Jacques Nadeau Le Devoir Negotiations between Quebec and the Common Front have been marked by 11 days of strike since November 6.
The 420,000 employees who are members of the Common Front should benefit from salary increases of 17.4% over five years, according to certain details of a proposed agreement in principle which circulated online at dawn of this new year, causing many unionized workers to react.
A source in the union sector familiar with this matter confirmed to Devoir the veracity of the information “circulating” since this morning on the social networks. “You are not in the field,” continued this source, who requested anonymity because he is not authorized to comment on this matter.
Despite the media interest that the negotiations of state employees working in the fields of education, health and social services have generated, the details of the sectoral agreements concluded by the member unions of the Common Front as well as those of the overall proposal addressing salaries remained confidential.
“The desire of the Common Front has always been to first present to its members the content of the proposed agreement that occurred at the central table,” indicates an article published briefly on the Common Front website union on December 31, before being removed from it. The authorities of the various unions are meeting today to study the proposed agreement in principle reached on December 28 regarding the renewal of collective agreements in the public sector.
“However, in the context where information is circulating in certain media, we would like to present to you the broad outlines constituting the hypothesis of settlement,” continued the document, which has since been replaced by an old Common Front press release dated December 28 . However, an Internet user kept a cached link to this page, dated January 1, which has recently been circulating on social networks.
The page in question, which was available in French and English, reports salary increases of 17.4% between 2023 and 2028, for unionized members of the Common Front. The workers concerned will also benefit from a “purchasing power protection clause” aimed at offsetting the impacts of inflation on their finances for each of the last three years of their collective agreements, which expired on March 31, 2023.
We can thus deduce from this agreement that both the four union centers of the Common Front and the Quebec government have watered their wine in the negotiations which led to the holding of 11 days of strike since November 6 . The Common Front initially demanded salary increases of around 23% over three years, including an indexation clause for members. The Legault government, for its part, proposed in December a 12.7% increase in salaries over five years, an offer that it said it was ready to improve.
The proposed agreement obtained by the Common Front also provides for “significant gains concerning group insurance and vacations, in addition to elements relating to parental rights, the attraction and retention of specialized workers and psychologists in particular” , noted the document. Without offering all the details to this effect, the article also indicated that “major setbacks” were avoided with regard to the pension plan of union members, who also obtained “some improvements” in this regard.
The Common Front article also indicated that a document specifying all the details of this proposed agreement with the government of Quebec will be sent to unionized employees “around January 7.” “This round of negotiations will be officially settled when the working and practice conditions as well as the salary conditions are deemed satisfactory by you, the 420,000 workers grouped within this historic Common Front,” the document concluded.
The latter, however, did not seem to be unanimous among the unionized employees who consulted the cached link to the Common Front website on Wednesday. While some reported on social media “major gains” for hundreds of thousands of workers, others lamented that these expected increases risk being insufficient to cover the anticipated rise in the cost of living in the coming years. years.
More details will follow.