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Quebec public sector negotiations resume after Christmas break as strike threat looms

December 27, 2023
The Canadian Press

Mario Beauregard/Adobe Stock

Negotiations between the Quebec government and unions representing hundreds of thousands of public-sector employees were expected to resume Tuesday after a series of breakthroughs over the weekend and a short pause for Christmas.

On Saturday and Sunday, Quebec announced a flurry of tentative deals with several labour groups belonging to an alliance known as the common front, including unions representing teachers, school support staff and health-care system employees.

Those deals only cover working conditions, however, and negotiations pertaining to compensation and benefits are still underway at the common front’s central bargaining table.

The alliance has carried out several multi-day strikes in the last two months and is threatening an unlimited walkout in the new year unless it reaches an agreement with the government.


It has not said when such a strike would begin.

Separate unions representing around 66,000 teachers and 80,000 health-care workers were not among the groups that reached a deal with the government before Christmas. The Federation autonome de l’enseignement and Federation interprofessionnelle de la sante du Quebec are negotiating independently with the government.

The teachers union has been on an unlimited strike since Nov. 23, closing about 800 schools for four weeks before the holiday break, including at the province’s largest school board in Montreal.

The union said last week it was prepared to enter a more intense phase of negotiations in hopes of reaching an agreement.

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