In the News
Delays in Payments Owing to Quebec Health and
Social Services Network Personnel
Unions Condemn Government For Not Honouring Signed Commitments
In their press release dated February 14, Quebec health and social services unions condemned the Quebec government for not honouring its signature and its ongoing delay of payments owed to thousands of health and social services workers.
They report that eighty per cent of these workers are women awaiting $1.28 billion as a result of collective agreements signed in 2021 and that in the case of some job titles, an additional $1.15 billion for the settlement of pay equity grievances dating from 2010 and 2015 remains unpaid.
According to the unions, as a result of the pressure they have applied since last November to accelerate receiving what is owing to them, the Minister of Health and Social Services, Christian Dubé, committed to making the payments due as per the collective agreements, by March 1, 2022. He then reneged on his commitment by extending the deadline to March 23 in some cases and noted that payments could actually be made through advances. The unions are worried that their members could receive incorrect amounts that they may have to reimburse at a later date. In addition, his Deputy Minister has informed them that interest will not be paid on the amounts owed to their members, which they say is adding insult to injury.
As for the reimbursement of pay equity settlements, no date has been advanced, other than that nothing will be done before April.
“We do not understand that in 2022, in Quebec, women must still wait to have a salary equal to that of men. These complaints are from 2010 and 2015. This is simply unacceptable and revolting, not only for the women to whom these amounts are owed, but for all women in Quebec,” write the spokespersons for the health and social services unions.
The unions are also denouncing the fact that payroll services have been subcontracted to external private payroll providers who are proving themselves incompetent. They are demanding that these services be turned over to qualified and competent public service providers in order to reduce subcontracting in the health and social services network and better ensure follow-up.
“These are significant amounts of money to which our members are entitled. For two years now, the workers in the health and social services network have been holding it up, constantly making sacrifices at both the professional and personal level. It is becomingly increasingly difficult to be motivated. These late payments are demobilizing the workers. As we approach March 8, International Women’s Day, we call on the government to pay our members, the vast majority of whom are women, the amounts negotiated in their work contracts and in pay equity agreements.”
(Workers’ Forum, posted February 18, 2022. Translated from the original French by Workers’ Forum.)