Quebec Unions For 430,000 Employees Plan To Announce A Common Front

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Quebec's 430,000 public-sector employees - nurses, teachers and other health care and education workers, plus civil servants - want a 13-per-cent pay increase over the next three years.

The three main labour federations - the Quebec Federation of Labour, with 60,000 members in the public sector, the CSN with 155,000 and the CEQ with 145,000 members, including 100,000 in the education sector - have been discussing details of their contract demands and intended to announce them at a later date.

But yesterday Louis Roy, the CSN vice-president in charge of public-sector negotiations for his federation, revealed to reporters that the three would seek an increase of 4.5 per cent in 2004, plus two more annual increases of four per cent in 2005 and 2006.

"These figures didn't come out of a hat," Roy said, explaining that 0.7 per cent in the first year is to protect employees' purchasing power in the last year of their contract, which expired June 30.

In the first year, 1.8 per cent of the increase would be to cover inflation, rising to 2.5 per cent in the second and third year of the contract.

In addition, the unions are seeking two per cent in the first year as their members' share of productivity gains, falling to 1.5 per cent in 2005 and 1.5 per cent in 2006.