The statistics are clear: Quebec’s public service is increasingly struggling to retain its employees. In many sectors, the rate of voluntary departure has increased significantly in the last two years, to the point of almost 20% in some areas, such as the Ministry of Education.
In 2022-2023, no less than 18.5% of Ministry of Education workers voluntarily left their jobs, compared to 11.9% for the year 2020-2021.
In the Ministry of Cybersecurity and Digital Affairs, the rate of voluntary departure reached 18.1%, last year, although the creation of this ministry is still new, because it started in January 2022.
In the Ministry of Health and Social Services, the rate of voluntary departure increased from 12.32%, two years ago, to 16.26%, last year.
Radio-Canada was able to consult these worrying statistics in the annual reports of the ministries and government agencies of Quebec that were presented on Tuesday in the National Assembly.
The rate of voluntary departure includes retirements and transfers, but many ministries and organizations admit in their annual report that the increase observed is due to the many resignations of civil servants.
This is the particular case of the Sûreté du Québec (SQ), where more than 15% of civilian employees left last year. Ditto at the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ), where the rate of voluntary departure is close to 14%.
The voluntary departure rate for the 2022-2023 financial year is higher than the two previous years, can we read in the annual report of the Ministry of the Environment, which shows a rate of 12.6%.
This is mainly due to a higher number of resignations from regular staff.
This is a great rate!
For years, the Quebec Public and Parapublic Service Union (SFPQ) has been sounding the alarm about staff retention problems. By reading the latest statistics, the general president can only notice the worsening phenomenon.
This is a great rate! We are not just talking about a 1 or 2% increase. Christian Daigle was sad.
In his opinion, the rates of voluntary departure recorded in 2022-2023 are proof that the Quebec public service has become a school club that serves as a springboard for employees, who then make the jump to the municipal, federal or private sector to get. better working conditions.
This is the mayor and it shows what we have criticized for years; the government did nothing to rectify the situation.
Christian Daigle, general president of the Quebec Public and Parapublic Service Union
According to Mr. Daigle, the risks that arise from this continuity problem are real, because many departments and organizations offer
direct services of the population, such as the SAAQ, the SQ or the Ministry of Transport.
Amidst negotiations to renew collective agreements in the public sector and civil service, Mr. Daigle sees another argument to convince Quebec to loosen the purse strings.
We are hoping for a significant financial boost from the government to retain civil servants and workers and also attract new people. he said.
The Union of Government Professionals of Quebec (SPGQ) describes the situation as
disasters for its remaining members and
find themselves overwhelmed by all the risks necessary for their psychological health.
We also need to understand that in many cases, consultants are better paid, even if they don’t have enough training. The temptation to leave the private sector in these circumstances is great.
Advantages “to know”
In a written message, the office of the President of the Treasury Board, Sonia LeBel, recalled that the public service is inevitable from the lack of workers. So this is it
normal because there is movement introduces the company.
The government is also opposed to the unions regarding the working conditions of its civilians.
Measures such as teleworking, career opportunities and a favorable pension plan are among the advantages of public service. It should be noted that the total wages of state employees are 3.9% higher than the private sector.
It is clear that there is a challenge today in introducing the advantages of public service to young people however recognized the cabinet, adding that the Public Service Human Resources Management Strategy 2023-2028
will be launched soon.
The first vice-president of SPGQ, Annie Morin, however, has a different reading of the working conditions of civil servants.
“According to the Quebec Statistics Institute, pay gaps are systematically unfavorable to state professionals. They are almost 15% in other public services (federal government, public companies, municipalities and universities) and 9% in the private sector, he said.