% increase over five years to state employees, i.e. 3% for the first year, then 1.5% for the following four years. However, he adds a lump sum of $1,000 in the first year, then an amount equivalent to 2.5% dedicated to “government priorities,” so he presents his offer as equivalent to 13% over five years.

“That’s pretty significant. The government is a little disconnected when it's time to treat its employees well,” François Énault, vice-president of the CSN, responsible for public sector negotiations for the union center, said in an interview on Monday.

An employer sought?

Without a significant improvement in their remuneration, employees of the public and parapublic sectors “will not stay,” says Mr. Énault. “And we will not be able to attract people into public services, whether in education, health, social services or higher education. »

In addition, Quebec has a long way to go if it wants to become an employer of choice, according to this survey. The statement “the Quebec government is an employer I would like to work for” only receives the support of 52% of survey respondents. Some 36% say they disagree with this statement—responses of “totally” disagree and “somewhat” disagree added together.

Similarly, the citizens surveyed do not seem particularly satisfied with the government's performance in the framework for negotiating collective agreements with unions in the public and parapublic sectors. Thus, only 30% agree with the statement “the government of Quebec manages current negotiations with public sector employees well” — responses totally agree and somewhat agree combined. Some 48% take the opposite view.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116