Press release
The Common Front rejects the employers’ offers

25 January 2023

Public Sector Negotiations

Montreal, January 25, 2023 – The Common Front unanimously rejects the initial offers tabled by the Conseil du trésor on December 15 in the context of negotiations for the renewal of public sector collective agreements, including wage increases of 9% over five years. The CSN, CSQ, FTQ and APTS have unanimously judged these government proposals to be inadequate to resolve the severe difficulties undermining public services.

Faced with a historic labour shortage and huge challenges in attracting and retaining staff, the Quebec government is offering nothing less than impoverishment to workers by presenting them with wage increases that do not even cover the cost of living. This is simply not acceptable to our members! We will therefore work actively at the bargaining tables to make their voices heard, since the government’s proposal is completely disconnected from the needs to revalue our public networks,” said Common Front spokespersons François Enault, first vice-president of the CSN, Éric Gingras, president of the CSQ, Magali Picard, president of the FTQ, and Robert Comeau, president of the APTS.

Insulting offers and worrisome delays
In addition to dealing with record inflation, public service workers are falling behind other workers in Quebec by 3.9% in total compensation. This gap rises to 11.9% if only salaries are taken into account. To close this gap and raise the value of public sector jobs, the Common Front is calling for a permanent mechanism to protect against inflation and enrichment aimed at catching up on salaries. Thus, for the year 2023, it demands $100 per week or the Consumer Price Index (CPI) +2% (depending on the most advantageous formula), for 2024, the CPI +3% and finally, for 2025, the CPI +4%. Thus, for the year 2023, it demands $100 per week or the Consumer Price Index (CPI) +2% (depending on the most advantageous formula), for 2024, the CPI +3% and, finally, for 2025, the CPI +4%.

In addition, this initial government offer also attacks the Government and Public Employees Retirement Plan (RREGOP) by proposing to reduce the RREGOP pension due to the recent improvement in the Quebec Pension Plan (QPP). It also contains measures to delay the retirement age with total compensation for certain people who have devoted their careers to public services.

“On the one hand, the government is not offering to cover the rising cost of living for public service workers. On the other, it wonders why we have major problems attracting and retaining staff. Our proposals to remedy the labour shortage in our networks are written in black and white in the Common Front’s demands. We don’t see how this employer’s proposal, which at the moment looks like a government public relations exercise, will benefit the population as well as public sector workers,” add the Common Front spokespersons.

Strengthened by the mandate given to it by its members, the Common Front is now asking the Conseil du trésor to begin negotiations at the central table to put in place the necessary measures to become a competitive and attractive employer once again to improve the accessibility and quality of services in education, health and social services as well as in higher education.

We heard Minister LeBel’s call to negotiate on January 11. The Common Front is of course ready to work at the negotiating tables. But it must be reciprocal. Mandates will have to be given by the Conseil du trésor so that these talks allow for the implementation of the necessary solutions to ensure the future of public services,” concluded the spokespersons, while pointing out that it is unfortunately difficult for the moment to set dates for negotiations at the central table.

Statistics to better understand the stakes of this negotiation

  • The average salary of public sector employees who are members of the Common Front: is $43,916
  • Wage delay: 11.9%.
  • Total compensation delay: 3.9%.
  • Percentage of women among Common Front mem members of the Common Front: 78%.
  • Percentage of women among Common Front mem members of the Common Front: 78%.
  • Collective agreements expire on March 31, 2023.

For more information on the current negotiation: https://www.frontcommun.org/.

About the Common Front

Together, the CSN, CSQ, FTQ and APTS represent more than 420,000 Quebec government workers in the public sector, education, health and social services and higher education.

For information :

Noémi Desrochers, CSN Cellulaire : 514-216-1825Courriel : noemi.desrochers@csn.qc.ca
Maude Messier, CSQCellulaire : 514-213-0770Courriel : messier.maude@lacsq.org
Jean Laverdière, FTQ Cellulaire : 514-893-7809Courriel : jlaverdiere@ftq.qc.ca
Maxime Clément, APTS Cellulaire : 514-792-0481Courriel : mclement@aptsq.com