Front commun reacts to ISQ report on remuneration of Québec public service employees | Urgent need for catch-up pay increases

November 30, 2023

Image Front commun reacts to ISQ report on remuneration of Québec public service employees | Urgent need for catch-up pay increases

Montréal – “The data from Québec’s Institut de la statistique is crystal clear. We need to close the wage gap between workers in Québec’s public services and other Québec workers. The CAQ government needs to provide catch-up pay increases – if it doesn’t, the labour shortage will get even worse.” The Front commun’s position was stated by CSN first vice-president François Enault, CSQ president Éric Gingras, FTQ president Magali Picard and APTS president Robert Comeau.

The gap between public-sector workers and other Québec workers is 7.4% in terms of overall compensation, which includes employee benefits. When pay alone is considered, the gap is even more significant at 16.6%. Data from the ISQ report Rémunération des salariés – État et évolution comparés confirms the importance of the catch-up pay increases that the Front commun is demanding as part of current contract talks. “We have to maintain our purchasing power, but we’re also demanding real gains. The survival of our public services is at stake,” said the Front commun spokespersons, adding that the government lacks ambition as an employer.

“In today’s context, our public systems need to be able to attract people,” said the spokespersons. “Contract talks have to make it possible to attract and retain employees. Our people are leaving for better jobs provided by municipalities, the federal government, or big companies that are unionized. Knowing that, we expect the government to act like an employer of choice and follow the example of the best employers.”

The Front commun is calling for both a permanent indexation mechanism and a general catch-up pay increase to provide real gains. For 2023, this means either an additional $100 per week or the Consumer Price Index (CPI) + 2%, whichever is most beneficial. The demand for 2024 is the CPI + 3%, and for 2025, the CPI + 4%.

As usual, the data shows major disparities in relation to sectors with comparable conditions, such as the municipal sector (36%), public corporations (19.6%), universities (17.9%), and the federal public service (17.2%).

Workers in skilled trades, such as carpenters, electricians and plumbers, are lagging far behind with a 35% gap.

 Some facts and figures to clarify the issues at the bargaining table

  • Average salary of Front commun public-sector employees: $43,916
  • Wage lag: 16.6%
  • Overall compensation lag: 7.4%
  • Percentage of workers represented by the Front commun who are women: 78%

For more information about current contract talks:

The Front commun

Together, the CSN, CSQ, FTQ and APTS represent over 420,000 public-sector workers who are employed by the Québec government in schools, health and social services, and higher education.

Source: Front commun (CSN, CSQ, FTQ, APTS)