The Common Front of unions representing around 420,000 public sector workers in Quebec has reached a proposed agreement in principle with the government.
The group, which includes the CSQ, CSN, APTS, and FTQ, said Thursday afternoon that after 11 strike days and weeks of intensive bargaining, a proposed agreement reached the central table for the renewal of public sector collective agreements on wages and benefits.
The news comes after the French teachers’ union, the FAE, reached a proposed deal late on Wednesday.
“In terms of wages, the Common Front’s objectives were based on two key principles: to protect our 420,000 workers against inflation and to achieve some general wage catch-up for all workers,” a joint statement from the leaders of the CSN, CSQ, FTQ and APTS.
“And this is what has guided us throughout this negotiating blitz to reach a proposed agreement. We now want to present it to our respective authorities first.”
The union leaders will now meet with their members to present the content of the proposed agreements, after which the members will be asked to vote on whether or not to ratify the agreement.
“This round of negotiations will be officially settled when the working and practice conditions and the salary conditions are deemed satisfactory,” the leaders of the unions added.
The Common Front represents public workers in the education, health and social services and higher education sectors.
The unions’ announcement on Thursday marks a significant development in the intense negotiations and could mean that the Common Front’s threat of an unlimited strike in early January, announced earlier this month, could be averted.
Sonia LeBel, president of the Treasury Board, said in a social media post on Thursday that the terms of the proposed deal will remain confidential until the union members have had a chance to vote on it.
The pressure remains high on the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec (FIQ), which is also negotiating individually with the government.
The FIQ said on Thursday that it had made a new proposal to the employer and was “awaiting a response.”
The union organization, which represents 80,000 nurses, nursing assistants and other health-care professionals, posted the brief update on its Facebook page.
The Ministry of Labour had appointed a conciliator, at the request of the FIQ, to bring the two sides closer to a deal.
With files from The Canadian Press
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