When it comes to negotiations with employees of the public and parapublic administration of Quebec, I have never seen a government as clumsy as that of François Legault.
While in the midst of negotiations with state employees, Legault’s government rushed to vote last June in favor of a 30% salary increase for deputies.
And during this time, the same CAQ government confirms that the Common Front of union centers is greatly exaggerating by demanding an increase of around 18% in the salaries of state employees in three years.
What was the urgency in immediately granting that 30% increase, however deserved it may be? For any smart strategist, that’s the kind of spectacular raise he gives himself after negotiating and signing collective bargaining agreements for “his” employees. And not before!
After having been granted a 30% increase, François Legault and his financier, the Minister of Finance, Eric Girard, now count on the efficient Sonia LeBel, Minister responsible for Public Administration and President of the Treasury Board, to negotiate the minimum possible . salary increases for Quebec government employees.
Poor Mrs. LeBel! By being forced to grant a 30% raise to her fellow MPs, she automatically shot herself in the foot.
The Common Front of the union centers has a good game: since then it has turned a deaf ear to the financial arguments put forward by Madame LeBel with the aim of convincing the Common Front to significantly reduce its demands for salary increases, which are around 18%. more than three years.
According to the Common Front, Legault’s government would only offer a 9% salary increase over five years. Big difference with the offers of the Legault government.
UNION RESISTANCE IS GROWING
The Common Front is currently animated. He has just revealed the results of a SOM survey on Quebecers’ perception of negotiations in the public sector.
Conducted from July 26 to 31, 2023 among 1,089 respondents, this survey confirms in the eyes of the leaders of the Common Front that the population “is generally favorable to the objectives of the workers” in the public sector.
Regarding government offers, the survey reveals that 56% of respondents consider that the salary increases offered by the government of 9% over 5 years are not enough.
Other results that the Common Front has to fully warm up its 420,000 union members:
– 87% of respondents believe that the government must improve the working conditions of its employees to remain competitive in the labor market;
– 86% also think that salaries should at least be indexed to the cost of living;
– 77% also believe that salaries in the public sector should be equivalent to those in the private sector.
If I were in the place of the Common Front, I would be left with a “small” embarrassment regarding the private sector.
According to the recent study on remuneration in Quebec just published by the Quebec Institute of Statistics, the public and parapublic service of Quebec offered better remuneration in 2022 than the private sector, for comparable reference positions. Teachers and nurses were excluded from the study.
To compare apples to apples, Statistique Québec reports the average hourly wage and the average global hourly compensation, which includes salary, value of social benefits, value of retirement plan, etc.