In September 2015, the Liberal government under Philippe Couillard signed a partnership agreement with mayors throughout Quebec effective from 2016 to 2019. Also called the “tax agreement,” this arrangement empowers the province’s municipalities to dictate the working conditions of their employees.
The FTQ and CUPE-FTQ today launched a website to support their campaign against this tax agreement between municipalities and the Quebec government under the slogan “D’égal à égal, c’est fondamental!” (“Bargaining as Equals: A Basic Right!”). The website www.egalegal.ca offers visitors the option to take concrete action including e‑mailing their local MPs.
According to some mayors, the purpose of the tax agreement is ultimately to give them the right to impose working conditions on municipal employees.
The entire union community is concerned by the agreement, which would consequently nullify workers’ right to collective bargaining and strike action. This appears to be a very serious attack on the entire labour relations system in Quebec.
The public initiative by the FTQ and CUPE was launched in February with a radio campaign. The objective is to raise general awareness of an issue about which most people have previously been unaware and to influence this ill-advised move on the part of the Couillard government.