Delegates from the four CSN public sector federations, i.e. the Fédération des employées et employés de services publics (FEESP–CSN), the Fédération nationale des enseignantes et des enseignants du Québec (FNEEQ–CSN), the Fédération des professionnèles (FP–CSN), and the Fédération de la santé et des services sociaux (FSSS–CSN), met virtually to discuss issues related to the renewal of collective agreements, including the results of the survey of CSN members conducted in early 2022. Although the most recent round of bargaining has only just come to an end, workers are once again ready to fight for better working conditions, based on the large number of survey respondents—25,000 members! According to the responses received, working and practice conditions and wages are issues of great importance. For wages in particular, the high rate of inflation is a major concern.
“Du bon bord”
These meetings served as an opportunity to officially launch the slogan for the 2023 round of bargaining for the CSN public sector: “Du bon bord”. It is a bold slogan that shows that we embrace our union and social values and that workers have no need to be self-conscious about making demands for better working and living conditions. It is a slogan that, in its various forms, not only serves as a reminder that public service employees carry out their work to make a living (they are “Du bon bord”—on the side of public services, on the side of better working conditions, and on the side of workers), but also is positioned in terms of the public (on the side of students and on the side of patients). It is a short, eloquent slogan that sends a clear message. To download the digital tools associated with the slogan, click here.
The new slogan—“Du bon bord”—has not yet been officially translated. Since we will be using the slogan for several years, we are working to find an English equivalent that fully conveys our message. The English slogan will be available in the coming weeks.
Public sector bargaining requires reflection about establishing a common front. Claudette Carbonneau, who was on the CSN Executive Committee for 20 years and served as President from 2002 to 2011, and François Énault, First Vice‑President responsible for public sector bargaining, came to provide food for thought about alliances while outlining the gains made throughout the CSN’s history as a result of various common fronts. Their presentation was much appreciated by delegates, who were able to engage in discussions with Ms. Carbonneau and Mr. Énault. In addition, those who took part in federation body meetings on February 25 agreed to work to form alliances and develop bonds of solidarity.
The current collective agreement expires on March 31, 2023, and union demands must be submitted by late October 2022.