After a joint meeting to take stock of ongoing negotiations, the spokespersons for the Common Front of Quebec public and parapublic employees announced their disappointment that the negotiation blitz proposed by the President of the Treasury Board has not yielded the expected results.
“When the Minister announced a negotiation blitz, we were hopeful, and all our bargaining committees were ready to get down to work. Unfortunately, it quickly became clear over the past week-end that management committees weren’t prepared to do the same. Despite this, we decided to carry on in an effort to advance the negotiations,” said Dominique Verreault of the Secrétariat intersyndical des services publics (SISP).
The unions had set a deadline of the beginning of April to settle satisfactory agreements, but had agreed to give it one last try. “If we do not believe we can reach sectoral agreements by April 20, we will file requests for mediation in order for the parties to reach a final settlement,” added Michel Arsenault of the Fédération des travailleurs et travailleuses du Québec (FTQ).
The Common Front is asking for cost-of-living adjustments for the 475,000 workers it represents, as well as a wage catch-up with the private sector, where wages are about 7.7% higher.
As well, Common Front unions want to see concrete solutions to ongoing labour problems that are having an adverse effect on our health and social services, education and public service.
The Common Front includes all the major unions in the public and parapublic sectors, i.e. the organizations grouped together in the SISP (CSQ, FIQ, SFPQ, SPGQ and APTS), the CSN (FSSS, FEESP, FNEEQ and FP) and the FTQ (CUPE, SQEES, COPE and UES).