What the Government Calls "New Offers"
Wage increases that are being proposed by the
government remain the same -- five per cent over three years (1.75 per
cent, 1.75 per cent and 1.5 per cent). The government is adding a lump
sum of up to $400 million for recurring salary increases, providing
that the inflation rate exceeds five per cent and that the government's
forecast economic growth is met. This is not a wage increase and it
to address the critical problem of retention and attraction of workers
into the public services, therefore it does nothing to solve the crisis
in the public services.
Quebec government is attempting to divert from this central problem
with a series of measures which are meant to sound good but are
As an example, as far as nurses
are concerned, it is proposing to
add about 5,000 full-time equivalent staff (FTEs) deployed in the
network. But the conditions are not there for workers to want to take
full-time positions because of the rule by decree that requires
mandatory overtime and having to forego statutory holidays and other
leave when working full time.
In terms of measures
for elementary and secondary teachers, the
government is entertaining some nice-sounding proposals such as
increased autonomy for educators or implementing measures to promote
educational success, but it avoids a key demand put forward by teachers
to improve learning conditions, and now also to reduce the spread of
COVID-19, which is the reduction of class sizes.
is nice-sounding discourse to avoid meeting the demands and the
needs of the workers and of the public, starting with a negotiated real
wage increase that is included in the collective agreement, that
promotes retention and attraction of personnel.
This article was published in
April 14, 2021 - No. 28