Quebec makes new offer to daycare educators in search of agreement

Quebec is making a new offer to educators in early childhood centres (CPEs) in the hope of finding an agreement.

The proposal provides for a salary increase of up to 20.22 per cent, announced Treasury Board president Sonia LeBel announced Friday. More specific details were not yet available.

"We are taking this important additional step today because we are convinced that now is the time to settle," said LeBel in a release. "It is time to settle for the children and for the parents, but it is especially time to settle for all the employees who work in this network, which is so important for the future of Quebec.'

The offer comes a day after Premier François Legault promised to create 37,000 child care spaces by 2025. Taking into account the spaces already announced, that should mean about 18,000 new spaces by 2025.

For daycare workers who are not educators, the salary increase will be up to 3.3 per cent.

The government is also planning a 4 per cent hourly bonus for hours worked in non-regular time slots, and also confirms the formal withdrawal of proposals to expand mandatory overtime provisions.

On Oct. 14, ministers Sonia LeBel and Mathieu Lacombe had announced the partial payment to educators of the salary increases offered to them last July, even if negotiations were to continue. LeBel had indicated that her salary offer would eventually be improved.

It is therefore this part of the additional increase that unions representing CPE workers were waiting for on Friday.

CPE workers have already held a few days of strike action, both from unions affiliated with the FTQ and the CSQ and CSN.

- This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on Oct. 22, 2021.

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