Quebec to raise pay of daycare workers despite ongoing contract talks

Click to play video: 'Daycare educators receive significant raise amid rotating strikes and negotiations' Daycare educators receive significant raise amid rotating strikes and negotiations
WATCH: In an unexpected move to try and attract and retain daycare educators, the Quebec government has offered to boost salaries effective immediately. But as Global’s Olivia O'Malley reports, both sides have yet to reach an agreement, and union leaders are unimpressed with the tactic. – Oct 14, 2021

The Quebec government says it will immediately hike the pay of daycare workers, despite ongoing contract negotiations that have led to strikes across the province.

Families Minister Mathieu Lacombe and Treasury Board President Sonia LeBel made the announcement Thursday, as unionized daycare workers continued their strike.

Lacombe and LeBel are acknowledging that early childhood educators are underpaid and the low salaries are hampering efforts to retain and recruit workers.

Read more: Daycare educators in Quebec hold 2-day strike over stalled contract talks

They say the government will immediately pay out the 12 per cent salary increase over three years it offered in July to qualified educators, while other daycare workers will receive slightly less.

The salary increase can reach up to 17 per cent through a lump-sum payment for qualified workers willing to increase their work week to 40 hours.

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Salaries are at the centre of the contract dispute, as public sector daycare workers make $19 an hour at the beginning of their careers and top out at $25.18 per hour after 10 years.

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