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Number 13
Our public services need clear commitments
The Government Needs to Listen to Workers
Novembre 13, 2020
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The French version is available here.
Burnout and fatigue are widespread in public services, yet the Legault government has been slow to send out clear signals about the current round of bargaining. Although the government had asked public-sector federations to accelerate talks and despite some progress at certain tables at which working and practice conditions are being discussed, it is clear that our counterparts on the management side of the table do not always have the financial margins needed to implement the necessary solutions. Why is the government waiting to give public services a boost when they are in the midst of collapse?

More thank-yous? No thank you!

By its own admission, the government recognizes that public services entered the current health crisis in a fragile state. Over the past few months, it has continued to thank the hundreds of thousands of workers in the different networks.

While thank-yous are always appreciated, they are not enough in this case. Thank-yous alone do nothing to resolve the pressing issues of work overload, job insecurity, labour shortages, and attraction and retention. Public services need concrete solutions, which works out well since we have suggestions. The government just needs to listen to us.

Our public services need clear commitments

We would like to reiterate that the government cannot adequately respond to the challenges that our public services are facing by putting off the implementation of concrete, lasting solutions. Beyond economic dogma, the Legault government is responsible for making a social choice, i.e. to give a boost to the public services that previous governments have failed, a choice that is needed after decades of repeated budget cuts. It can—and must—make this choice!

To do so, the government has to go the way of raising wages significantly. It must first provide special attention to low-income workers by means of fixed increases, and it must also invest the amounts needed to improve working and practice conditions. The public services crisis will continue to worsen if nothing is done and if the government stands firm with the current offer on the different tables.

Reminder : Comparison Table Between the Government Offer and the CSN Counter-Proposal
CONSEIL DU TRÉSOR
May 20, 2020
CSN COUNTER-PROPOSAL
August 28, 2020
2020: 1.75% + lump sum* 2020: $2/hour for everyone
2021: 1.75% + lump sum* 2021: the better of $0.75/hour or 2.2%
2022: 1.5% 2022: the better of $0.75/hour or 2.2%
A mechanism for protecting purchasing power.

*A lump sum, in years 1 and 2, for each hour worked during the previous year, gradually going from $0.44/hour for ranking 1 to $0.33/hour for rankings 12 and up.

 

This is why we are continuing to mobilize and take action on the ground and why we will continue to be active at the bargaining tables, defend our demands, propose solutions, and refuse concessions.

Together, we will be heard. Unite, organize, win!

On November 9, we occupied the offices of the Conseil du trésor in Montréal, to demand that the government move forward with the round of bargaining. This action was successful, but there is still work to be done.

On November 13 and 14, we will have the opportunity to send a strong and powerful message to the Legault government, while demonstrations and actions take place across Quebec. We need to stand together in solidarity, mobilize, and defend our positions because our demands are fair and legitimate! Together we can make a difference and help ensure that Quebec emerges from this crisis with stronger, better equipped public services.

To support our visibility efforts and increase our presence, we will also launch an advertising campaign that will be broadcast on major television networks and shared on social media starting next week.

Mr. Legault, public sector workers deserve better and you know it. You have the power to address the critical needs in our networks. Don’t wait any longer—act now!

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