Thursday, June 8, 2023

No more forums, Quebec and the unions will negotiate on the table

Francis Enault, the first vice-president of the Confederation of National Trade Unions (CSN), is happy with the completion of the forums. It is a thing of the past.

We have removed a major hole, adds Robert Comeau, president of the Association of Professional and Technical Persons in Health and Social Services (APTS).

This has been a sticking point in negotiations between Quebec and the city’s 600,000 employees, whose collective agreement expires on March 31 or Friday. The president of the fund’s board, Sonia LeBel, presented these discussion forums as parallel discussion boards, where she wanted to address primary issues in education and health.

The unions refused to participate, accusing the different government of not discussing their priorities.

It is clear that the forums no longer exist, notes Eric Gingras, president of the Central Trade Union of Quebec (CSQ).

“We took the ball out of our shoes. »

– Presented by Eric Gingras, President of the Central Trade Unions of Quebec

Priorities should remain, insists LeBel

When the colleges did not appear in the forums, I conducted the forums for them, explained the President of the Board of Treasurers.

Sonia LeBel does not see this as a failure of her plan when she maintains the three previous parts, so far under the name of the class team, the care team and the mental team.

We are arguing about the same things, he insists. The parts that were in the forums are returned to the central boards. […] However, I think the decision is right.

In addition, the most recent government offers, which notably proposed good care for those who care, were on the table in the negotiating table, unlike in February.

A new step?

Once the forums are filled, we can move forward, thinks Francisco Enault of CSN.

It was time for the government to understand that business is going to the tables, said the president of the Federation of Quebec Labor (FTQ), Magali Picard.

We are in the solution mode, these things are submitted, and now we are waiting for the government to step up, offer the most acceptable services and end the disturbances.

The Common Front, which represents 420,000 Quebec government workers, continues to demand better working conditions, wage increases and growth. The group calls for an annual wage index based on the consumer price index (CPI) and improvements in parental rights, retirement and collective insurance.

So far, there have been no indications that the new offers from Quebec will meet those priorities, the unions say.

However, the president of APTS is optimistic: When there is a conversation, there is hope.

The next few weeks will be interesting, predicts Eric Gingras of CSQ.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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