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Quebec government and public daycare unions reach agreement in principle

Click to play video: 'Four hundred Quebec daycares close as educators walk off job in unlimited strike'
Four hundred Quebec daycares close as educators walk off job in unlimited strike
WATCH - Dec. 1, 2021: Four hundred Quebec daycares close as educators walk off job in unlimited strike – Dec 1, 2021

A deal in principle has been reached between the province and the three daycare unions negotiating their contracts on Wednesday.

“We have worked extremely hard to get there. We feel we have done everything we can to advance the priorities of women workers at the bargaining table, but ultimately the decision is up to them,” said Stéphanie Vachon, representing public daycares (CPEs) with the Fédération de la santé et des services sociaux (FSSS).

The FSSS, affiliated with the CSN (a Quebec union federation) has been on indefinite strike since last Wednesday. Vachon was negotiating Monday and Tuesday with the provincial government and again Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning.

Given the length of the consultation process, the strike would not end until next Monday, the CSN union was told. Daycare workers have been on strike since last Wednesday.

READ MORE: Quebec City police facing another watchdog probe after civilian injured in July

Few details into the deal have been made available, but the salary demands have been addressed for both educators and support staff. The unions had been asking for more money for support staff such as kitchen and maintenance employees.

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The strike closed about 400 government subsidized daycare centres across the province.

Under the last government offer, educators would be paid $30.03 an hour at the highest level.

The chair of the treasury board, Sonia Lebal, said she can’t confirm if that amount is the final proposal because the deal has to be submitted to union members before it’s made public.

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