Quebec inks tentative deals on working conditions with all ‘common front’ labour unions

Click to play video: 'Two major Quebec unions representing public sector workers have reached tentative agreements on working conditions'
Two major Quebec unions representing public sector workers have reached tentative agreements on working conditions
As two of the province's major unions reach potential agreements on public sector working conditions, the issue of salary negotiations still continue. Elizabeth Zogalis has the latest – Dec 24, 2023

As negotiations continue through the holiday season, the Quebec government has struck tentative agreements on working conditions with a “common front” labour alliance of four major unions representing some 420,000 public sector workers.

The latest deal was reached at about 1 a.m. Wednesday with a union representing around 1,000 professional workers at several school boards north of Montreal.

The province has now reached a agreement in principle on working conditions with all the “common front” unions, which includes the majority of elementary and high school teachers as well as school support staff. It also includes health-care workers like orderlies and technicians.

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Since November, rotating strike days have shut down schools and delayed surgeries across Quebec.

The long-lasting labour conflict is far from over despite breakthroughs in talks last weekend.

The conditional deals don’t include salaries, which are still being negotiated at the central bargaining table.

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The common front is threatening an indefinite strike in the new year if a full deal isn’t reached, but a date has not been set.

Meanwhile, the Quebec government still hasn’t inked any kind of agreement with two other major unions representing teachers and health-care professionals.

The Fédération autonome de l’enseignement, which comprises about 66,000 teachers, launched an indefinite strike on Nov. 23. The walkout means about 800 schools were closed heading into the holiday break.

The Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec represents around 80,000 nurses, licensed practical nurses and respiratory therapists. It has also carried out strike days over the last two months.

with files from The Canadian Press

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