Negotiation time again between Quebec Government and its employees

Negotiation time again between Quebec Government and its employees

Quebec City (Quebec) 13 August 2015 – The time has come once again for the approximately 500,000 government employees to renegotiate their three year contract and it looks like the gloves are coming off between the two parties already.

The head of Quebec’s Treasury Board (Conseil du trésor), Martin Coiteux is ready for all eventualities during the upcoming year but has his arguments prepared, at least so far. M. Coiteux wants the unions to be aware that the state can only support so much and that Quebec taxpayers are already overtaxed as compared to any other State or Province in North America.

The province is also on an austerity program and simply doesn’t have the money to meet the present demands of the several unions involved in the negotiations. The unions are demanding a 4.5% annual salary increase for the next three years. The government is offering a salary freeze for two years and an annual increase of 1% for the three following years making it a five year contract.

In fact, M. Coiteux would like to be able to reduce the general population’s income taxes, which are extravagant, for the year 2018, by reducing the internal costs of running the government. The unions say that the income tax reduction would be supported by the lack of salary increases to its employees. So the arguments begin, and M. Coiteux is ready for any strikes that may occur, claiming it is a democratic right to strike.

There is also a question of extending the retirement age from 60 to 62 for the state’s employees with some other adjustments to the pension plan. The unions on the other hand don’t want any changes made to their present retirement offers.

Who will win and how long will the negotiations continue is anyone’s guess for now.

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