Quebec legal aid lawyers plan half-day strike

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Legal aid lawyers affiliated with the Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CSN) plan to hold a half-day strike on Tuesday that could affect several regions of Quebec.

In a press release Monday, several unions representing some 200 lawyers, say they plan to walk off the job from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., affecting Montreal, Laval, the Laurentians, Lanaudière, Bas-Saint-Laurent and Gaspésie.

The strike mandates were issued over the past few weeks and the lawyers say they have not heard from the Treasury Board since then.

They blame the board for refusing to maintain salary parity with Crown attorneys employed by the Quebec government.

Justine Lambert-Boulianne, president of the Montreal union and a member of the national negotiating committee, points out that the two groups of lawyers are called upon to plead the same cases before the same courts, which explains why there has always been wage equality between them.

However, representatives of the Treasury Board recently stated they did not have the mandate to maintain this parallelism.

The CSN reported earlier in May that the offer to legal aid lawyers was a two per cent annual salary increase over three years, which lawyers insist is not enough.

They are expected to set up picket lines on Tuesday in front of various legal aid offices across the province before converging on numerous court sites to demonstrate.

In Montreal, there will be a demonstration at 12 p.m. in front of the courthouse.

-- This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on May 23, 2022. 

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