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Public-sector bargaining talks | The Front commun confirms the adoption of the tentative deal

February 23 2024

Public-sector bargaining talks | The Front commun confirms the adoption of the tentative deal - APTS

Montréal – At the conclusion of consultations with 420,000 public-sector workers, today the Front commun confirmed that the tentative agreement reached at the central table with the Québec government at the end of December 2023 was adopted at a rate of 74.8%.

“The agreement reached for public-sector workers includes gains and prevents setbacks with respect to the pension plan, thanks to the unprecedented mobilization of members across Québec and the solidarity of our unions,” said CSN first vice-president François Enault, CSQ president Éric Gingras, FTQ president Magali Picard, and APTS president Robert Comeau, speaking on behalf of the Front commun. “We are proud that this common front will go down in history as the largest and most united front of the past fifty years.”

Not a blank cheque

“We acknowledge the advances, but there is still a lot of work to do to improve the accessibility and quality of public services,” the spokespersons said. “This agreement is not a blank cheque for the government. We can’t wait for future contract talks to recognize the value of our public systems – in schools, health and social services and CEGEPs – as well as the people who work in them daily. Workers expressed high expectations, and our unions are pursuing efforts to improve their working and practice conditions.”

The Front commun also found Premier Legault’s statements on Sunday to be problematic, when he announced that the next budget will have a major deficit because of public-sector bargaining talks. “Funding public services is not an expense; it’s an investment. Ensuring better funding for them is a political choice – the only responsible choice – and one that must be made. The government does not question other political choices that draw significantly on public finances, such as tax cuts and investments in private companies.”

As the Front commun closes this round of bargaining talks, it must acknowledge Quebecers’ support for the cause of public services, which didn’t waver throughout the fall, even during pressure tactics.

“The 420,000 workers mobilized like never before, because they care about the services delivered to the public,” the Front commun spokespersons said. “The support of Quebecers has not waned with this agreement. All of Québec wants quality public services, and our unions can be counted on to continue to defend them. This is a powerful message being sent to the Legault government on the eve of major new reforms in health and social services as well as in education.”

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.