Under new agreement, PABs will come close to promised $26 per hour

The Federation des travailleurs et travailleuses du Quebec, FTQ, building is seen in Montreal on Tuesday, June 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

The agreement reached between the Quebec government and the FTQ last Saturday will see the pay for patient attendants almost reach the $26 per hour famously promised by Premier Francois Legault.

According to FTQ negotiating team member Melanie Gougeon, the workers will receive $25.63 on April 1, 2022, even if they work in a hospital centre.

“At the very beginning of negotiations, the government wanted to have this salary just for employees who worked in CHSLDs,” she said. “But for us, it was clear that it would never be salary only for CHSLD employees. All our PABs had to benefit from it.”

Gougeon said that if there had been a large difference in remuneration between different establishment types there would have been a risk that PABs working in hospitals would have left to seek work in CHSLDs.

Legault first announced the $26 per hour pledge at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis.

PABs working in CHSLDs will earn more, however, since they receive a six to eight per cent premium, similar to those who work in emergency rooms, said Gougeon.

“Whether there are premiums in CHSLDs or not, because there are some in several sectors, it's clear that all of our employees will arrive very close to $26 per hour,” she said. “So it's ensured that no matter what bonus they have, they will exceed $26 an hour if they work in a department where there are bonsues.”

The new agreement provides for a two per cent salary increase annually in 2020-21, 2021-22 and 2022-23 for all union members. In addition, improvements have been made to the salary structure for the union's lowest paid members, including PABs.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 3, 2021.

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