Quebec public sector unions form a common front for contract negotiations

The latest set of public contracts, some of which have just been adopted, expire in March 2023.

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The three main union alliances in Quebec announced on Sunday that they were forming a common front for the next round of contract negotiations.

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As members of this alliance, the Confederation of National Trade Unions (CSN), the Quebec Federation of Labor (FTQ) and the Central Trade Unions of Quebec (CSQ) have undertaken to coordinate their demands and not to poach members of the other unions.

“The message we wanted to convey today is that we are together,” said CSQ president Éric Gingras during a press conference in Montreal.

He added that the common front could “avoid the psychodrama of negotiations in Quebec and not take two years to agree on contracts”

The last public sector contracts, some of which have just been adopted and others remain in abeyance, expire on March 31, 2023. By law, unions must present their demands by the end of October.

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These demands will be refined over the next few months, but CSN vice-president François Enault has warned that they will reflect the current rate of inflation.

“The pandemic has demonstrated the importance of public services but also their fragility,” he said, adding that better wages and working conditions would contribute to labor shortages in critical sectors.

Representatives of the common front said they were open to adding more unions to their coalition.

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This story was produced with the financial assistance of Meta and the Canadian Press News Fellowship.

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