Sonia LeBel invites unions to participate “in the pursuit of solutions”

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Sonia LeBel invites unions to participate “in pursuing solutions”

President of the Council of the Treasury, Sonia LeBel, is responsible for leading negotiations with employees of Quebec departments and agencies, including those of health and education.

The President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Government Administration, Sonia LeBel, reached out to unions on Wednesday, inviting them to participate “seriously, actively and quickly” in the discussions for the renewal of the collective agreements of the 600,000 employees of the public and parapublic sectors.

In December, the Legault government tabled offers that included salary scale increases of 9% over 5 years. In return, he asked his employees to show more agility and flexibility.

This proposal was rejected on the spot by the spokespersons of the Common Front which brings together the CSN, the CSQ, the FTQ and the APTS. They called the increases offered “starving” in the face of rampant inflation.

“Me, I don't stop at that,” commented Sonia LeBel, in a press scrum in the corridors of the National Assembly. “Discussions are going to take place at the negotiating tables. And here, I invite the unions to come and participate with me seriously, actively and quickly in the pursuit of solutions. “

“We are staying the course and things are going very well so far”, she also assured, recalling that the government's priority is to improve the working conditions of state employees, especially in the field of education and health.

“Working conditions, I think that's the big key,” Ms. LeBel reiterated. “It's not that we exclude all the other parameters from the negotiations, on the contrary, but I think that [that's what] we have to focus on. “

“I invite all levels of unions to rally behind this notion and to help find solutions for the benefit of the beneficiaries of the networks and for the benefit of their members.

— Sonia LeBel, President of the Treasury Board and Minister Responsible for Government Administration

Employment contracts in the public and parapublic sectors expire on March 31.

The negotiations for the renewal of the collective agreements are a major undertaking. The parties must renegotiate 48 health labor contracts, 23 education labor contracts and 14 public service labor contracts.

Ms. LeBel acknowledged that these negotiations will be particularly difficult in the field of health, where employees continue to be abused due to network congestion, caused among other things by COVID-19.

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The Minister of Health, Christian Dubé, believes that the negotiations should help unclog the health system. “The negotiation that will be led by Ms. LeBel is going to be extremely important,” commented Mr. Dubé, also in a press scrum on Wednesday.

“It is certain that the more we go settle the next convention quickly, the more we will have solutions that will be lasting, “he said, saying that he wanted an agreement with the nurses of the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé (FIQ) as to the” ways of doing things “, to “local management of schedules” and “decompartmentalization”.

The FIQ has already emphasized that it wants concrete measures to tackle compulsory overtime and the use of personnel from private agencies, among others.

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