Negotiations in the public sector and the Kings file: Sonia Lebel calls for the avoidance of “amalgamations”

The controversy surrounding the subsidy to bring the Los Angeles Kings to Quebec comes at a very bad time for the Legault government, as a major public sector strike begins. Minister Sonia Lebel calls on the population and trade unions to avoid mixing the two issues.

• Read also: Teachers’ strike: Check if your school is affected

• Read also: Up to $350 per strike day in lost wages for union members

“There is no, no, no, no impact on the negotiations,” emphasizes the chairman of the Treasury Board, who still expects the $5 to $7 million extended to hold two preseason games at the Videotron Center to become Common’s argument. In front.

The sums involved in the renewal of collective agreements for civil servants are “colossal”, she claims in an interview for our parliamentary office. And above all, they repeat themselves.

Quebec’s offer amounts to 8 billion dollars a year, reminds Sonia Lebel.

“We have to understand that the impact of negotiations on the provincial budget is on a completely different level than this kind of initiative,” she said.

Despite this warning, the minister admits that the issue will color the debates. “When we have such important negotiations, it is certain that everything comes to the negotiating table. It is certain that the trade unions will redirect everything they can to the creation of amalgam”, said the Minister of HZK.

Freezing the salaries of MPs

In the same breath, the minister explained the recent decision of the CAQ Deputies’ Club to reject the salary indexation planned for this year, after a 30 percent increase last spring.

It is not about sending a message or responding to the dissatisfaction of the population, she assures. From the beginning, the bonus voted after the “re-evaluation” of the work of the representatives covered the annual increase planned by the trailer clause with the holders of a higher position.

“It was understandable for us that it was on,” says Ms. Lebel. The parliamentary debate was simply meant to clarify the situation after the topic resurfaced in the media.

He is waiting for a counter offer

After submitting a new offer at the end of October, the minister is now awaiting a “constructive” counter-proposal from the Common Front union, which represents 420,000 members of the FTQ, CSN, CSQ and APTS.

“From the beginning, I made four steps in government settings and offers. They are still in the position of October 2022. That is not what negotiations are about,” laments Sonia Lebel.

Even regarding the reorganization of work in the classroom and hospitals, the minister struggles with an answer. “We offer help to the class, they tell me it’s not enough. OK, but how much more do you want?”, he asks the union negotiators.

Even more surprisingly, the unions do not have the same demand for “parametric” wage increases, Ms. Lebel points out. Some ask for 16%, others 21% or 24%. “Some are older than three years, others older than four,” she illustrates.

“The joint front does not even have a common request for parameters,” marvels the minister.

The latest offer from Quebec

  • 10.3% over five years;
  • Plus 3% for certain sectors;
  • $1,000 for all first-year employees;
  • An additional bonus of 1%, on average, for employees who earn less than $52,000 per year or start their career.

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