ontario news watch

Quebec labour unions in health care, education vote 95 per cent for strike mandate

MONTREAL — A common front of four major Quebec labour unions has voted 95 per cent for an unlimited general strike mandate.

The unions are negotiating as one and represent 420,000 public sector workers in health care, education and social services.

Éric Gingras, president of the CSQ union, says the strong mandate announced today shows members are fed up and want better working conditions.

François Énault, vice-president of the Confederation of National Trade Unions, says if workers choose to strike, it likely won’t happen before November.

The unions are seeking a three-year contract with annual increases tied to the inflation rate — two percentage points above inflation in the first year, three points higher in the second and four points higher in the third.

The Quebec government is offering an increase of nine per cent over five years, as well as a lump-sum payment of $1,000 in the first year and other targeted increases that bring the total offer to 13 per cent over five years.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 17, 2023.

The Canadian Press