Responses from Public Sector Unions
below are responses to the government offers by a number of public
The Confederation of National Trade
Unions (CSN) represents 160,000
public service workers. It noted that "the wage parameters remain the
same as in the last offer: 1.75 per cent in 2020, 1.75 per cent in 2021
and 1.5 per cent in 2022. The lump sums for the first and second year
are slightly increased [...] Short-lived measures will not
attract and retain employees [...] In refusing once again to take the
necessary steps to improve the networks, the Legault government is
jeopardizing services to the population. We cannot accept this."
Roy, Vice-President of the Federation of Professionals (FP-CSN) added:
"Entire days of discussion dedicated to the implementation of solutions
to counter work overload are not reflected at all in this new offer. In
addition, there are too few additional resources to address attraction
and retention issues. This is unacceptable."
Union of Quebec Government Professionals (SPGQ), made up of
20,900 public sector specialists, including 3,000 in health and
education, pointed out: "The government has offered an increase, which
could reach a maximum of one per cent over three years, that is tied to
an increase in the consumer price index. Unfortunately, this has
very little chance of materializing. Quebec's economic situation in
2021, despite the variants and the restrictions and closures still in
effect, would have to return to the level of 2019, before the pandemic.
This in our view seems unlikely. If this condition is not met, union
members will have to say goodbye to a possible increase. In short, this
proposal is nothing but hot air."
Line Lamarre added: "In fact, the first condition in
the economic clause reads as follows: 'if the gross domestic product
(real GDP) of Quebec as measured by Statistics Canada for the year 2021
is equal to or greater than 98.70 per cent of Quebec's actual GDP for
the year 2019.' If, and only if, this condition is met, can staff
get an increase of up to one per cent if inflation exceeds five per
"The Minister also proposed lump sums for
union members [...] On the
one hand, a sum of $1,000 for the year 2020 alone is offered only to
those at the bottom rung. Many people will therefore be deprived of it.
As well, a bonus of $0.66 has also been offered for each hour worked
between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021. After taxes, this
represents only about $600 in members' pockets, a non-recurring amount.
Plus, this amount does not apply to the pension plan."
Éthier, President of the Quebec Labour Congress (CSQ), which
represents 200,000 workers in education, early childhood and health
care, said: "After careful analysis, we can only conclude that the
offers presented to us on Wednesday [March 31] are smoke and mirrors.
This tabling is more of a media stunt on the part of the government
than a real willingness to seriously negotiate. In fact, we have found
nothing that even remotely resembles a real openness to improving the
working conditions of our members [...] the government is inflating its
offers with hypothetical and temporary sums, but refuses to grant
significant financial margins to improve sectoral working
The Interprofessional Health Care
Federation of Quebec (FIQ) and the
Alliance of the Professional and Technical Health and Social Services
Staff (APTS), which are negotiating their salary conditions together,
also affirmed that the government is maintaining the status quo.
"One thing is clear: nothing has changed in the last 10
expectations of the 131,000 members of the APTS-FIQ alliance are high
and, for the time being, the government's proposal does not reflect any
seriousness on the part of the Treasury Board Chair or the salary
recognition these people have a right to expect. Worse still, there's
no willingness on the part of the Legault government to close the pay
gap that puts the health and social services network workers at a
disadvantage compared to other Quebec wage earners.
salary offers of a five per cent increase over three years,
on the table today, were rejected last spring by the delegates of the
The APTS, which also represents
those employed by Youth Protection
Services (DPJ), working with young people and families in great
difficulty, said that the Treasury Board Chair "did not hesitate in
cutting the mobile leave needed by workers who are subjected to
violence and aggression on a daily basis and who are confronted with
nameless tragedies. And when they say they are creating a 3.5 per cent
bonus, they cleverly hide the fact that in order to take advantage of
it, workers will have to give up some of the bonuses they're already
"But that's not all, when we break down
this bonus, we see that it
is actually comprised of a permanent part of 1.5 per cent and a
temporary part of two per cent that will disappear in two years.
Through such underhanded manipulations, Ms. LeBel is contributing to
further devaluating the vital work that over 10,000 professionals and
technicians are doing with children and their families."
This article was published in
April 14, 2021 - No. 28