The Institut de la statistique du Québec’s (ISQ) findings on compensation gaps between the private and public sector support the FIQ and APTS’s demands regarding the need for a salary catch-up for employees in health and social services.
“There’s a 13.2% gap between public sector salaries and other Quebec employee salaries. While the health and social services network (RSSS) has a tremendous labour shortage, it is up to the government to offer staff attractive working conditions. This includes a major salary catch-up,” explained Andrée Poirier, APTS President, and Nancy Bédard, FIQ President.
For the two unions joined in an alliance in the provincial negotiations just beginning, it’s clear that previous governments’ successive budget decisions are the cause of the gap and the halted the salary progression for RSSS staff. This has resulted in decreased public services, a major work overload, forced overtime, and a lower standard of living.
“When you improve working conditions, you also improve the quality, safety and accessibility of care and services, mentioned the two APTS-FIQ alliance representatives. Everyone benefits from a proper salary catch-up: employees will get fairer recognition of their work; the network will become more attractive to a desperately needed workforce; and the public will be able to count on better access to health and social services.”
In order to gradually close the gap, the APTS and FIQ proposed that the government add a 4% salary catch-up every year to the annual salary increases. In addition to promoting staff recruitment and retention, it will also increase staff’s purchasing power, enabling them to further contribute to Quebec’s economic vitality.
“The government has the means to further invest in the network. If health and social services truly are one of its top priorities, as the premier said in his inaugural speech, then it is the government’s duty to pay employees salaries that accurately reflect the value of their work, employees who, day after day, provide quality care and services to the population,” concluded Andrée Poirier and Nancy Bédard.