Public sector negotiations: few meetings, deplore the FIQ and the common front

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Public sector negotiations: few meetings, deplore the FIQ and the common front

Sonia LeBel is President of the Treasury Board of the Government of Quebec. (File photo)

One month before the expiry of the collective agreements in the public sector, the Interprofessional Health Federation (FIQ) is holding its third day of negotiations with Quebec on Friday, while the inter-union common front is also complaining about the lack of meetings. negotiations held to date.

Both complain about the lack of availability of Quebec to negotiate, while Quebec blames the unions for the same situation, because they do not want to participate in its forums of discussions, in parallel with the negotiation.

Currently, only two days of negotiation have taken place, since the rhythm is one day of negotiation per two weeks, had deplored in an interview the president of the FIQ, Julie Bouchard, earlier this week.

“The FIQ negotiation team submitted 28 dates to the management party over a period of eight weeks when we were available to negotiate fairly quickly. And the employer party only retained four dates. »

— Julie Bouchard, president of the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé (FIQ)

The FIQ had nevertheless filed its demands on November 7 last. And February 24 is the third day of trading only.

The discourse is similar on the side of the common front, which, through the CSN, the FTQ, the CSQ and the APTS, represents approximately 420,000 members.< /p>

Four meetings have been held to date for the inter-union common front, he said in an internal communication. The sequel will take place in March.

Here again, the common front had submitted its demands last October and the government its offers on December 15.

The common front has indicated that it has proposed several other dates in April, May, June, even July.

Treasury Board President Sonia LeBel dismissed criticism from unions of her reluctance earlier this week.

“All very short term dates have been accepted. We will not plan six months of negotiations in advance. We're going to go through all the dates that are already scheduled. We are open, available and willing.

—Sonia LeBel, President of the Treasury Board

This still slow pace at the bargaining tables is no doubt explained by the fact that Quebec wants to push the unions to agree to exchanges in its discussion forums, in parallel with the actual negotiations.

These three forums relate to the class team, the mental health team and the care team.

He had already tried to organize such forums in 2020, when negotiating the 2020-2023 collective agreements, but the unions did not want them either.

Minister LeBel sees in these discussion forums a way to innovate, which must be tried. What does it engage them to come and discuss? she launched to the media, when she addressed them, since the unions had not presented themselves at these forums.

The unions see these forums as a way for the government to drown out the issue and gain time. For them, the problems are known and it is precisely necessary to negotiate clauses in collective agreements to resolve these problems.

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