Couillard confident agreement with engineers will be reached

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard said he believes the government will reach an agreement with 1,400 public engineers who have threatened to launch a general strike beginning on May 10.

Marc-Andre Martin, president of the Professional Association of Government Engineers, said the strike could be necessary as the union has been negotiating with the government since 2014 and their collective agreement expired in March, 2015.

The union is asking for a wage increase of 20 per cent.

On Friday, the premier said the engineers have the right to use their leverage, including strike action, but he expressed a desire to reach an agreement as quickly as possible.

The average salary of a public engineer is $74,000 per year with a ceiling of $82,000 per year.

Another round of negotiations is scheduled for May 5.