Quebec, government professionals' union reach agreement in principle

Quebec Justice Minister Sonia LeBel responds to the Opposition during question period December 5, 2018 at the legislature in Quebec City. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot

Quebec and a third union have come to an agreement. This time, it was between the government and its professionals.

A comprehensive agreement in principle, including wages and working conditions, has been reached between Quebec and one of its public sector unions.

The Syndicat des professionnels du gouvernement du Quebec (SPGQ) announced Monday evening it has reached an agreement in principle on both wages and working conditions.

It concerns 21,000 of its 30,000 members.

The union of government-employed professionals represents accountants, computer process analysts, biologists and land surveyors.

The SPGQ says it does not want to reveal the contents of the tentative agreement, preferring to keep it private for its members.

The agreement has already passed through the negotiating committee and an intermediate forum.

On June 12, it will be submitted to a delegate meeting, which will in turn decide whether to submit it to the membership.

If it does, members will be asked to vote on it from mid-June to mid-July, the SPGQ said Tuesday.

LEBEL HAPPY

Treasury Board President Sonia LeBel said she was "pleased" to have reached the agreement in principle, which will help attract and retain staff in the public service.

In the previous negotiation for the 2015-2020 collective bargaining agreements, the SPGQ said it was only able to a tentative agreement in June 2018.

OTHER COMPREHENSIVE AGREEMENTS

Prior to the SPGQ, the FTQ (Federation des travailleurs et travailleuses du Quebec) announced it had reached a tentative agreement.

The FTQ is a central labour body, paving the way for the demand for wage increases.

The FTQ-Quebec tentative agreement provides wage increases of two per cent in 2020-2021, two per cent in 2021-2022 and two per cent in 2022-2023, as well as a change in the wage structure to provide higher wage increases to the lowest paid.

The Federation autonome de l'enseignement (FAE), which represents 49,000 elementary, secondary and vocational teachers, also settled its negotiations.

When it comes to salary, it obtained a pay equity clause -- better known as a "trailer clause."

This type of clause allows a union to benefit from more generous wage increases that may be negotiated by another union.

In this case, the FTQ, after the FAE, reached a comprehensive agreement with higher wage increases than were previously offered.

-- this report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on June 8, 2021. 

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