Union organizations (CSN, CSQ, FIQ, APTS, FTQ, FAE, SFPQ, SPGQ) representing over 500,000 public sector workers are collectively speaking up today to firmly denounce the government’s attitude. It still hasn’t put offers on the table that are likely to advance negotiations for renewing the collective agreements that expired on March 31, 2020.
Workers – representing over 75% of public service staff – have had enough 13-hour “thank yous” at press briefings. Staff are participating in two large-scale, highly visible actions to sound the alarm: one at the base of the Jacques Cartier Bridge in Montreal and the other on parliament hill in Quebec City. They are demanding concrete offers to alleviate the crisis that has been going on in public services since well before the pandemic began.
In a press briefing, union leaders (Jacques Létourneau, CSN; Sonia Ethier, CSQ; Nancy Bédard, FIQ; Andrée Poirier, APTS; Daniel Boyer, FTQ; Sylvain Mallette, FAE; Christian Daigle, SFPQ; Line Lamarre, SPGQ) warned the government about the dangers of a service interruption in the public networks and about the catastrophic consequences that a return to austerity would have on the entire Quebec population.
“In reality, we already have service interruptions in the network with surgical interventions and follow-ups that have been postponed or cancelled altogether. We don’t have any more time to lose. The government must recognize the essential contributions of public service workers by submitting offers that will attract and retain staff. The government must not wait any longer to enhance compensation and improve working conditions,” declared the union leaders.
“Our organizations have presented solutions at the bargaining table. They address the specific needs of public services and make it possible to value and recognize the staff’s work. It’s not only workers who are suffering from the years of austerity imposed by previous governments, the whole Quebec population is paying the price,” added the union leaders.
“The staff is fed up with the exhausting practice conditions, the staffing shortage, the lack of recognition for their work and the sacrifices that they make every day. Their ability to provide quality care and services is closely tied to their working conditions and compensation. There’s no more time to waste. Quebec must submit valid offers to put these negotiations behind us and concentrate on fighting the pandemic,” concluded the union leaders.